EU leaders are gearing up today to announce a range of new agreements on artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and data, amid an ongoing push for a harmonised single digital market across the EU’s 28 national markets.
Today’s Digital Day in Brussels will include the establishment of a European blockchain partnership, a declaration on genomic databanks, and the announcement of a new tool, the “Innovation Radar” to help match innovators with financiers.
The European Commission (EC) will then adopt a Communication (the EC’s term for a policy paper to put before lawmakers) on AI in coming weeks.
Andrus Ansip, the European Commission (EC)’s VP for the Digital Single Market, said in an opening speech: “Today, I encourage those EU governments represented here to sign a declaration to work together more on artificial intelligence. This includes pledges to invest in AI development and deployment; align national research agendas as much as possible; make AI available to all companies and more public sector data available; work together on ethical, legal and socio-economic aspects of AI.”
He added: “I would like to see EU countries make a similar commitment to blockchain technologies – now moving out of the lab and going mainstream. As with AI: we should make the most of this new opportunity to innovate.”
Last Year’s Digital Day Agreements
Digital Day 2017’s commitments included:
- Ministers signing a declaration to establish Europe as a global player in high-performance computing, which led to accelerated European cooperation on supercomputers with the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking in January 2018.
- 29 European countries signing a letter of intent to establish, together with the Commission, a legal framework for cross-border trials in connected driving, which led to several large-scale testing corridors being announced in September 2017.
- The launch of a European platform on digitising industry to connect national initiatives; and a network of Digital Innovation Hubs across Europe designed to encourage public-private cooperation.
“It is very clear to us that we are too small, if you compare us to China and America, but at the same time we have some advantages with brilliant minds in Europe. We need to look at some specific niches in which each country can do its best to achieve the best product for Europe and do the best for European citizens,” Ivan Dimov, Bulgaria’s Deputy Minister of Education and Science said in today’s opening key note speech.
The focus on blockchain follows the EC’s launch of the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum in February 2018 – which will invest €300 million in a range of blockchain-based projects. The EC will also be looking to modernise EU Copyright Rules and adaptePrivacy rules to fit the digital age.
To be updated…