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New Techs: UK, France scale up AI investment with hundreds of millions of Dollars

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (l) and Emmanuel Macron, French President

*France and the United Kingdom have announced hundreds of millions of Dollars of Artificial Intelligence investment, as Europe plays catch-up with the United States and China leading the global AI arms race

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

In a way for Europe to play catch-up with the United States (US) and China, British and French leaders, this week, have pitched their respective countries as hubs for AI research and development.

Speaking at VivaTech in Paris, one of Europe’s biggest technology trade shows, French President Emmanuel Macron promised that France would invest €500 million Euros ($542 million) to make his country an “AI champion”.

Macron said: “We must simultaneously accelerate research, innovation, and the creation of a powerful ecosystem and participate in regulation whose scope must be as wide as possible.”

ConsumerConnect learnt the French President was speaking hours after the European Parliament approved the EU’s AI Act, which has still to be agreed by member states.

He also suggested that his government would push against regulation that stifles investment and innovation in this regard, CyberNews report noted.

Macron further said: “The worst scenario would be a Europe that invests much less than the Americans and the Chinese but starts by creating regulation.

“This scenario is possible but it would not be the one I would support.”

The French leader shared the stage with the founder of several French startups, including Mistral AI. Founded only a month ago, the company announced this week that it had raised 105 million euros ($114 million) in seed investment, a record in Europe, report said.

Elon Musk was expected to attend VivaTech last Friday, and was expected to meet Macron to discuss potential investments in France.

‘Tectonic’ shift

In the same vein, it was learnt Artificial Intelligence was equally a big talking point at the London Tech Week, with the UK keen to keep its crown as Europe’s leading technology powerhouse.


Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, while opening the recent event said: “If our goal is to make this country the best place in the world for tech, AI is surely one of the greatest opportunities before us.”

British companies raised £24 billion ($30 billion) in capital in 2022, more than France ($15 billion) and Germany ($11.5 billion) combined, and the UK became the third country in the world last year with a tech sector valued at $1 trillion, behind only the US and China.

“But at a moment like this, when the tectonic plates of technology are shifting… we cannot rest, satisfied with where we stand,” Sunak said.

The British Government said this week also disclosed it would invest £54 million ($68 million) to develop “secure and trustworthy” AI research, with the country’s universities set to benefit from the scheme.

Besides, the UK Government will also invest £75.6 million ($96 million) in a network of research labs across the country to develop next-generation technology solutions, including AI, for the country’s creative industries.

The programme will be additionally supported by £63 million ($80 million) investments from industry, according to report.

US, China lead the pack in AI arms race

The US and China continue to lead the global AI arms race, with $25 billion invested in AI-related companies in the US in 2023 alone, according to data from, a private technology investments tracker.

In comparison, $4 billion has been invested in Europe, Britain and Israel included.

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