EU Sets Up €400M Blockchain, AI Fund to Prevent Lagging US, China

A new fund has been established with the intention of avoiding the EU lagging behind countries like the U.S. and China on blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) development. 

The European Commission and the European Investment Fund (EIF) and have together set up €100 million (more than $110 million) for a dedicated invested plan that will make capital accessible to AI and blockchain ventures by means of VC funds or other investors, EIF, an EU office put up to indirectly support SMEs, said in a blog entry on Wednesday.

With the “cornerstone” financing set up, the EIF said private investors are anticipated to raise to €300 million or around $331 million into the fund, while the total could increase further from next year, with national promotional banks having the option to co-invest under the plan.

Sifted states that the fund could eventually raise up to €2 billion or $2.2 billion under the InvestEU Program.

As per the post, the EU currently spends plenty on blockchain (anticipated spending for 2019 is $674 million), but that is, for the most part, coordinated toward research and proofs-of-concept.

The U.S. is the greatest spender, with a $1.1 billion anticipated spend, and China is second with $319 million, as per cited figures from the International Data Corporation.

The new fund is intended to address the fact that less is spent in the EU on creating bigger scale ventures.

“Investing in a portfolio of innovative AI and blockchain companies will help develop a dynamic EU-wide investors community on AI and blockchain. By involving national promotional banks, we can scale up the volume of investments at a national level,” the EIF stated.