Authors: Gayle Kimberley, Nina Fauser & Bastien Debiève
What is ‘Artificial Intelligence’, and how does it work?
Artificial intelligence, or ‘AI’, refers to the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines and computer systems which are programmed to think like humans, and perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. AI has become a hot topic – not because it is new, but because the advancement of digital technologies and connectivity has brought AI closer to us, making its application more relevant to every aspect of our lives.
Are there any funds available for AI-related projects?
Many calls targeting projects related to AI and digital technologies have recently been launched within the Horizon Europe programme, Europe’s key funding programme for research and innovation. The Horizon Europe programme is made up of three pillars, namely (i) Excellent Science, (ii) Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness, and (iii) Innovative Europe. The calls related to AI and digital technologies fall under the 4th cluster of Pillar II (the Digital, Industry and Space cluster), and form part of Destination 6, entitled ‘A Human-centred and Ethical Development of Digital and Industrial Technologies’. These calls are now open, and will run until October of this year.
Beyond economic recovery and sustainable development, the European Union is mobilising significant funding – billions of euros – to develop competitive digital technologies, with the aim of investing in companies which are capable of inventing the technologies of tomorrow. The overriding aim is to ensure that European citizens have access to trustworthy technologies which respect users and, in fact, many of the newly launched calls include considerations related to ethics, open-data and shared algorithms. According to the European Commission, the issue of trust has indeed become a very central one, especially in the light of certain growing concerns about the exploitation of personal data, large-scale cybersecurity and data breaches, and disinformation.
In this context of digital investment, various calls for projects have been identified to meet the needs of consortia composed of companies, public or semi-public structures, and research laboratories. Some of the main funding opportunities which are available under Horizon Europe in terms of projects related to AI and other digital technologies include the following:
- Verifiable robustness, energy efficiency and transparency for Trustworthy AI: Scientific excellence boosting industrial competitiveness (AI, Data and Robotics Partnership): aimed at developing trustworthy AI technology and building the next level of “intelligence” and autonomy.
- Trust & data sovereignty on the Internet: focused on the development of new technologies and data governance models for increased trust, privacy and user control of personal data and identity on the internet.
- AI to fight disinformation: proposals are expected to contribute to the setting up of advanced AI solutions against advanced disinformation techniques for media professionals, or advanced AI solutions against disinformation for citizens.
- European coordination, awareness, standardisation & adoption of trustworthy European AI, Data and Robotics (AI, Data and Robotics Partnership): this call is noticeably rather wide in nature and covers a broad range of topics including supporting projects which promote the adoption of trustworthy AI technologies, projects which investigate and promote the potential contribution of AI, data and robotics to social welfare and sustainability, as well as projects which support the Public-Private Partnership on AI, Data and Robotics to develop a strong and inclusive network in this field.
- Tackling gender, race and other biases in AI: projects under this call are expected to increase the availability and deployment of unbiased and bias-preventing AI solutions across a wide range of industrial and digital sectors, develop AI-based solutions for enhancing digital equality and social inclusion for groups which are at risk of discrimination, whilst also increasing the involvement of underrepresented persons in the design, development, training, and deployment of AI.
- Workforce skills for industry 5.0: the aim of this call is to investigate the social and economic impacts generated by emerging disruptive technologies including AI, machine learning, blockchain and 5G, among others.
Apart from these funds, the Horizon Europe Programme also includes numerous other calls which may be suitable for your project, including calls related to eXtended Reality (‘XR’) and Next Generation Internet (‘NGI’) for example.
Do you have any ideas for projects related to AI or other digital technologies which require funding?
Here at Ewropa Consultancy, our team will be able to assist you in identifying the appropriate funding opportunity for your project, as well as carrying out all the necessary research, liaising with external bodies, and implementing the application process.
Contact us on email@example.com to secure your funding now!