Already in January 2018, the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NRDIO) announced a HUF 1 billion (EUR 3.3 million) thematic call for proposals supporting artificial intelligence-related research which suits well this initiative both in terms of goals and timing.
In relation to the event József Pálinkás, President of the NRDI Office said: “AI research requires internationally competitive knowledge and research background in a number of disciplines such as mathematics, robotics and machine learning, where several Hungarian research teams are already at the forefront in international comparison. The thematic sub-programme of the National Excellence Programme and the declaration we have just signed open up new perspectives for research groups strong on this research topic and for related collaborations between industries and research organisations through targeted EU calls for proposals.” With great emphasis on the significance of education, the technological, legal and ethical concerns of artificial intelligence as well as its social impacts were also in the focus of the meeting in Brussels, he added. The President of the NRDI Office mentioned: “The Innovation Radar, another initiative signed at the Digital Day, aims to encourage the analysis of the research results of the members of European research, development and innovation communities and their European utilization.”
As part of the Horizon 2020 innovation framework programme, the European Commission invests an annual amount of EUR 200 million in artificial intelligence research relating a number of disciplines and technologies. In April 2018, the European Commission is expected to announce a comprehensive strategy on artificial intelligence which will also include a proposal on the budget to be allocated for this topic in the framework programme after 2020. In the field of artificial intelligence a targeted call for proposals (deadline: 17 April 2018) is currently running with an available budget of EUR 20 million to be applied for directly in Brussels.
By joining the Declaration on Artificial Intelligence, Hungary has undertaken to cooperate with the rest of the Member States in improving European technological and industrial capacities in the field of artificial intelligence, handling ethics, legal and security concerns related to the technology and in solving socio-economic problems related to the European training and educational systems and the labour market.
The signatories to the declaration pledge to support research in the field of artificial intelligence and implementation of technologies through national programmes; to reinforce research centres and, through creating competence centres, to contribute to the introduction of and spreading the technology (e.g. among SMEs and government agencies); to contribute to improving access to open data necessary for the efficient operations of artificial intelligence; to support the establishment of a European association for artificial intelligence (AI) and encourage the involvement of stakeholders across the Member States.
On Poland’s initiative, the Visegrád countries released a separate statement in support of signing up to the declaration and pointing out their commitment towards promoting research and innovation activities in this field.
In Brussels, József Pálinkás has also signed the Innovation Radar, an initiative of the European Union. Within the framework of the programme drawn up in cooperation with the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission involves experts to identify and support promising results, innovations and innovators (e.g. innovative small and medium-sized enterprises) and promotes the utilization of research results on European level, based on objective criteria and methodology. Moreover, the Innovation Radar also aims at facilitating further support to these innovators on several levels and in multiple forms (matchmaking with investors, supporting market entry, fostering networking and promotion, consulting in business planning).
Budapest, 10 April, 2008