Artificial Intelligence (AI) provides unprecedented opportunities to enhance the performance in fields of activity ranging from medical diagnosis to voice recognition or full self-driving automotive. It has already proved its increasingly important role in the environmental protection, business development, culture and security of the Danube Region and it is expected to impact even more the daily life of Danube region citizens in the next 10-15 years.
The business environment should be ready to embrace the rapid technological advances. In particular, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from all around the region should find resources to adapt and permanently update their knowledge and technology in line with the latest AI developments.
To tackle all these challenges, the EUSDR Priority Area 8 – Competitiveness of Enterprises, jointly coordinated by Germany (Baden-Württemberg) and Croatia, established the Artificial Intelligence working group (AI WG) in 2019. Currently, the AI WG consists of 19 partners form 9 Danubian countries led by Pannon Business Network Association (Hungary). Their activities focus on fostering the application of AI in the Danube Region in the key application areas using different kind of technologies.
By elaborating a comprehensive policy paper about technology trends, AI and economic development in the Danube Region, the working group made available information on the perspectives for AI-supported economic development in the Danube Region, potential key application areas of AI and relevant technologies to be used.
During the conference Artificial Intelligence and Automotive Industry, held in Budapest, in 2019, 200 participants from all over the world learnt from well-known leaders in innovation and digitalisation (Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Kuka, Fraunhofer Institute, Dibuco GmbH, etc.) about the most recent international trends in the field and assisted to demonstrations on the role of AI in practice.
In 2021, the AI working group organised the Digital Innovation Hubs in Action conference as means to broaden the perspectives and present services of digital innovation hubs from an international co-operational perspective (cross-border, macroregional, European and outside of Europe). The exchanges were beneficial for the establishment of an Innovative Digital Ecosystem in the Danube Region in order to support SMEs when tackling the challenges of a digitalized world.
Acknowledging the competitive advantages of the AI-enhanced economy, Priority Area 8 and its working groups will provide an organizational framework for continuing the joint work to consolidate a proper innovation ecosystem in the Danube Region and support technology-intensive sectors (health services, creative media, tourism, pharmaceuticals, mechatronics, education etc) to introduce new AI-based solutions.
Find more from the Interview with Balazs Barta, coordinator of the Working Group AI.