EU invests €50 million to create network of AI Excellence Centres

The European Commission has launched a new call for proposals to develop a vibrant European Network of Artificial Intelligence Excellence Centres to enhance cooperation within the European AI research community and boost technological advancements in the field of AI.

Proposals can be submitted until 13 November 2019 to finance projects under the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020. Through this call the most rigorous research teams in Europe are encouraged to join forces to tackle more efficiently major scientific and technological challenges, hampering the deployment of AI-based solutions and remain competitive at the international level.

The announcement has two main actions. The first action aims to bring leading researchers together in European networks of excellence centres to boost the research capacity in Europe and the status of Europe as a research powerhouse for AI; making it attractive for scientists and new talents. Each network is expected to mobilise researchers to collaborate on key AI topics, with industrial relevance to work on. Collaborative projects should focus on one or several of the following topics:

  • Advances in foundations of AI (e.g.: learning and reasoning approaches) and approaches for trusted AI solutions (including explainable AI, unbiased AI, safety, reliability, verifiability etc.)
  • Developing the next generation of intelligent robots
  • Advanced perception or interaction with humans (for human-centered AI) and environments
  • AI at the edge and hardware for AI

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 12 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

The second action aims to foster coordination and exchange among the selected projects, and other relevant initiatives. Priority is given to the development of PhD programmes, the integration of AI in curricula and the organisation of internships. Moreover, enhanced cooperation with the industry is expected to foster an ecosystem of research and development resources as well as expertise and infrastructure in areas such as supercomputing, robotics equipment and Internet of Things.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 2 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately but this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

This call follows the recent announcement of the €20 million investment for the creation of the AI4EU, an online platform that allows the exchange of AI tools and resources across Europe, in line with the European AI Strategy.

  • Katherine Mayes

    Katherine Mayes

    Programme Manager | Cloud, Data, Analytics and AI
    T 020 7331 2019

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