The indicator AI investments offers an estimation of AI investments done by public and private agents at country level. Due to the lack of reliable data, in the context of AI Watch a methodology has been developed to estimate these investments for the EU and its Member States. The approach followed considers the following categories of AI investments:
- expenditures on labour and skills
- tangible and intangible capital assets incurred by public and private organizations to develop and implement AI to (re-)design business processes aimed at creating new or improving existing products or services.
In all the 27 EU Member States the level of investments has increased from 2018 to 2019. In particular, among the countries that invested more than 50 million euros in 2019, we find that Ireland, Belgium and Austria experienced the largest annual increase (+208%, + 69%, and +48%, respectively). Additionally, among countries with lower investments (i.e., less than 50 million), Bulgaria, Slovenia and Croatia present the most remarkable yearly increment (+96%, + 75%, and +67%, respectively).
In absolute terms, France and Germany show for the highest levels of investments, as in 2019 they account for the 22% and 18% of all EU investments, respectively. If along with them we consider Spain, we have that 50% of EU investments in AI during 2019 is made by only three countries. Nevertheless, in 2018 the same three countries accounted for 53% of EU investments in AI. Thus, even if just one year is not sufficient to robustly discuss a trend, the fact that the concentration of investments decreases may suggest a progressively larger investment effort by a larger number of countries.