AI hub to boost economic and environmental innovation opens in Brussels

AI hub to boost economic and environmental innovation opens in Brussels
Barbara Trachte surrounded by the various partners of from left to right the VUB, BeCentral, Sirris, Agoria, ULB. Credit: Trachte's cabinet

A new project launched by the Brussels region aims to strengthen its leadership in artificial intelligence (AI) and offer free guidance on this topic to all local businesses.

The new European Digital Expertise Hub (EDIH) is part of and aims to promote AI and other emerging technologies in Brussels. The centre was opened on Wednesday and is located at the BeCentral digital campus in Brussels.

"Putting artificial intelligence and digital technology at the service of Brussels businesses and economic transition offers an opportunity to realise Brussels' economic and environmental ambitions," said Barbara Trachte, State Secretary for Economic Transition and Scientific Research, during the opening of the EDIH.

The centre received a budget of €4 million and is co-financed by the European Commission and the Brussels Region. It will provide free guidance to all Brussels businesses wishing to undergo a digital transformation and move business models that are "exemplary in environmental terms."

Economic and climate transition

Aside from being an important driver for efficiency and production, digitising can also entail environmental gains. The digital sector already accounts for 7.6% of Brussels' GDP (compared to 1.4% in Wallonia and 2.6% in Flanders). It currently employs some 30,000 people.

The initiative will focus on encouraging and facilitating innovation in the service of economic, social and environmental transition. It seeks to place Brussels at the forefront of digital innovation and is supported by the region's universities VUB and ULB.

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