Start-ups and scale-ups are important drivers for economic growth, employment and innovative capacity. These young companies invest in research, develop key technology and are capable of translating the results rapidly into innovative services and products. This also applies in the artificial intelligence (AI) arena.
The Netherlands has the potential to take an important leading position in artificial intelligence (AI). That promising position is not just thanks to the scientists who study the subject, but also to the many Dutch start-ups and scale-ups that are experimenting and innovating to develop new AI solutions.
The Netherlands AI Coalition (NL AIC) is doing a great deal to pave the way for the growth of Dutch AI start-ups and scale-ups. Breaking Barriers is the telling name for a programme started by the Start-ups and Scale-ups working group. It is a programme where small pilot teams can explore what solutions can help raise AI to the next level. By focusing on removing barriers. This is how the teams can help various businesses while learning a lot themselves. The knowledge gained can then be used by the working group to structurally solve other issues that are hindering the successful implementation of AI.
Over the last year, the working group used this programme to work on:
- International missions, exchanges and events.
- Solutions for better access to usable data sets.
- Meetings for learning together.
- Help with all kinds of legal questions.
- Helping give a clear picture of subsidy funds and what is needed for accessing them.
- Training courses and tools that lead to better cooperation between start-ups and established companies.
Scaling up through collaboration between the AI hubs
The working group is also scaling up cooperation with the seven regional AI hubs. Working more closely with them lets the working group make full use of the existing support infrastructure. And that has several advantages. The working group can connect start-up initiatives together at the national level and address what else is needed at the regional level.
In the Dutch submission for the European AI Startup Landscape, the NL AIC has already collaborated successfully in 2021 with the seven AI hubs, ai.nl and Techleap.nl. Those parties have undertaken to jointly address aspects that existing AI start-ups still need. This involves improving their access to data, capital, ecosystems and talented staff. Another shared objective: promoting the foundation of more knowledge-based AI start-ups.
The Start-ups and Scale-ups working group is not only part of several AI ecosystems but it also operates as an ecosystem where different parties can find each other to share knowledge and experiences. Again and again, it turns out that there is a great need for this and that it helps start-ups and scale-ups accelerate. Exchanging ideas has already led to new collaborations.
If you would like to know more about how we are building a healthy ecosystem for AI start-ups and scale-ups, you can read more in this article. A consortium has been set up by various centres of expertise for AI start-ups – read more about it here. Also interesting: the initiative to map out the ecosystem of AI start-ups in Europe. The Netherlands is also affiliated to this; see European AI Startup Landscape. Another recommendation: the report by Techleap.nl that gives an overview of the Dutch AI start-ups and scale-ups.
If you’re interested in this topic and would like to be actively involved, you can become a participant of the NL AIC and benefit from our Start-ups and Scale-ups expertise and network, and other relevant AI themes.