How research and innovation contributes to AI policy

Well-coordinated use of AI can bring about significant improvements to society. It can help us reach climate and sustainability goals and will bring high-impact innovations in healthcare, education, transport, industry and many other sectors.

At the same time, the uptake of AI entails a number of potential risks and will bring about considerable socioeconomic changes. The EU must act as one, based on European values, to promote the development and deployment of AI.

This is why the Commission's research and innovation policy on artificial intelligence focuses on

  • developing and deploying AI solutions that have positive impacts on society and the economy
  • increasing and prioritising public and private investments (including better access to and use of scientific data)
  • promoting the development of Trustworthy AI by improving diversity and prompting ethics by design in Horizon Europe research and innovation projects. Gender and intersectional bias in Artificial Intelligence (factsheet).

Funding for AI

Europe needs to increase and better coordinate public and private investment to reap the full benefits of AI and to become a world leader in this key enabling technology.

The EU aims to increase total investment in AI (public and private combined) to €20 billion per year by the end of 2020.

European Research Council (ERC)  

ERC grants, as well as the creation of AI-focused research centres in EU countries, support Europe's research institutes, which are global leaders in AI research.

European Innovation Council 

Funding for promising innovators and SMEs, to turn research into genuine breakthrough innovations.

Public-private partnerships (PPPs)

PPPs under Horizon Europe will facilitate stepping up private investment. Under the Horizon 2020 framework programme, the Commission is investing €1.5 billion in AI, which is expected to trigger an additional €2.5 billion in investment through public-private partnerships.

Projects and results

Research project database (CORDIS)

The Commission's primary portal for results of EU-funded research projects 

Project success stories

Stories of particularly successful EU-funded research projects


ReportNovember 2020Research and Innovation

AI research and innovation: Europe paving its own way

WP 2020/15 - Main AI trends, opportunities and challenges, and attempts to provide a picture of the EU positioning in AI science and innovation.



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