The ultimate goal is a European AI-on-demand platform mobilising the European AI community to support businesses and sectors in accessing expertise, knowledge, algorithms and tools to successfully apply AI thereby generating market impact.
The platform should:
- serve as a central point to gather and provide access to AI-related knowledge, algorithms and tools;
- support potential users of AI in order to facilitate the integration of AI into applications;
- facilitate the interaction with existing data portals needed for AI algorithms, and resources, such as HPC or cloud computing, and support interoperability.
Research and Innovation Action - Building a European AI on-demand platform
The goal is to develop a European AI ecosystem bringing together the knowledge, algorithms, tools and resources available and making it a compelling solution for users, especially from non-tech sectors. The action should build on and link to existing relevant initiatives, including for instance existing platforms, data repositories, cloud computing, HPC. Proposals will be expected to plan efforts to connect and cooperate with the DIHs, Pilots and other relevant activities of this workprogramme, as appropriate. The action called for is expected to include the following activities:
- Mobilising the European AI community including researchers, businesses and start-ups to provide access to knowledge, algorithms and tools;
- Defining sustainable processes and structures (governance, access, business models, licensing, etc.) as well as developing a suitable software infrastructure (APIs and tools to aggregate existing tools and algorithms and to make them easily deployable in applications, as well as to access data and computing resources);
- Filling important technology gaps through challenge-based and/or user-driven research and innovation efforts. These efforts could have an application or technology focus, covering major domains such as robotics, IoT, CPS, intuitive interfaces, personalised applications, healthcare, manufacturing or agriculture;
- Gathering user requirements: based on representative set of its future users (researchers and industry). In particular, the research and innovation efforts expected from this action will have strong synergies with the platform building (providing user requirements, guiding its development, exploiting its resources, and contributing to its content) but additional efforts might be necessary to ensure that the needs of the various types of potential users of the platforms are represented;
- Putting in place a comprehensive service layer to facilitate the use and uptake of the platform both by end-users and researchers;
- Reaching out to new user domains and boosting the use of the platform. The task may involve financial support to third parties to fund promising projects (selected through open competitive calls) exploiting the resources and services offered by the platform to foster technology transfer of AI-based solutions, in line with the conditions set out in part K of the General Conditions. Maximum 3M€ funding could be dedicated to it, with EUR 50.000 to EUR 200.000 per third party[[In line with Article 23 (7) of the Rules for Participation the amounts referred to in Article 137 of the Financial Regulation may be exceeded when this is necessary to achieve the objectives of the action.]];
- Developing a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for AI including ELSE (Ethical, Legal, Socio-Economic) aspects, taking into account and building on relevant initiatives and strategies (e.g.: Big Data PPP, Robotics PPP, AIOTI , CPS (CyPhERS), cybersecurity cPPP).
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to 20 million € would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a key technology for the further development of the Internet and all future digital devices and applications. Driven by the wider availability of large amounts of data and increasingly higher performance computing and networking, AI brings additional autonomy to all types of physical and virtual artefacts and opens the door to a wave of innovations and opportunities. It is already transforming important sectors ranging from data analytics and Web platforms up to driverless vehicles and new generation of robots for our homes, hospitals, farms or factories.
The challenge is to fully exploit the potential of AI in the economy and society. Building notably on Europe's Scientific and Technology strengths in the field, the supported activities should reinforce industrial competitiveness across all sectors including for SMEs and non-tech industries and help address societal challenges (e.g. ageing, transport). The focus is on R&I areas in AI where collaborative work at European level can make a difference amidst the fierce world-wide competition in the field. The ambition is therefore to make AI technologies and resources available to developers and innovators in all sectors and actively engage with a wide user community, including non-AI experts.
- Building a sustainable AI-on-demand platform, becoming a reference, mobilising the entire European AI community, and ensuring a leading position for Europe in AI.
- Reinforcing European excellence and leading position worldwide in major research and application domains, especially through the research and innovation efforts to fill important technology gaps.
- Boosting technology transfer of AI, especially towards SMEs and non-technology sectors, and disseminating the economic benefits of AI to a large user base.