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Hosted by Mariya Gabriel, the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, four signing ceremonies took place where Member States and Associated States committed to collaborate in the following fields:

  • Artificial Intelligence: 25 Member States and Associated States signed a declaration confirming their commitment to collectively contribute to common efforts.
  • Blockchain: 22 Members States and Associated States signed a declaration aiming to launch a collaboration partnership.
  • Personalised Medicine: 13 Member States and Associated States committed to collectively set up an EU-wide health data ecosystems to foster personalised medicine.
  • Innovation Radar: 15 Member States and Associated states agreed to jointly communicate European success stories.

Political will to promote Artificial Intelligence

digital daysThe political will regarding the collaboration on Artificial Intelligence (AI) reached a level rarely seen before in an EU event of such sort. This was demonstrated by the fact that no less than ten EU ministers or secretaries of state participated in the AI panel. One can truly say it was a big panel! Luxembourg testified its commitment by actively participating in drafting the AI declaration prior to Digital Day and by being one of the signatories.

The policy commitments made during the Digital Day will mainly be implemented through Horizon 2020. A recent call for proposals for a large AI-on-demand platform to deliver AI as a service closed in April 2018, and future AI-related H2020 calls will build on this large European AI platform. Luxembourg has actively participated to the writing of the declaration and several Luxembourg academic and industrial organisations submitted proposals under the H2020 call in April 2018. At the same time, several Luxembourg academic and industrial organisations are planning to respond to future calls.

Artificial intelligence for Europe

Following the Digital Days, the European Commission published a communication entitled “Artificial Intelligence for Europe” on 25 April. The document focuses on three main axes:

  • Build a EU AI landscape with funding for AI capacities: investing 20 billion euros per year in the next decade via several investment schemes: Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe, Digital Innovation Hubs, application-driven AI (in agriculture or health, for example), Member States funding programmes, private investment, education, etc.
  • Support the “AI-isation” of the society: developing new skills, (re-)train a skilled workforce, set up a pro-active citizen social education in order not to leave anyone behind, anticipate changes on the labour market and include AI in joint social partners’ work programmes.
  • Entangle EU values within an EU AI: create GDPR-compliant AI, foster an AI-based product liability regime, empower citizens by creating consumer organisations and data protection authorities, develop AI ethics guidelines.

Luxembourg commitment

Luxembourg is the 5th digital economy in Europe according the 2017 DESI index. It is therefore critical for the Luxembourg economy to be on the forefront of this revolutionising technology, both technically and socially. According to the Gartner Briefing “Key trends in AI and Machine Learning”, a sound AI policy needs 6 cross-thematic components: algorithms, data sources, processing power, governance, skills and thinking, tools and industrialisation. Luxembourg has real assets with the already existing initiatives such as euroHPC, an EU initiative to bring back an EU HPC infrastructure in the world top 3. This initiative will be implemented through a Joint-Undertaking which will be based in Luxembourg. Another project is DAP FEDER. The project led by the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) will aim at developing an AI-on-demand platform in Luxembourg for the Luxembourg industries. By joining the AI declaration, Luxembourg has set the course to become a leader within a European AI.

Future opportunities

In the coming months, the Commission will publish a series of communications and action plans that will set the course of the AI policy and its implementation during the three last years of Horizon 2020 and beyond. In 2019, the Commission will launch a €20 million project to develop an AI-on-demand platform to give access to state-of-the-art AI to any businesses and industries interested. The EU funding team in Luxinnovation will keep track of these evolutions and raise awareness to support the participation of Luxembourg stakeholders in the EU AI ecosystem. We will highlight the future AI-related H2020 topics and AI will be an entire focus at the EU digital key event, the ICT 2018 Conference in December 2018. The Luxembourg National Contact Points will continue to gather and communicate the AI-related H2020 funding opportunities to keep Luxembourg ahead in the race.

Last year, the 2017 Digital Day was the digital spark of the euroHPC initiative, in which Luxembourg is at the helm and which lead to Luxembourg hosting the future EU infrastructure. This year, the 2018 Digital Day was the digital spark of the AI initiative, the Block chain initiative, the Personalized medicine initiative and the Innovation Radar initiative. Luxembourg is again at the helm! Whatever the 2019 Digital Day be the spark of, Luxembourg will again be at the helm. Regarding AI, as Mariya Gabriel said, “In Europe, any successful strategy dealing with AI needs to be cross-border”.

LUXINNOVATION IS THE NATIONAL CONTACT POINT FOR HORIZON 2020, THE EUROPEAN FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME FOR RESEARCH AND INNOVATION. BUILDING ON OUR DECADE-LONG EXPERIENCE OF EU FUNDING PROGRAMMES, WE ARE ABLE TO RESPOND TO QUESTIONS ON WHERE TO GET UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION ON PROGRAMMES AND CALLS FOR PROJECT PROPOSALS, WHAT PROGRAMMES ARE THE MOST SUITABLE FOR YOU OR WHERE AND HOW TO FIND EUROPEAN PARTNERS.

 

Luxinnovation contributes to the economic development of Luxembourg by fostering innovation, fuelling international growth and attracting foreign direct investment and is supported by: Ministry of the Economy, Ministry for Higher Education and Research, Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Luxembourg Chamber of Skilled Crafts and FEDIL – The Voice of Luxembourg’s Industry.

Photo credit: © European Union, 2018

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