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FAQ

General

Where can I find a condensed version of the AiNed investment programme?
You can find a summary of the AiNed programme on our website, see downloads.
Applying AI has to be done very carefully, how is AI applied responsibly?
The programme components and thus the projects of the AiNed programme have explicit requirements imposed about ‘human-centric AI’: explainability, avoiding bias, explicitly involving the public, etc. In addition, there are programme components (ELSA Labs) that focus specifically on anchoring these requirements.
Why is it important to invest so much money in AI?
AI is a rapidly developing key enabling technology that is capable of having a huge influence on the economy and all aspects of our society. It is therefore important to invest heavily enough and in good time. The AiNed programme is putting us in the leading group in Europe.

Strategy

What is the AiNed investment programme?
The AiNed programme is a long-term innovation programme for keeping the Netherlands in the leading pack of AI countries and for serving the interests of the economy and society and grasping the opportunities offered. The AiNed programme features an integrated approach across the entire value chain, involvement of all the stakeholders from the quadruple helix, and a learning approach.
Which bottlenecks need to be solved to put the Netherlands in a leading position in AI?
There are five bottlenecks that need to be tackled cohesively: 1. Accelerating and scaling up AI: innovation at companies and in the authorities. 2. Reinforcing the knowledge base: attracting and retaining specialists. 3. Preparing the labour market for working with AI (training). 4. Getting the societally uncertain aspects of AI under control: human-centric AI. 5. Helping to get data shared, for AI purposes.
How did the AiNed investment programme come about and which parties were involved?
The AiNed programme was created thanks to contributions from a large number of stakeholders, partners and participants from the ecosystem of the Netherlands AI Coalition.
How is the grant from the National Growth Fund spent?
In all cases, budget from the National Growth Fund is used as a subsidy to match investments that private, public and semi-public organisations make in research, innovation, education and building the AI ecosystem. Subsidies are granted in line with European and national regulations. Broadly speaking, about half is direct grants to private parties for innovation potential, application and training. The other half, roughly, of the subsidy contribution goes to knowledge institutions, indirectly contributing to the innovation potential of private parties through learning communities, chain projects, innovation labs and ELSA Labs.
How can I help steer current and future calls in the right direction?
The formal decision-making process is handled by the AiNed Foundation and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. Experts from the Netherlands AI Coalition will be asked for advice on selection criteria and on the direction to take in terms of the content. If you want to contribute in any way, it can therefore be done through the Netherlands AI Coalition.

Implementation

What is the governance model for spending the budget awarded and for the content development of the AiNed programme?
The allocation of project funding runs via the individual subsidy mechanisms but the overall direction of the programme is handled by the AiNed Foundation. The Foundation appoints the AiNed Programme Advisory Board, filling it with people who are experts on one or more of AiNed’s sub-programmes and who are recognised leaders in the fields concerned. In daily practice, the AiNed Programme Advisory Board acts as a sounding board, adviser and intermediary for the AiNed management.
Which parties will be involved in detailing the plans included in the AiNed investment programme?
The AiNed Foundation is leading the detailing of the plans, in close collaboration with implementing organisations such as the RVO (Netherlands Enterprise Agency) and NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research), with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy as the budget holder. The Foundation is advised by the Programme Advisory Board and by experts from the Netherlands AI Coalition about the substantive direction and project selection criteria for the schemes and calls that are to be set up for all AiNed programme components.
Which sub-programmes are calls being made on?
This is done through the sub-programmes ‘Knowledge and Innovation Base’, ‘People and Skills’, ‘Applying AI Systems’ and ‘Working Together in the Ecosystem’. You can use the following link to the publication of the AiNed programme to find more information about these sub-programmes.
How can I help steer current and future calls in the right direction?
The formal decision-making process is handled by the AiNed Foundation and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. Experts from the Netherlands AI Coalition will be asked for advice on selection criteria and on the direction to take in terms of the content. Contributions can therefore be made through the Netherlands AI Coalition.
Which parties can develop project proposals that implement the plans included in the AiNed investment programme?
Preparing and submitting project proposals is entirely up to the parties that want to sign up for the various programme components and e.g. have already contacted each other in the Netherlands AI Coalition‘s working groups and in the regional AI hubs.
How are projects and calls issued by the AiNed programme?
The funds are allocated through existing schemes of the implementing organisations, the RVO (Netherlands Enterprise Agency) and the NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research). This is largely done using open calls against the AiNed programme criteria. Where necessary, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy may make one-off decisions, adjust existing schemes, and add new schemes at the request of (and in consultation with) the AiNed Foundation.
How are project proposals for calls assessed?
The project proposals submitted are assessed by evaluation committees from the existing implementing organisations on the basis of the selection criteria established for each call. The way project proposals will be evaluated will be stated for each call.
Can any party submit a project proposal for a call?
A project proposal can be submitted by any party as long as the content of the proposal meets the established criteria for the call.
Does the AiNed programme focus on international cooperation too?
Yes. The purpose of the AiNed programme is to put the Netherlands in the international vanguard of AI countries, but without becoming isolated from other countries. There are numerous issues where advances can only be achieved through international cooperation, for instance in regulation, quality standards and data sharing. The AiNed programme comprises a specific approach for encouraging and utilising international cooperation.
How does cooperation with the Netherlands AI Coalition work?
The AiNed programme has been initiated and developed by the Netherlands AI Coalition (NL AIC). The AiNed program constates a temporary investment to boost the development and application of AI in the Netherlands. The coalition’s aim is to continue as a public-private partnership and to promote more initiatives for AI programmes and projects. Its focus is on developing and articulating the demand, project development, knowledge sharing and knowledge dissemination, boosting cooperation in and across regions through the AI hubs, and on internationalisation. The NL AIC does not have formal responsibility for implementing the AiNed programme but the NL AIC and AiNed do coordinate their activities well within the governance model and the processes.
Do the AiNed programme’s projects meet the Sustainable Development Goals?
That will have to be assessed on a project-by-project basis, but it is evident that AI can play a significant and positive role in achieving those goals and that this is one of the award criteria.
What is the status of the allocation of the €188 million budget that conditions were imposed upon by the National Growth Fund?
A revised plan has been submitted. In April 2022, the National Growth Fund has adopted the recommendation (in Dutch) issued by the proposal assessment advisory committee which results in awarding the first phase of the AiNed programme with a total amount of 204.5 million euros.

Other

How can I stay abreast of the activities and calls from the AiNed programme?
You can consult the news section of the website and follow the AiNed programme’s social media channels (LinkedIn and Twitter).
Where can I find more information about the National Growth Fund’s other projects?
Please visit the National Growth Fund website for this.
I can’t find my question in the FAQ summary – who can I ask?
Please contact our Communications department for this.
I’m looking for a speaker for an event or meeting – who can I contact?
Please contact our Communications department for this.
I would like to collaborate on an article or statement in the press– who can I contact?
Please contact our Communications department for this.