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Knowledge and innovation base

Knowledge and innovation base subprogram

AiNed strengthens the Dutch knowledge and innovation base to promote the development of new AI applications by Dutch industry and public organizations. The Knowledge and Innovation Base sub-program develops demand-inspired practical and scientific AI knowledge, as described in the AI Research Agenda AIREA-NL. And in particular in the areas of Hybrid Intelligence, Trustworthy AI and Machine Learning.

Many application areas require human-centered AI. This is why efforts are being made on both technological knowledge and innovations, and knowledge and methodologies on the preconditions for this. Multidisciplinary cooperation is essential here, for example for the development of AI methods and applications for Dutch-language AI and data sharing.

Valorization, technology transfer and the use of AI knowledge within innovative companies and public organizations is stimulated by maximizing the alignment of projects with the AI hubs structure of the Netherlands AI Coalition An AI network, operating regionally as one coherent entity. In this way, results and collaborations are anchored in the national AI ecosystem so that they continue beyond the duration of the AiNed Programme .

The subprogram includes the following program components.

AiNed Fellowship grant for academic organizations

The goal of the AiNed Fellowship grants program component is to make Dutch academic knowledge institutions more attractive to exceptional and outstanding AI researchers in the international competition for AI talent.

The AiNed Fellowship grants help knowledge institutions attract new talent, many of whom also receive competitive offers. With a grant amount of 20 million euros in 2022-2023, the aim is to attract exceptional AI talent who can work in any AI discipline, from technology to social sciences and humanities. The Fellowship grants will increase the number of PhD and postdoctoral researchers at Dutch academic knowledge institutions that focus on the challenges from theAI research agenda AIREA-NL. Thanks to the use of AiNed Fellowship grants, the knowledge and education base in the field of AI in the Netherlands is strengthened and the national ecosystem is reinforced.

See here for more information about the AiNed Fellowship grants call and the overview of awards that have now been honored.

AiNed Innovation Labs for consortia of companies and knowledge institutions

With the AiNed Innovation Labs 2024 call for proposals opened on February 29, AiNed invites Dutch innovative SMEs, startups and scale-ups to develop AI methods and tools together with relevant larger businesses, knowledge institutions and civil society organizations. To strengthen the Dutch competitive position and contribute to a sustainable future. About €21 million has been made available for this call. By July 5, 2024, the full proposal must be submitted. Look here for more information.


AiNed Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects (ELSA) Labs for consortia of companies, public organizations and knowledge institutions

The ELSA Labs conduct research on the development, testing, implementation, and regulation of AI that is inclusive, future-proof, transparent, and human-centered. Technological and economic developments are examined in conjunction with their ethical, legal, and societal aspects (ELSA). This contributes to the trust of citizens in AI applications, and to the legal certainty of public and private organizations to innovate based on AI. In 2021-2023, a grant amount of €20 million is available to support a dozen ELSA Labs.

The ELSA Labs work with concrete use cases from different social and economic domains. These concrete use cases lead to directly usable insights, and to scientific contributions to how the overall concept of human-centered AI can be practically shaped.

An overarching (networking) activity establishes shared design principles and dissemination for human-centered AI. This knowledge will be fed into European regulations around Artificial Intelligence. It also allows Dutch companies to prepare for AI products, processes and services that comply with this upcoming legal framework. When the second NWO call is announced, this will be communicated via the NWO website and AiNed.

See here for the total overview of ELSA Labs. From the first NWO call, the following ELSA Labs have been honored with funding: ELSA Lab Defense, ELSA Lab AI Multi-Agency Public Safety issues, ELSA Lab AI, Media & Democracy, ELSA Lab AI for Sustainable Food Systems, ELSA Lab Northern Netherlands.

The AiNed ELSA Labs call for proposals 2024 was launched on March 12, 2024. The deadline to submit an initiative to NWO is Tuesday, May 7, 2024 by 2:00 p.m. The deadline to submit applications to NWO is Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2024 by 2:00 p.m. Refer to NWO 's page for a detailed overview of the schedule, deadlines and the various meetings organized for this call.

AiNed European innovation programs for consortia of companies and knowledge institutions

The AiNed Programme increases the number of Dutch parties that can participate in AI research and innovation projects with European cooperation. In 2022, AiNed is making available a grant amount of 5 million euros - with the EU doubling this amount - for projects in the European Key Digital Technologies (KDT) call, which falls within the Horizon Europe Framework Programme, call 2021-2-RIA- FocusTopic 1.

Projects in the KDT call focus on developing innovative AI technologies and/or applying AI in innovative ways. They provide demonstrations of the innovative approach in a product or service, and demonstrate the relevance of the AI-based approach to societal challenges. Each project has a valorization plan aimed at bringing the innovative AI technologies or deployment to market.

See here for more information on the 2022 KDT call. 

AiNed European knowledge mobility for knowledge institutions

A strong AI knowledge and innovation base is of great importance to the Netherlands. An important aspect of this is the connectedness of Dutch researchers worldwide, and especially in Europe. With the XS Europe call, the National Growth Fund program AiNed is making a strong contribution to this in the coming years.

In July 2023, the AiNed XS Europe call was opened. This call is for ideas and initiatives that focus on one or more challenges in sections 3 and 4 of the national AI research agenda AIREA-NL2 and are designed in cooperation with at least one foreign European cooperation partner organization. The grant ceiling for this call for proposals totals €3,200,000. An application can request a total maximum of €80,000. There are four application deadlines specified for AiNed XS Europe in 2023-2024. For more information on the schedule and deadlines, visit this NWO page.



Publication date April 2024.