EIB announces €150m investment in AI tech

The European Investment Bank Group (EIB) is investing up to €150 million in artificial intelligence businesses to address a European funding gap.

The money, which will be invested alongside funding backed by the European Investment Fund (EIF), will be spent on European companies that are active in the AI sector and in technologies that directly compliment AI, such as blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics.

According to the EIB, Europe’s AI sector has a multibillion-euro funding gap compared with the United States and China.

The funding complements the EIB and EIF expertise in the sector, developed through an existing €100 million AI/blockchain pilot.

The new investment is part of a larger initiative of the EIB Group and the European Commission to support the development of Europe’s digital future in areas such as high-performance computing, quantum technologies and cybersecurity, to name a few.

The funding, expected to be distributed across 20-30 SMEs, will be available in the EU and Horizon 2020 associated countries.

The investment is predicted to be delivered across the next four years.

“The potential of AI is enormous,” said EIB vice-president Teresa Czerwińska. “Today we can already see the initial impact of AI in many areas of our day-to-day lives, but it will be the defining factor for the way we work, study and live in the future.

“If Europe wants to stay competitive and shape the conditions of AI development and use, while ensuring European values are respected, it needs to embrace AI and lead its development.

“That is why I am very proud of the new instrument we have launched today. By using our resources and combining the expertise and market access of the EIB and the EIF we are pioneering new ways of financing AI, and helping to encourage more investment in this important sector.”

EIF chief executive Alain Godard said: “Artificial intelligence is a key component in a technological revolution that we are already witnessing. There is strong market demand for co-investments in this sector. The EIB’s expertise in assessing individual equity-type investments and the EIF’s market reach and ability to leverage strongly on the fund managers in our portfolio active in the AI domain will ensure that the facility is deployed efficiently.”

European commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: “Europe has all it takes to become a hub for cutting-edge developments in Artificial Intelligence. We have the talent and a wealth of industrial data – both of which will give us an important comparative advantage in AI if we use them wisely. We are putting a framework in place to leverage our strengths and build trust – including through clear and predictable rules. The co-investment facility announced today will further support companies so that they can grow in the EU thanks to the design and the deployment of trustworthy AI.”

Investment in the “New Space” sector

The EIB also announced that alongside multi-purpose satellite company Spire Global it would be launching a venture debt financing agreement of up to €20 million.
The funding will back capital expenditure and research and development activities to further develop Spire’s constellation of small satellites and high-quality maritime, aviation and weather space data and analytics.
The transaction follows the EIB’s commitment to strengthen support for European space start-ups and cooperate with space agencies such as the European Space Agency.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories