Then join the NL AIC.
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-organized approach such as this can drive significant growth in the Dutch gross domestic product (GDP, potentially 1.6%). 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 and human-oriented AI applications that help push the European goals forwards.
The multiannual AiNed programme requires an investment of 1.05 billion euros from the National Growth Fund over the period 2021-2027, with an equivalent sum also being invested jointly by private parties (companies) and from the regular public purses. The overall scope of the programme is thus 2.1 billion euros. On 9 April 2021, the Council of Ministers decided to adopt the advice of the external advisory committee and honoured phase 1 of the AiNed programme. This means that an amount of EUR 276 million has been allocated for the first phase 2021 – 2022 of our programme. A number of conditions still have to be met, but these are fully in line with the objectives of the AiNed programme.
What is already being done with AI?
AI applications are already being used for improved medical diagnoses and treatments, reducing pesticide use, energy savings, individualized education, better crime-fighting, cheaper road maintenance (and bridges and railways), more efficient production and transport of goods, long-term customer relationships in the services sector and retail trade, and for autonomous robots, cars and drones.
Heavy involvement and major opportunities for the Netherlands
Massive increases in data availability, cheap computing power and new generations of data-driven algorithms 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. The governments of the economies around us are strongly encouraging the large-scale development and deployment of AI, putting our knowledge base, activities in economically important sectors and our autonomy under severe pressure.
Accelerating AI development and application in the Netherlands
The AiNed programme accelerates the development and application of AI in the Netherlands. The programme focuses on large-scale projects for resolving five bottlenecks through a unique self-learning and integrated approach throughout the chain. Human-centred AI is paramount and the work is being done jointly by all parties in the quadruple helix (government, education and research, business, civil society and the public). This approach lets us avoid the fragmentation, pillarization 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:
• Innovation. Development of innovative AI applications in companies (large and small), governments and value chains is currently too slow and will be accelerated.
• Knowledge base. The knowledge base of fundamental and applied research will be strengthened and more specialists and students will be attracted, educated and retained, thereby overcoming shortages in companies, government bodies and knowledge institutions.
• Employment market. The capacity for AI for educating and training staff is being increased at all levels of the labour market so that employees are properly prepared for working with products and services that AI is making are far more powerful than they are today.
• Society. All the stakeholders are involved in developing human-centred AI with clear ethical and legal frameworks and helpful regulations within the European context so that the socioeconomic impact of AI becomes manageable and people will be confident about how it works.
• Data sharing. Solutions for making data available for AI are being developed and applied so that data can be used safely and responsibly in meaningful AI applications.
The Netherlands AI Coalition has chosen to set up a single national 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, knowledge institutions and other organizations that work with artificial intelligence and getting them involved. This strengthens existing cooperative links and builds further on those foundations. This is all being done so that technological developments, innovation, social embedding and economic developments can be accelerated. In the first phase of the programme, our primary focus is on four application areas: high tech, mobility and logistics, the health and care sectors, and energy and sustainability. At the same time, we are also providing space for emerging and highly promising innovative platforms in new, developing sectors.
The AiNed programme offers a unique and integrated approach to one of the Netherlands’ major economic and social interests. Many hundreds of parties have committed to the plan and its implementation in practice.
The NL AIC collaborates on the necessary common knowledge and expertise, resulting in five themes, also called building blocks. Those are important for a robust impact in economic and social sectors.
AI is a generic technology that is ultimately applicable in all sectors. For the development of knowledge and experience in the use of AI in the Netherlands, it is essential to focus on specific industries that are relevant to our country. These industries can achieve excellent results, and knowledge and experience that can be leveraged for application in other sectors.
Become a participant
The Netherlands AI Coalition is convinced that active collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders is essential to stimulate and connect initiatives in Artificial Intelligence. Within fields of expertise and with other stakeholders in the ecosystem to achieve the most significant result possible in the development and application of AI in the Netherlands. Representatives from the business community (large, small, start-up), government, research and educational institutions and civil society organisations can participate.