The EU Commission launched a package of measures Wednesday to support European startups and SMEs in development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that is ‘trustworthy’ and ‘respects EU values’. The package includes a proposal for privileged access to supercomputers to AI startups and the broader innovation community.

“You need computing power to develop AI. A lot of it. So we want to give SMEs and start-ups privileged access to the network of European supercomputers,” said EC vice-president Margrethe Vestager: “We are committed to innovation of AI and innovation with AI. And we will do our best to build a thriving AI ecosystem in Europe.”

The package contains:

An amendment of the EuroHPC Regulation to set up AI Factories, a new pillar for the EU’s supercomputers Joint Undertaking activities. This includes:

  • Acquiring, upgrading and operating AI-dedicated supercomputers to enable fast machine learning and training of large General Purpose AI (GPAI) models;
  • Facilitating access to the AI dedicated supercomputers, contributing to the widening of the use of AI to a large number of public and private users, including startups and SMEs;
  • Offering a ‘one-stop shop’ for startups and innovators, supporting the AI startup and research ecosystem in algorithmic development, testing evaluation and validation of large-scale AI models, providing supercomputer-friendly programming facilities;
  • Enabling the development of a variety of emerging AI applications based on General Purpose AI models.

A decision to establish an AI Office within the Commission, to ensure development and coordination of AI policy at European level, as well as supervise the implementation of the forthcoming AI Act.

An EU AI Start-Up and InnovationCommunication outlining additional activities:

  •  Financial support from the Commission through Horizon Europe and the Digital Europe programme dedicated to generative AI. This package will generate an additional overall public and private investment of around EUR 4 billion until 2027;
  • Accompanying initiatives to strengthen EU’s generative AI talent pool through education, training, skilling and reskilling activities;
  • Encourage public and private investments in AI start-ups and scale-ups, including through venture capital or equity support (including via new initiatives of the EIC accelerator Programme and InvestEU);
  • The acceleration of the development and deployment of Common European Data Spaces, made available to the AI community;
  • The ‘GenAI4EU’ initiative, to support development of novel use cases and emerging applications in Europe’s 14 industrial ecosystems, as well as the public sector. Application areas include robotics, health, biotech, manufacturing, mobility, climate and virtual worlds.

Source: EUbusiness

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