A vehicle of the European Union called the European Investment Fund (EIF) has signed six equity agreements with venture capital funds to support businesses under the EU’s InnovFin Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain initiative.
These agreements amount to more than $800 million available to support blockchain and AI startups across Europe through the equity funds in Austria, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
The fund will target B2B software, data/analytics, the Internet of Things, smart cities, automation, language and machine learning, software as a service, fintech, cybersecurity and the future of work.
“It is a priority for Europe to be at the forefront of the development of artificial intelligence/blockchain technology in order to remain competitive and improve people’s lives, bringing major benefits to our society and economy,” EIF’s Chief Executive Alain Godard said before adding:
“Europe is home to a world-leading AI and blockchain research community with vibrant start-ups and a wide range of traditional industries. I am delighted that we can partner with the EC to invest in these six funds which target companies looking to adopt innovative processes and business models.”
This is part of a €535.4 billion European Fund for Strategic Investments (ESFI) which aims to support over 1.4 million start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises across the European Union.
Some €50 billion is allocated to InnovFin Equity, which aims to invest in research and innovation across Europe.
Making this a huge package and one of the biggest state level investment and support in blockchain technology.
It comes as the race to grab the new opportunities unleashed by frontier tech, including space exploration, automation, blockchain, CRISP gene editing, machine learning and the bot economy, is intensifying especially between China and America.
Europe has now enter the fray and does so with half a trillion bazooka, some $1 billion just for this space.