Make France a “champion”. Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday additional funding of more than 500 million euros to develop artificial intelligence (AI) in our country and create world-cl clusters. “We must bring out five to ten clusters, to the tune of 500 million euros, to have two or three centers of excellence” at the global level and “create champions”, declared the president from the show. VivaTechthe largest European tech fair, which opened its doors on Wednesday in Paris.
Believing that France was “behind” on computing power, the Head of State announced that France was going to invest 50 million euros to “quadruple” the capacity of the calculator Jean Zay. He also recalled that France had invested 250 million euros in the European “exascale” supercomputer project, planned for 2025.
While calling for strengthening research and innovation, the president also showed his desire to develop AI regulation, “whose scope must be as wide as possible”. “The worst scenario would be a Europe which invests much less than the Americans and the Chinese, and which would start by creating regulation. This scenario is possible, it would not be the one I would support, ”he warned, as negotiations in Brussels an AI regulation project.
Also visiting VivaTech, the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire had also called for “investment” and “innovation”, before “regulating” AI. “Otherwise we will regulate technologies that will not be ours, which will be American technologies, where we can have French and European technologies,” he insisted. The Minister said he was “totally determined not to relive what we experienced with the Gafam (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Editor’s note) a few years or a few decades ago, that is to say Europe left aside, overtaken by the United States and unable to be independent”.
7 billion secured for the “Tibi 2” fund
Emmanuel Macron also wanted the development of generative AI and large models in “open source” (open code). For this, he wishes to encourage databases in French. A seed fund of 50 million is planned in the sector. Public calls for projects worth 150 million will also be launched for cultural projects on digital and metaverse practices. To mobilize more funds for innovative companies, the “Tibi 2” fund which brings together institutional investors has been secured to date up to 7 billion euros, he said, with a target of 10 billion. Finally, 125 innovative companies were honored to receive funding from the France 2030 plan.
The Head of State also took advantage of this show dedicated to entrepreneurs to denounce “those who hate those who make money”. “Hating people who make money doesn’t work,” he said. “I am for the success of those who invest in the economy. We must not restrain our entrepreneurs when they are ready to reinvest,” he declared, in front of an audience of entrepreneurs. He was pleased to have created since 2017 “a potential for business angels”, private investors.
On Tuesday, Emmanuel Macron had already posted on Twitter his desire to make France a “champion” in terms of artificial intelligence, so that it positions itself “at the forefront of this new industrial revolution”.