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Shaping Europe’s digital future

AI Excellence: Enabling conditions for AI’s development and uptake

The Commission has identified actions to create the right environment for the development and uptake of AI in Europe.

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In order for the development and uptake of AI to be successful, a number of enabling conditions are necessary. Firstly, an efficient and functioning governance and coordination framework is needed to build economies of scale and facilitate synergies. Secondly, large, high quality and secure data is required. Thirdly, there should be a computation infrastructure to store, analyse and process this data.

The Coordinated Plan identified three key actions to help set these enabling conditions:

  1. acquire, pool and share policy insights on AI
  2. tap into the potential of data
  3. foster critical computing capacity

Acquire, pool and share policy insights

Sharing knowledge and policy insights, and coordinating policy actions and investments can be an important competitive advantage. This is particularly true for such a rapidly developing area as AI.

All Member States have made substantial efforts since 2018 to develop national strategies on AI or to include an AI dimension in existing strategies and programmes. Their work has facilitated structured reflection on the priorities and objectives for the development and uptake of AI. And, it has triggered a wider public debate in many Member States.

The aim of Commission actions in this area is to:

  • maximise the advantages of national strategies and accelerate proposed actions
  • reap the full benefit of the technical expertise of expert groups on AI facilitated by the European Commission, such as the High-Level Expert Group on AI
  • strengthen exchanges and collaboration through the Member States’ Group on AI and Digitising European Industry

Tap into the potential of data

High-quality datasets are essential for the development and deployment of AI systems. However, these datasets must be respectful of diversity and non-discrimination, and used in a GDPR compliant way.

Despite data being an ever-increasing commodity in Europe, data sharing has still not taken off. The initial Coordinated Plan from 2018 called for common European data spaces to share data. The European strategy for data was the first step to achieving this. It proposed a single market for data with fair and clear rules. The Data Governance Act, which followed the strategy, hopes to increase trust in data sharing and introduce measures for the reuse of data held by the public sector.

To support actions on data, the Commission will adopt a proposal for a Data Act. It will also propose an implementing act to make public sector high-value data sets in machine-readable formats freely available for reuse.

Together with the Member States, the Commission will:

  • launch a European Alliance for industrial data and cloud 
  • invest in European data spaces and the European cloud federation
  • work with all interested Member States in the setting up of a possible Important Project of Common European interest (IPCEI) focusing on next-generation cloud infrastructure and related services.

Foster critical computing capacity

Without the computing infrastructure to process data for AI, data itself brings no added value. Europe needs to develop and invest in AI solutions that are powerful enough to process the available data, and which are sustainable.

Europe is already developing a world-class supercomputing infrastructure that will be easily and securely accessible from across Europe. With the support of the Member States the Commission will:

  • launch an Industrial Alliance on Microelectronics
  • dedicate a testing and experimentation facility on edge AI components and systems,
  • invest in research and innovation for computing needs through the European Partnership on Key Digital Technologies

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