Flemish Policy Plan AI

The Flemish AI academy has a twofold mission: on the one hand, we are an umbrella PhD school on AI for Flanders, on the other hand we offer continuous education on AI, sourced out of the Flemish higher education institutions.

The Flemish AI academy is one of the building blocks of the Flemish AI policy plan.

Flemish AI Policy Plan

Artificial intelligence (AI) has made a tremendous leap forward in recent years. The influence of AI will be felt in all sectors and sections of society in the coming years. Building on the AI Policy Plan, Flanders is preparing its society for this evolution.
Through a leadership strategy where development and implementation of AI are concerned, Flanders aims to reap the full economic and social benefits.
The Flemish government approved the Artificial Intelligence Policy Plan on 22 March 2019 to support this ambition. It provides an annual investment of EUR 32 million and consists of 3 parts that complement and reinforce each other.

This part of the AI Policy Agenda enforces the top strategic research on AI in Flanders even more. It combines research groups of the Flemish universities and research centers among whom the four strategic research centra. The companies, government institutions and non profit organisations are the users in Flanders. Synergies with them and thorough knowledge and technology diffusion towards them take a central position.

The AI Research Programme will research and develop generic AI methodologies, applicable for countless applications in healthcare, industry and government. The programme addresses four major AI research challenges, modelled from user requests. The results of the research will be illustrated with conceptual demonstrators.

The purpose of these demonstrators is twofold:

  • Inspire users and researchers
  • Direct research towards longer term needs

The Flemish research institutions and universities receive 12 million euros per year for AI research. With their state-of-the-art research and leading demonstrators, they belong to the world top in AI. They contribute to Flanders playing a pioneering role in the data-driven fourth industrial revolution that is guiding industry, service sectors, healthcare and government into the future. More information can be found at AI Research Flanders.

A very important objective of the policy plan is that companies and other actors make the widest possible use of artificial intelligence. To support AI adoption by companies, the policy plan provides 17 million euros annually for the implementation part led by the Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO).

VLAIO and the partners from the VLAIO Network aim to raise awareness, inform and advise companies about the possibilities of artificial intelligence in as many applications as possible. In addition, they also support companies during their first experiences with this new technology.

For these companies, for companies that evolved already further in their AI trajectory and for technology providers VLAIO deploys its existing subsidy instruments such as SME growth subsidies, research and development projects and Baekeland mandates. Be informed and inspired about these implementations at digitaletoekomst.be (nl).

The way we learn and work is increasingly influenced by artificial intelligence. It is therefore key, in addition to specialized AI training, to set up trainings and initiatives that inject a basic knowledge of AI into the broad base of the population.

Also, in addition to the many opportunities, there are risks associated with AI. To tackle these challenges, the policy plan provides an annual amount of 5 million euros for awareness-raising, training and a legal and ethical framework on artificial intelligence.0px0px20%60%60%20%

Within the accompanying policy, there are two important initiatives supported by the AI ​​policy agenda:

  1. The Knowledge Centre Data & Society provides policy makers, companies and the general public with applicable guidelines and advice on legal, ethical and social aspects of artificial intelligence and data applications.
  2. The Flemish AI Academy contains an umbrella AI PhD school and a continuous training program on AI, supported by the Flemish higher education institutions.

Want to know more about the Flemish AI Policy?

Discover more about the policy framework that develops the actions on AI in Flanders at the the Flanders Department Economics, Science & Innovation (in Dutch).