Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Sunday, May 26, 2024

New Horizon Europe Funding Boosts European Research in AI and Quantum Tech 

April 23, 2024 -- The European Commission has announced the launch of new Horizon Europe calls, with a substantial funding pool of over €112 million. These calls are aimed primarily at pioneering projects in the realms of artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum technologies.

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This includes substantial funding of €50 million fund to advance large AI models by integrating new data modalities and expanding their capabilities. This call targets the development of generative AI capable of processing and generating multimodal data, including but not limited to text, images, audio, video, and 3D representations, while adapting to a wide range of tasks and domains. With this funding, Europe aims to lead in creating AI systems that are not only powerful but also adhere to European values and ethical guidelines, particularly in view of the AI Act.

To address the need for transparency and robustness in AI €15 million will be invested in projects that will enhance the intelligibility and reliability of AI systems. The EU recognises the importance of AI systems that are not only intelligent but also understandable and safe for users, thus supporting the EU’s approach for human-centric AI.

€40 million will be invested to boost research into cutting-edge, world-leading quantum technologies. €25 million of this investment will be devoted to developing a network of quantum gravimeters throughout Europe. This will not only enhance precision in Earth observation and civil engineering. It will also show how quantum technologies can represent a significant improvement on current technological capabilities. The network will consist of at least eight gravimeters (gravity sensors), demonstrating how quantum gravimetry can offer much greater precision than its classical equivalent and serving as the basis for a future pan-European digital quantum sensing infrastructure.

In addition, there will be €15 million of investment focusing on stimulating transnational research and development in next-generation quantum technologies. These transnational research projects are expected to foster synergies among European stakeholders, ensuring that the EU remains at the forefront of the global quantum technology race, and cementing its position as a hub of innovation and technological self-reliance.

A further €6 million of investment aims to strengthen Europe's engagement in global ICT standardisation. By supporting the participation of European experts in international standard-setting bodies, the EU seeks to promote its interests and values in the development of global technical specifications and standards.

The remaining €1.5 million will see investment to explore Digital Humanism, a project that places people at the centre of the digital transformation. This approach emphasises the need for cross-disciplinary collaboration to ensure that the digital realm upholds European standards of law, social economy, and fundamental rights.

More information as regards the areas of activity for these calls (HORIZON-CL4-2024-DIGITAL-EMERGING-02, and HORIZON-CL4-2024-HUMAN-03) is available in the 2023-2025 Horizon Europe Digital, Industry, and Space work program.

Source: European Commission