Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier

© BMWi/Andreas Mertens

Germany and France are set to launch joint innovation projects in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) to deepen their close cooperation in this field in the future. As part of a new call for bids for funding, both countries are providing €10 million each over the next three years. Project proposals can be submitted until 29 April 2021.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier said: "France and Germany want to be drivers of artificial intelligence in Europe. The joint funding we are providing will strengthen the European AI ecosystem and allow us to tackle important technological issues within specific projects. Good cooperation within Europe, between the Member States, and between industry and academia is central to our ability to harness the potential of AI for the economy and society. What is more, cooperation within Europe strengthens Europe’s competitiveness.”

French Minister for the Economy, Finance and Economic Recovery, Bruno Le Maire, said: "Artificial intelligence is a major challenge for Europe. In the 21st century, the nations that will carry weight on the international stage will be those that master new technologies, including AI. In the international battle for AI, the European Union has very strong ambitions, namely to acquire world-class expertise, attract the best talent, develop cutting-edge technologies and to disseminate AI in companies, administrations and in all fields. To meet this challenge, Germany and France are now proposing a specific mechanism aimed at promoting innovative technologies in the common European interest."

In initiating a new call for projects, Germany and France want to financially support innovation projects between the two countries on artificial intelligence technologies. The basis for the cooperation is the 2019 Treaty of Aachen. The call for projects is being administrated by the DLR Project Management Agency and Bpifrance.

At the centre of the joint projects will be the expansion of the European AI ecosystem. The aim is to strengthen Europe's economic sovereignty and to make the European economy more resilient. The new AI innovation projects will bring together science and industry to work on improving applications in various fields, such as sustainability or healthcare. These projects are based on AI technologies which will be used for enhancing risk prevention, crisis management and resilience. Projects that address cross-cutting issues, such as data sharing or data infrastructure like GAIA-X, are also eligible for support.