European AI Strategies, Compared European AI Strategies, Compared
2018 has been a watershed year for artificial intelligence in the policy domain. More than ever, governments around the world seem... European AI Strategies, Compared

2018 has been a watershed year for artificial intelligence in the policy domain. More than ever, governments around the world seem to be waking up to the economic and strategic implications of rapid advancement in machine learning and AI. The first few months of the year saw dozens of announcements on new AI policies, strategies, and partnerships in the public sectors of countries like Taiwan, Finland, Italy, France, the UK, and Tunisia. In September, some of the world’s foremost leaders in data science, AI, and business will gather in London for ODSC Europe, one of the largest applied data science conferences in the continent. The conference will also bring together policymakers from across Europe to discuss AI strategy. With ODSC Europe around the corner, we’re looking at the key events and focus areas of 8 countries in Europe when it comes to AI strategies:


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Key event: January 2018, Danish government releases Strategy for Denmark’s Digital Growth, with details on AI, big data, and IoT, and funding of DKK 125 million annually through 2025

Focus areas:

  • Making Danish businesses leading adopters of digital tech, including by facilitating public-private partnership
  • Aiding small and medium-sized companies through ‘SME:Digital,’ where government will support advice and counseling on data and digital tech
  • Ensuring all Danes have necessary skills to compete through a nationwide ‘Technology Pact’ with greater computational emphasis from Elementary School level up




Key event: December 2017, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment publishes first report on AI – ‘Finland’s Age of Artificial Intelligence’ with eight policy recommendations

Focus areas:

  • Incentivizing companies to use and innovate with AI
  • Using AI to deliver the world’s best public services, including through an AI-powered digital assistant for all citizens, Aurora
  • Establishing a national ‘Centre of Excellence’ for AI to attract international talent, including with a master’s degree in AI
  • Piloting of ‘data providers’ to accumulate high-quality data for business and public service applications








Key event: March 2018, President Emmanuel Macron announces France’s AI strategy at the AI for Humanity Summit in Paris, allocating 1.5 billion euros for “making France a leader” in artificial intelligence

Focus areas:

  • Attracting top talent, through investment in university programs and strengthening synergies between academia and industry
  • Developing an open data policy, by opening public and publicly-funded data (particularly related to healthcare) to researchers
  • Cultivating French “AI Champions” through regulatory and financial conditions, including investment in AI startups and research
  • Laying the groundwork for ethical AI, through research, dialogue, and policy




Image result for germany outline map flagGermany

Key event: July 2018, German government releases paper on AI priorities, a detailed report that prioritizes applied AI in both German academia and industry. Full AI strategy to come at December digital summit

Focus areas:

  • Facilitating research and IP exchange between academia and industry.
  • Integrating AI into the public sector, and making public data more accessible.
  • Attracting top international talent to university programs
  • Making AI safe and ethical through policy and research
  • Creating a committee of AI experts and government officials to provide further recommendations by 2020



Image result for italy flag mapItaly

Key event: March 2018, Italian government releases white paper on AI for public administration, ‘Artificial Intelligence: At the Service of Citizens’

Focus areas:

  • Developing a national platform for AI testing and research, with annotated data and adequate computational resources
  • Identifying and attracting AI talent (Existing or potential) for public administration work
  • Creating centers for AI research and competency, including by supporting existing university programs



Image result for poland flag mapPoland

Key event: May 2018, the Polish government holds its first roundtable on AI strategy

Focus areas:

  • Identifying the need for AI policies and tools, determining a future strategy
  • Cultivating a strategy that uses AI for areas like healthcare, public administration, education, and cybersecurity


Image result for sweden flag mapSweden

Key event: May 2018, Swedish government puts out ‘National Approach for Artificial Intelligence’

Focus areas:

  • Training more skilled AI-professionals, through funding and a new AI Science Park
  • Facilitating more AI-related innovation projects through Vinnova, the country’s innovation agency
  • Developing a legal framework for safe, ethical, and transparent AI



United Kingdom

Key event: April 2018, British government puts out AI Sector Deal, following UK House of Lord’s Select Committee on AI report 10 days earlier.

Focus areas:

  • Boosting public and private R&D, with 350 million+ pounds of support for tech companies
  • Investing in STEM education and expanding research centers like Alan Turing Institute to attract global talent
  • Building a world-class digital infrastructure including national 5G mobile networks and data sharing frameworks like data trusts
  • Leading the way in terms of ethical AI, including through a new Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation


For more info on ODSC Europe, visit odsc.com/london

Also, get 30% off on tickets to ODSC Europe in London from September 19th-22nd here!





Alex Amari

I’m a graduate student at Oxford University pursuing an MSc in Social Data Science with the ultimate goal of working in tech entrepreneurship.