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Flanders earmarks EUR 30 million for AI development

Flanders will be earmarking another EUR 30 million to put the region in pole position when it comes to innovation in artificial intelligence (AI). As stated in a new action plan, the government of Flanders will mainly support AI research, industry application and educational initiatives.

AI

Philippe Muyters, minister for innovation: “Flanders has the potential to be a frontrunner in artificial intelligence. A lot is already happening internationally in this domain, but Flanders has many assets to offer. It’s important to choose the right focus so that our society can fully benefit from what the future will bring.” That’s why the region’s AI action plan will focus on three main elements:

1. In-depth research

Flanders-based AI research programs with proven international excellence will be strengthened and extended. Philippe Muyters: “We will make clear choices based on excellence so that we do not fragment budgets. We will be focusing domains that offer the greatest potential, and special attention will be paid to leading AI technology platforms with evident market potential.”

2. Industry applications

“Flanders has what it takes be a leader in the industrial application of AI in the world of business,” Philippe Muyters continues. “Not only through invention, but even more so by functioning as a ‘living lab’ for local and international industry players and their applications. Through the region’s five spearhead clusters and its governmental support agency VLAIO, Flanders fosters the knowledge-sharing and network-building required to capitalize on the latest AI trends and help companies translate these developments into new applications.”

3. Education, awareness and ethics

“In Flanders, we also need to raise further awareness of the disruptive potential of AI technology,” the minister concludes. “A permanent AI training program is being developed as we speak. It will be available to educational institutions and companies alike. In addition, we are setting up a dedicated ‘AI think tank’, where experts will discuss the ethical implications of AI.”

More info

EWI (Flanders’ department for Economy, Science & Innovation)
Reported by
De Tijd newspaper
15 October 2018

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