Italy launches the strategic program for artificial intelligence

L’Italia lancia il Programma strategico per l’intelligenza artificiale thumbnail

The goal is to enhance the artificial intelligence system in Italy.

This is why the Strategic Program for artificial intelligence was born, approved by the Council of Ministers on Wednesday 24 November.

The strategic plan, the result of the joint work of the Ministry of University and Research, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Minister for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition, will cover the period from 2022 to 2024. This was announced by the Government in a passage of the press release published immediately after the conclusion of the Council of Ministers.

Let’s take a closer look at what the Strategic Program for Artificial Intelligence consists of.

Why the Strategic Program was born

With the idea of ​​strengthening the artificial intelligence system in Italy, the 2022-2024 Strategic Program was born. The Minister for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition Vittorio Colao presented it to the Council of Ministers.

The Strategic Program for Artificial Intelligence in Italy was developed by a joint working group. The representatives of the university and research ministers Maria Cristina Messa and of economic development Giancarlo Giorgetti collaborated with Colao.

A European perspective

The program, reads the Government note, “is part of the broader European coordinated plan on artificial intelligence, promoted by the European Commission in 2018 with the aim of maximizing the impact of investments in artificial intelligence both at European and national level, as well as to strengthen synergies and cooperation between states “.

The plan just presented therefore intends to make Italy a globally competitive center on artificial intelligence.

The structure of the strategic program

The strategies to enhance artificial intelligence in Italy will be developed through six macro objectives, eleven priority sectors in which investments will be concentrated and three areas of intervention.

In these three areas, we always read in the note from the Government, through the Program we intend: “to strengthen skills and attract talents to develop an ecosystem of artificial intelligence in Italy; increase funding for advanced research in artificial intelligence; encourage the adoption of AI and its applications, both in the public administration (PA) and in the production sectors in general “.

In details, for the three areas, the Strategic Program indicates 24 policies to be adopted over the next three years. The aim is thus to strengthen our country’s international technological competitiveness. In addition to transforming research results into added value for the industry and preparing for the technological and social challenges of the near future.

The gap with Europe and investments for the Program

The document presented to strengthen the artificial intelligence system in Italy actually wants to fill a gap.

Indeed, our country lags behind many other EU member states. For research in the field of AI, our expenditure corresponds to 1.45 per cent of GDP, against 2.19 per cent in France and 3.17 per cent in Germany. Patent applications are sixth of those in Germany and a researcher in Italy earns an average of 15.3 euros. Less than 22 of a French counterpart and, above all, not even a third of the 48 euros of a German.

The investments planned for the strategic program for artificial intelligence amount to approximately 26 billion euros. And they are almost entirely to be financed with the NRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan).

Half of the total figure, the document presented states, is destined to “make AI a pillar in support of Transition 4.0”.

Among the most relevant items are the promotion of professorships and careers in science and mathematics (3.2 billion) and the creation of partnerships with universities and businesses (1.61 billion). 1.3 million are for the launch of research-innovation calls with the collaboration between public and private companies.

Comments from Ministers

Each of the three Ministers involved commented on the Strategic Program.

For the Minister of University and Research Maria Cristina Messa “The Italian research and training system is ready to lead the strengthening of this sector. The strategy is an extraordinary opportunity for competitive growth. We create the conditions for young Italians, especially women, who decide to invest in study courses and research on artificial intelligence to be able to do so, at the highest levels, while remaining in our country “.

Giancarlo Giorgetti, Minister of Economic Development, he said that “with the Strategic Program for artificial intelligence we aim to bridge the delay in the development and adoption of innovative solutions in this technological field, giving new impetus to the digital transition of our production system. Artificial intelligence is the tool with which our country intends to strengthen the interaction between research centers and businesses over the next few years “.

Vittorio Colao, minister for technological innovation and digital transition, he added that “the strategy is the basis for launching concrete programs and investments to make Italy competitive internationally and with a more efficient public system. We foresee acceleration programs for start-ups that propose innovative solutions for PAs. And ad hoc initiatives to significantly raise the quality of public processes and services and improve the citizen-state relationship “.