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On this page, we take you through the broad lines of the aims of the AiNed National Growth Fund Investment Programme for 2021 – 2027 and the approach used for it.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a burgeoning field of technology that is capable of having a huge influence on our society and all elements of the economy. The impact of AI over the coming years will only increase. To strengthen the position of the Netherlands and to make the most of the opportunities, a long-term programme called AiNed has been drawn up by the Netherlands AI Coalition, a public-private consortium that over 400 organizations are involved in. The programme accelerates the development and application of AI so that the Netherlands can reap the economic and social rewards of AI and keep pace with other leading countries.
A strong and well-organised approach such as this can drive the potential growth of 1.6% AI offers in the Dutch gross domestic product (McKinsey). It is a contributory factor to the strong growth in the numbers of companies investing in AI and applying it. We are also promoting the beneficial social effects of AI by using responsible, human-centric AI applications that fit in neatly with the European goals. The National Growth Fund has allocated €204,5 million for the first phase of the AiNed programme.
What is already being done with AI?
Examples of AI applications that are already being employed include improving medical diagnoses and treatments, reducing pesticide use, energy savings, individualised education, fighting crime more effectively, cheaper maintenance of roads and bridges and railways, more efficient production and transport of goods, and long-term customer relationships in the services sector and retail trade, as well as autonomous robots, cars and drones.
Massive increases in data availability, cheap computing power and new generations of AI methods are driving AI forward rapidly. Despite a good starting position in terms of AI knowledge, digital infrastructure and the use of digital technology in general, the Netherlands is at risk of falling behind. Governments of economies around us are strongly encouraging large-scale development and deployment of AI, which is putting our talents, knowledge base, our activities in economically important sectors and our autonomy under severe pressure.
The AiNed programme is accelerating the development and application of AI in the Netherlands. The programme focuses on large-scale projects for tackling five bottlenecks through a unique self-learning and integrated approach throughout the chain. Human centric AI is paramount and the work is being done jointly by all parties in the quadruple helix (government, education and research, business, civil society organisations and the public). This approach lets us avoid the fragmentation, pillarisation and poor efficiency of traditional working methods that do not fit well with AI’s rapid development. The bottleneck areas are innovation, the knowledge base, the employment market, society and data sharing.
Five bottlenecks are being tackled using a cohesive strategy so that the opportunities can be utilised:
The NL AIC has chosen to set up a single nationwide AI network that functions as one coherent whole. The AI hubs formed to that end in the various regions of the Netherlands play an important role in linking with local businesses, centres of expertise and other organisations that work with artificial intelligence and getting them involved. This is how the AiNed programme is helping Dutch companies and public institutions to take essential steps with AI that are economically and socially extremely important. Many hundreds of parties have committed to the plan and its implementation in practice.
Public-private investments are needed in the first phase of the programme to tackle the bottlenecks in four domains: