Four ICT48 Networks of AI Excellence Centres

Europe has set out an ambitious plan to invest in the European model of AI, with a new set of vibrant European networks of AI excellence centres (NoEs). Since September 2020, four NoEs dedicated to work on specific aspects of trustworthy AI, beeing funded under H2020-ICT-48-2020 Call.

At the same time, there are a number of existing initiatives and networks in the area of AI, broadly defined, that have achieved good progress in organising groups of key stakeholders; these include the AI4EU project, the Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe (CLAIRE), the network of digital innovation hubs in AI, the European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS), the European AI Association (EurAI), the HumanE AI project, as well as two thematically related public-private partnerships (BDVA and euRobotics).

The result is a vibrant but rather fragmented and relatively uncoordinated European AI ecosystem. To achieve synergy and, ultimately, critical mass in European AI, there is a critical need for overall coordination between these activities, and notably the four newly created NoEs, in order to improve their effectiveness, create synergies, strengthen the connectivity and cooperation so as to maximise their joint impact. This is crucial in order to develop an effective and dynamic common EU ecosystem for AI.

Existing initiatives and organizations

The VISION consortium has been constructed to maximally leverage existing efforts. Its partners are strongly connected to Europe’s AI organisations, initiatives and projects, including CLAIRE (ULEI, CIIRC, DFKI, FBK, Inria, TNO), AI4EU (Thales, UCC), EurAI (UCC), and the DIH network (PwC, TNO through DIHNET), as well as BDVA and euRobotics (Inria, TNO), ELLIS (CIIRC, Inria) and the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on AI (DFKI, UCC).