Artificial Intelligence

About the Pilot

“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

Activities & Long Term Goals

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 [https://s3platform.jrc.ec.europa.eu/artificial-intelligence]. 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.

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.

Co-Leading Regions
Baden - Württemberg
Pilot Contacts
Stefano Sbarbati

Domenico Guida

Participating Regions
Autonomous Province of Trento / Trentino
East Netherlands
North Rhine-Westphalia
Upper Austria (Oberösterreich)
View More

Demo Cases

VI at the European Week of Region and Cities

Vanguard Initiative, jointly with the VI Regions East Netherlands, Asturias, Baden Württemberg, East and North Finland, Emilia Romagna, Scotland, Slovenia, and South Neth

AI Pilot Kick-Off Meeting

The AI Pilot has officially held its kick-off meeting on Monday, 17th May 2021, and presented its vision and its activities for 2021 to more than 100 part

technology, developer, touch
The new Vanguard AI Pilot Kick-Off meeting

Vanguard Initiative’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Pilot is one of the two new Pilots launched by Vanguard in 2021.

Vanguard Initiative Regional Conference: New growth of industrial regions through Smart Specialization

The Vanguard Initiative Regional Conference New growth of industrial regions through Smart Specialization

EU Industry Days: successful webinar on The Industrial Transition

The EU Industry Days webinar Regions in Industrial Transition: Making digital work for SMEs in regional innovation ecosystems organized by Th!nk East Netherlands in the framework o