The Spanish Centre for Technological Industry Development (CDTI) held last Thursday 11th an info day about the importance of the artificial intelligence in H2020.
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years, from 2014 to 2020 and it aims to reach three strategic goals:
- Excellent science, in order to make the EU become a world leader in science.
- Industrial leadership, for the improvement of European competitiveness.
- Societal challenges, where targeted investment in research and innovation can have a real impact benefitting the citizen
Horizon 2020 is expected to help the EU with the development of the AI and then the Digital Europe Programme will support its implementation.
Fernando Rico, ICT representative from H2020, went through the different scenarios of H2020 where the AI has performed a relevant role and highlighted one of its main milestones, the Communication from the Commission, which took place last year. From that point onwards, some other landmarks have been reached, as the creation of the AI HLEG, the launch of an action plan and the adoption of a new strategy agenda for the development of the AI, among others.
In terms of the budget, whereas the Commission allocated €500 mill. towards AI projects during 2018-2019, the goal is to reach €20.000 mill per year by 2020, together with the Member States.
Enrique Pelayo, national ICT 2020 point of contact, underlined some H2020 topics where the AI takes a main role:
- ICT48- Towards a vibrant European network of AI excellence centers.
- ICT49- AI on demand platform.
- ICT38- Artificial Intelligence for Manufacturing.
While the first two ones set up the general basis for AI in ICT, the latter addresses the involvement of AI in a specific sector.
The speakers also referred to InnovFin, a joint initiative in cooperation with the European Investment Bank Group which aims to facilitate and accelerate access to finance for innovative businesses and other innovative entities in Europe.
David González, from the technical office of SGCPC (MICINN), talked about the I+D+i strategy and focused on the national angle. Several discussions and meetings with businesses and companies that provide AI products and services are being held, with the aim of having a draft ready by the next Autumn.
AI key challenges and opportunities were discussed at the end of the event, both from a general and industry side. When it comes to the pitfalls, the speakers pointed out the lack of administrative staff and the need of practical guidelines that can be easily materialised. AI Ethics and Regulation stood out as one of the most influencer fields where “reaching an agreement among EU Member States becomes an essential step that should be prioritized”, all the speakers agreed.