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Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence

 The European economy faces unprecedent challenges in terms of digitalisation, economic and ecological transformation leading to changing business models and processes. Interregional cooperation will be of high relevance to cope with these challenges and turn them into opportunities for all the Vanguard Initiative regions and for Europe. At the same time, the crisis sparked by COVID-19 provides new opportunities and can serve as catalyst for European SMEs to facilitate faster digitalisation and development of new digital products and services.Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most promising areas of digitalisation and Industry 4.0, which can equip European companies with better tools to rethink and evolve their business models and processes.”
Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut MdL, Minister of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing of the State of Baden-Württemberg, Foreword to the AI Pilot Proposal to Vanguard Initiative

The new VI Pilot on Artificial Intelligence (AI pilot) aims at sustaining and stimulating the demonstration and deployment of AI Technologies to better equip European SMEs with future-ready tools and processes to benefit as main beneficiaries as well as technology providers

The pilot stems from a structured process that involved Industrial Partners, Large Enterprises & SMEs and Innovation oriented RTOs and labs in the Vanguard Partner Regions during the Learn phase.

The AI Pilot will strongly focus on AI applications in real use cases, which is a clear priority of the whole interregional partnership which is committed to support the adoption of AI technologies pooling stakeholders’ knowledge, competencies and capacities available to accelerate the innovation processes of companies, namely SMEs, addressing three main targets:

  • Competitiveness and revenues
  • Workers and employees
  • Social environment and ecosystems

Pilot Vision

The AI Pilot aims at bringing the VI and its members at the forefront in the process of the setting up of a vibrant knowledge community in the European AI innovation ecosystems. This ambition will be based on the development of a European value chain on AI that is tightly linked to the social dimension and impact on the social context of the tech deployment.
This human-centric value chain builds upon a model already deployed within the Industrial Modernization Smart Specialization Platform on Artificial Intelligence and Human Machine Interface  Partnership. It starts from the definition of the Social impact of a given AI application, and ideally ends with the AI Social Impact Assessment, as shown in the table below

The Pilot will focus, amongst the other, on key topics identified at preproposal stage: User Experience Data Analytics, User Centered Design, AI enhanced Cyber-Physical Automation, and HMI Evolution.

State of play of the Pilot and planned Demo projects

The AI Pilot takes its origin from the partnership of the AI&HMI S3 Platform, integrated by additional VI partner regions interested in the topic and willing to contribute to the current demo case and propose new ones from 2021 onwards, which are currently being planned and developed in an iterative process with both industry and RTOs from various regions.
It will follow the VI Pilot governance models and will ensure transparent governance and management processes and will leverage on the AI&HMI S3 partnership experience.

AI DEMOLAB GRID Project In its starting phase the AI Pilot will build upon the previously introduced elements coming from the activities of the AI&HMI S3 Platform (AI DEMOLAB GRID), with other demo projects planned for 2021.

Emilia-Romagna (IT)
Baden-Württemberg (DE)
Autonomous Province of Trento (IT), Navarra (ES), Nord Brabant (NL), Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (FR), Slovenia (SLO), Lombardy (IT), Galicia (ES), North-Rhine-Westphalia (DE), Upper Austria (AT), Wales (from January 2021), Scotland (to be confirmed)

• MUSP, LIAM, University of Bologna, University of Ferrara, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Emilia-Romagna)
• Ljubljana Technology Park, Joseph Stefan Institute° (Slovenia)
• DIZ de:hub AI, DITF KI EscapeROOM (Baden Württemberg)
• High Tech Campus Eindhoven, Eindhoven AI Systems Institute, IACI Innovation Centre for Artificial Intelligence, Fieldlab CAMPIONE, Brainport Development (Noord Brabant)
• DATAI Institute of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (Navarra)
• Diversity Centred Design Lab,IDA Lab Salzburg (Salzburg)
• amLAB Advanced Manufacturing Digital Innovation Hub (Hungary)
• Bruno Kessler Foundation, ROBO3 D 1.0 Manufacturing (SMACT Italian Competence Center) (Aut. Prov. Trento)
• TechFood I4.0 Veneto (SMACT Italian Competence Center) (Veneto)
• Odyssea I4.0 (SMACT Italian Competence Center) (Friuli Venezia Giulia)

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (FR), East Netherlands (NL), South Sweden (Skane), Friuli Venezia Giulia (IT), Veneto (IT) (not VI region but hosting 1 DEMO LAB), Salzburg (AT) (not VI region but hosting 2 DEMO LABs), Hungary (HU) (not VI region but hosting 1 DEMO LAB)


Mr. Stefano Sbarbati,  stefano.sbarbati [at] 
Mrs. Alexandra Fezer  alexandra.fezer [at] 
Mr. Domenico Guida,  domenico.guida [at] 
Mr. Francesco Paolo Ausiello,  francescopaolo.ausiello [at]