France Boosts Research and Development in AI

France has been boosting R&D in the artificial intelligence sector according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, who stated that many countries see AI as an industry with huge potential to propel economic growth.

According to French entrepreneurs fund ISAI, there are now over 180 AI startups in France. They are all hoping to become global companies to secure France’s reputation as an AI hub.

President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to make France a start-up nation and change the country’s image abroad. The French government has commenced France IA to mobilize the French AI community and plans to put €15 billion into AI-related companies over six years. The initiative is implemented by the Ministry of the Economy, Industry and Digital Sector and the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research.

Companies undertaking R&D include Angus, Snips, Databerries, Deepki and Deepomatic, whose projects cover AI aspects like emotion and image recognition, deep learning and language translation.

The US is currently seen as the top AI hub globally in terms of spend and size, with 90 percent of financing and exit events happening there, while London is considered Europe’s largest AI hub. The British government will invest £38 million for autonomous driving R&D projects as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. From January 2014 to October 2016, 111 UK based AI companies raised $342 million. Comparatively, 33 French AI companies raised $108 million.

Nevertheless, France is developing a strong reputation for its AI talent. Facebook will be opening its first AI research centre in Paris, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg stating that “France already has one of the strongest AI research communities in the world.” Moreover, Paris company Moodstocks was acquired by Google earlier this year for its machine vision technology. The team have since joined the Google R&D center in Paris.

French companies undertaking qualified R&D activities may be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit. To check your eligibility criteria and find out more about preparing a claim, contact Swanson Reed R&D Tax Advisors.

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