The EU invests €67.5 million in AI projects

The funding will prepare companies for the AI Act, including an AI innovation accelerator and testing facilities.

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The EU is ramping up its support for AI projects with an investment of €67.5 million ($73.3 million) to bolster businesses in the AI sector. This funding initiative, part of the broader Digital Europe Programme, focuses on preparing companies following the passing of the EU AI Act

Initiatives include an AI innovation accelerator, regulatory sandboxes, and testing facilities to ensure compliance with AI systems on the market. The funding aims to advance areas such as AI and data strategy, cloud and edge computing technologies, and develop cross-border digital public services, prioritizing digital transformation across sectors.

The EU has also reached a provisional agreement on the European Health Data Space (EHDS), aiming to facilitate the exchange and access of health data among the EU citizens. While the EHDS seeks to enhance patient access and control over electronic health data, concerns have been raised regarding potential conflicts with existing health data regulations, including data localisation and international data transfer issues.

The provisional agreement awaits endorsement by the European Council and Parliament, after which the EU countries will be required to set up a digital health authority.

Why does it matter?

As the EU advances its digital initiatives with the European Digital Identity (EUDI) Wallet, some experts express concerns about the potential stifling of competition and innovation in the digital identity space due to centralisation. While proponents highlight the convenience and streamlined interactions promised by the EUDI Wallet, critics caution against the concentration of personal data in centralised platforms, suggesting that decentralised storage could foster greater innovation in digital ID. The concerning debate underscores the complex landscape surrounding European digital initiatives, balancing innovation with privacy and competition concerns.