Le Gouvernement du Grand-Duché du Luxembourg
Artificial intelligence

European funding: Understanding the AI Act

Luxinnovation highlights the key points of the AI Act to help EU funding applicants in the field of artificial intelligence align with this new legislation.

In May 2024, the EU Council approved the EU’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act. The act is the first comprehensive law on artificial intelligence in the world and establishes a common regulatory and legal framework for AI in the European Union.

The AI Act also guides the European Commission in the implementation of its strategy for boosting research and innovation in the field of AI. This is being done through the Horizon Europe and Digital Europe funding programmes. To help companies and research centres applying for funding already take the AI Act into account, Luxinnovation has recently published a policy brief summarising its main points. Leonardo Tonetto, Advisor – European R&D and Innovation Support at Luxinnovation and the author of the policy brief, explains the intended use of the document.

Why is the AI Act important for players involved in EU-funded R&D and innovation projects?

Leonardo Tonetto, LuxinnovationLeonardo Tonetto: The AI Act regulates the commercial use of artificial intelligence in the EU. In addition to defining what is and what is not allowed, it outlines a series of executive actions to foster the responsible development of artificial intelligence in the EU.

Organisations interested in applying for EU funds in this field can now receive additional funding to work on creating robust and trustworthy AI products and services. They can also be guided by the recently established AI Office on how the new legislation should be implemented.

The policy brief also covers the Large AI Grand Challenge. What is that?

The Large AI Grand Challenge is an initiative launched by the European Commission to propel the development and scalability of AI across the continent. It offers additional funding to startups and SMEs to help them further develop their AI strategies. This funding programme also provides access to Europe’s supercomputing facilities, whose computing capacities are extremely important for AI development.

What new opportunities do these initiatives open for Luxembourg players?

The additional funding available is, of course, interesting, as is the access to computing infrastructure and advice on compliance with the different levels of the AI Act. Another great added value is the opportunity to access a network of potential partners across Europe with whom Luxembourg players could collaborate on joint efforts in the field of artificial intelligence.

Why have you prepared the policy brief on the AI Act?

In addition to the need to be aware of this new law, it is extremely important that EU funding applicants align the goals and priorities outlined in their project proposals with such legislation and policies. Besides highlighting how great their project idea is, applicants need to show that their goals fit in with existing policies and that, in case they receive funding, they will help put Europe at the forefront of AI development while being aligned with the directives already defined by the European Commission.

How does Luxinnovation support companies and research organisations that want to get involved or expand their activities in this field?

We help them get involved in the European Commission’s efforts to foster the responsible development of AI by:

  • Providing information on funding opportunities
  • Helping them find partners for their European projects – a type of support that is often needed
  • Advising them during the proposal writing phase, on both technical and project management aspects of their project idea
  • Answering legal and financial questions throughout the proposal preparation process as well as after a grant has been awarded

Any Luxembourg organisation interested in the field is welcome to contact us.

Photo credits: Luxinnovation/Marion Dessard

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