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Launch of the MIT regulation for supporting SME AI projects

On 15 March 2022, the nationwide MIT regulation for the support of AI projects by SMEs came into effect. (MIT is a Dutch term for SME innovation promotion for regions and key sectors). The objective is to encourage strong AI innovation in the Netherlands and accelerate the implementation of newly developed AI technology. These arrangements, initiated and backed by the Netherlands AI Coalition, were set up in cooperation with the regional organisations. A sum of €2.9 million is available under the regulation.

SME support from the AiNed programme

AI applications directly help economic prosperity, social well-being and solutions to major challenges within society. SMEs – many of which are start-ups – have an important economic, innovating role. Research has shown that SMEs run up against numerous obstacles when implementing AI. To bridge the gap for SMEs between basic knowledge and actual implementation in AI innovations, the MIT arrangements are being backed by the AiNed programme.

What is the regulation?

If you are an SME business and would like to get started with innovation projects in AI, the arrangements under the MIT regulation might be for you. You can find more information about the approach and the process on this page from the implementing organisation, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). It is also where you can find more information about the support from the RVO plus an overview in Dutch of projects by businesses that previously made use of the regulation before, for inspiration.

For AI themes, you can request a subsidy for smaller or larger cooperative projects. The general conditions are the same as the generic conditions for MIT cooperative R&D projects. The definition given by the European Commission is used for AI: The term ‘AI’ refers to systems that exhibit intelligent behaviour by analysing their environment and have a certain degree of autonomy in taking action to achieve specific objectives. You can find further information (in Dutch) about the conditions on the RVO website (in Dutch), including:

  • Appendix 3.4.1, Subsection 5.a (Digital Technologies: Artificial Intelligence; link to follow) list the themes that MIT projects can focus on. To qualify for a subsidy, the project must help the generic development of AI through the use of machine learning (including supervised learning, unsupervised learning and reinforcement learning).
  • Additionally, the project’s approach must pay attention to reliable, human-centric AI. Stakeholders in the AI application (such as members of the public and/or employees) must be involved as much as possible in making choices about its development and use.
  • The project must demonstrably offer a new solution for one or more application areas covered by the Netherlands AI Coalition. The NL AIC is a partnership with a focus on developing knowledge about AI and innovations in that domain.

Planning and support

The MIT regulation came into effect on 15 March 2022 and the final deadline for submitting applications is 10 May 2022 at 17:00. Take a look at the detailed up-to-date information about the conditions and planning of the regulation on the RVO website (in Dutch). The NL AIC helps participants submit successful project proposals with up-to-date information about the approach and working method. The AI hubs each provide such assistance for parties within their own ecosystems.

Focusgebieden: AI