European AI Fund Review August – December 2021

We are happy to share the publication of our Review August – December 2021. You can read the full review here.

“For a healthy public sphere, we need healthy debate about
the roles that technology, especially artificial intelligence
(AI), can and should play in society. Civil society’s many voices are crucial to this debate but, out-numbered and out-resourced by big global tech companies, they face a multitude
of challenges. We want – we need! – civil society to be heard
loud and clear.”

We realise that the next chapter for the Fund, as well as the larger civil society ecosystem in this space, requires further growth and maturity as the role of AI across all parts of society continues to evolve and policy makers in Europe and around the globe engage with the topic more intensely — which is why we developed an ambitious agenda and growth strategy, and will continually refine and expand our funding strategy.

If we continue on our trajectory, we can help European civil society become an even more powerful voice in ongoing and future debates around the social and political impact of artificial intelligence. Towards this goal, we will support our civil society partners, identify and offer opportunities to new and established actors, and foster mutual learning across our network.

In 2022, the European AI Fund will continue the important work of strengthening the European AI & Society ecosystem — and to shape the direction of AI in Europe to put individuals and society first.

A comprehensive report has already been published (August 2020-August 2021) for the first year of operationalisation of the Fund. For the Fund to report on an annual basis that follows the year calendar (January/December), it was decided to review the progress made over the last 6 months to end the year 2021. This report will focus on key programmatic achievements and lessons over this period.

In this reporting period, the fund’s management team has focussed on four key priorities:

  • We conducted check-in calls with each of the fund’s grantees, to gather some preliminary data on grantee needs, as well as feedback on our own performance.
  • We started implementing the fund’s Funding+ and convening strategy, organised around the two existing cohorts of our grantee partners.
  • We also started the implementation and fine-tuned the fund’s growth strategy, communication strategy, and M&E framework.
  • Together with the planning working group we also defined, and partially implemented the fund’s strategic plan for future grant-making activities.

In the following, we will report on each of these strands of work separately.

 

 

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