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EmbrAIsme – Interreg Europe

embrAIsme EU Project

Improving Conditions and Policies for SMEs to embrace AI

Overview

embrAIsme is a European interreg project that aims to enhance policies and programs to facilitate the uptake of Artificial Intelligence (AI) by SMEs, regardless of their location, size, and sector. embrAIsme, meaning “Improving conditions and policies for SMEs to embrace AI,” aims to utilise technology and create innovation to generate employment opportunities and drive economic growth across all the partner countries. Implemented in the framework of the Interreg Europe programme 2021-2027 and co-financed by the European Union, the project coordinator is Austria Wirtschaftsservice with a total budget of €2,302,690 and nine project partners. itag and the Western Development Commission (WDC) are partners representing the Northern and Western region in Ireland, with West Regional Enterprise Plan as the policy instrument.

This project is crucial as it addresses the barriers SMEs face in adopting AI, such as lack of awareness, data readiness, human capital, skills, and financial resources. The project intends to create a supportive ecosystem by raising AI awareness, increasing data readiness, investing in human capital and skills, improving access to finance, fostering networking and cooperation, and considering legal and ethical issues.

embrAIsme Project Partners

The project’s specific objectives are to:

  • Raise awareness of AI and increase data readiness
  • Invest in human capita and skills
  • Facilitate access to finance
  • Foster networking and cooperation
  • Strengthen the governance of AI/SME policies
  • Better consider legal and ethical issues.
 

By improving policies and programs, SMEs will have more opportunities to leverage AI for growth and innovation. 




€2,302,690
budget


1st April 2024
- 30th June 2028


9 Partners

itag's Role

itag is a formal project partner of embrAIsme together with the WDC and attended the kick-off event held in Vienna, on May 14 -15 2024. David Bermingham, Senior Technology Leader itag was present at the event and participated in “Access to Finance” workshop facilitated by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and Skillnet. In addition to partaking in the launch day panel discussion alongside partner representatives, Henriette Spyra, and Maya Pindeus Austria, Kaloyan Ratchev Belgium, Jouni Markkanen Finland and Eliano Marques Portugal. Project partners also enjoyed a study trip to sports AI video analysis company – Zone14. While discussing the project implementation plan and activation.

itag will leverage its extensive experience and expertise in supporting digital transformation to assist in the transnational exchange of experience. As a specialized body in the region, itag will facilitate the co-creation activities, support stakeholder engagement, and contribute to the thematic areas of AI adoption.

itag aims to reach out to its network of over 200 companies, ensuring that the benefits of the project are amplified among SMEs. Additionally, itag will collaborate closely with the Western Development Commission (WDC) to enhance policy instruments, drive regional digital transformation, and support the overall objectives of embrAIsme.

What the project means for SMEs in Ireland

In Ireland, SMEs accounted for 99.8% of all enterprises and 70% of persons employed as per CSO’s publication ‘Business in Ireland’ 2021. However, many indigenous SMEs lag in leveraging digital technologies like AI to reduce costs, drive innovation, and expand market presence.

The embrAIsme project is designed to address these challenges, promoting the adoption of AI to unlock significant economic potential.

By participating in this project, Irish SMEs can benefit from enhanced policy support, increased knowledge and skills, and improved access to AI technologies, which are essential for maintaining competitiveness and fostering growth in a rapidly digitised global economy.

How to Get Involved

  1. SMEs can get involved in the embrAIsme project in a number of ways:
  2. Participate in workshops and training programs: The project will offer workshops and training programs to raise awareness of AI and provide SMEs with the necessary skills to adopt AI technologies. These programs will cover various topics, such as data readiness, AI implementation strategies, and legal and ethical considerations.
  3. Access funding opportunities: The project aims to facilitate access to finance for SMEs looking to adopt AI. This could include grants, loans, or other financial instruments specifically designed to support AI adoption.
  4. Join networking and collaboration initiatives: The project will foster networking and cooperation among SMEs, research institutions, and policymakers. This will provide opportunities for SMEs to connect with potential partners, share knowledge and experiences, and collaborate on AI projects.
  5. Engage with policymakers: The project will work with policymakers to improve policies and programs related to AI adoption for SMEs. SMEs can engage with policymakers through the project’s stakeholder groups and provide input on their needs and challenges.

 

For itag members, the project offers additional opportunities:

  1. Contribute expertise: itag, with its expertise in technology, legal, ethics, and governance aspects of AI, can actively contribute to the project’s knowledge-sharing activities and help shape policy improvements in Ireland.
  2. Access a wider network: itag can leverage the project’s network to connect with other organisations and experts in the AI field, both in Ireland and across Europe.
  3. Amplify project benefits: itag will disseminate project findings and resources to its members, helping them to overcome barriers to AI adoption and capitalise on the opportunities that AI offers.

 

By actively participating in the embrAIsme project, SMEs and itag members can gain valuable knowledge, resources, and connections to accelerate their AI adoption journey and contribute to the growth of the AI ecosystem in Ireland.

A number of interregional or transeuropean training programs and workshops will be held that our member companies can engage with. This is an opportunity to learn from other countries and share our own best practices around AI adoption.

If you are interested in the adoption of AI and want to learn more please reach out to itag Technology Leader David Bermingham via email: dbermingham@itag.ie