AI and blockchain to benefit from €30 billion EU fund

The European Commission will also spend €2.7 billion on setting up an EU Innovation Council

EU flag flying

The European Commission has announced it will spend 30 billion of its research fund to develop innovation as part of its Horizon 2020 project, including the development of blockchain and AI.

The money will be spent on developing tools to address various issues in the EU, including the digital economy, alongside migration, security, climate and clean energy. It'll put 3.3 billion aside to develop solutions for a low-carbon future, 1 billion for the circular economy that tries to keep resources in use for as long as possible before recycling them, 1.7 billion for digitising and transforming European industry and services and 1 billion to form a security union to tackle cyber threats.

A further 200 million will be spent on addressing challenges related to migration, while 2.7 billion has been earmarked to kick-start a European Innovation Council, supporting the creation of new projects focusing on high-risk, high-gain innovation technologies that will "create the markets of the future."

"Artificial intelligence, genetics, blockchain: science is at the core of today's most promising breakthrough innovations," Carlos Moedas, commissioner for research, science and innovation, said. 

"Europe is a world leader in science and technology and will play a major role in driving innovation. The commission is making a concerted effort including with the European Innovation Council, which takes its first steps today to give Europe's many innovators a springboard to become world leading companies."

So far, the EU has spent 77 billion to develop the region's scientific and technological innovations, although previously, it spread its budget much more thinly, across a greater number of projects.

Blockchain is proving a popular technology with vendors such as Oracle, Microsoft and IBM, which all have offerings supporting the public transaction ledger. But a Gartner survey of banking CIOs' investment priorities saw them rank blockchain as 20th on their list.

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