Brussels, Belgium – Brussel’s newest European Digital Innovation Hub (EDIH), sustAIn.brussels, officially kicked off last 10 November 2022, following the European Commission’s green light in spring.
Under this EU grant, FARI will officially join forces with other major actors in the Brussels digital ecosystem such as Sirris, Agoria, and BeCentral to leverage the transition towards a future-proof and sustainable economy for Brussels, enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging digital technologies.
“One of these cross-cutting policies [in the Brussels economic transition strategy] is the digitalisation and development of Artificial Intelligence in Brussels. I am therefore very proud that the European Commission confirms our ambitions through the co-financing of “sustAIn.brussels”, the Brussels hub for Digital Innovation (EDIH),” posted Secretary of State for Economic Transition of the Brussels Government Barbara Trachte.
With the support of Innoviris, the Brussels regional innovation office, and in line with the European Commission’s digital strategy “EDIH call”, the goal of this project is to create a single point of access to sustainable digital innovation in Brussels focusing on AI, data, and robotic technologies at the service of the region’s digital transformation strategy aligned with international and EU frameworks.
“sustAIn.brussels will focus on the Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) frameworks to stimulate a responsible uptake of AI, Data and Robotics technologies. In doing so, we will contribute to many of the regulatory requirements set forward by the EU policy,” explained FARI co-director Hans de Canck, as he shares the value sustAIn.brussels will bring to the region.
The EU has long been advocating for human-centric digital technologies, much specifically AI-driven ones, that are technically robust, safe, and compliant with best practices on privacy and data governance to assure fairness and transparency. sustAIn.brussels is set to ensure Brussels digital solutions to the region’s challenges are compliant to these European values and regulations.
“By making digital solutions accountable, sustAIn.brussels will make sure these emerging technologies are benefiting the society as a whole, rather than individuals. With Global regulatory frameworks on ethical and sustainable AI under development, it is important for the EDIHs to inform and test the progress of these frameworks, and its local applicability,” de Canck added.
sustAIn.brussels will be the accelerator for digital transformation at the cross-section of the digital and sustainable ecosystem in Brussels, reaching out to the local SME ecosystem to step up and play a role in making both their businesses and society more sustainable.
According to sustAIn.brussels, the industrial tissue of the Brussels-Capital Region (BCR) consists of 99.7% of small and medium sized companies (SMEs) and has a high concentration of digital and service-oriented companies. This project will facilitate the development of legal sandboxes, underpinning standards for testing, inspection and certification, and focus on how SMEs can benefit from this for their digital innovation.
With over 2.1 million euros budget allocation, sustAIn.brussels’ services will include testing, training, and access to finance and networking activities for SMEs. The project will run from November 2022 to October 2025.