SME: Can Ai Bring Italian SME Into The Future (Vedrai)

Today, the application of AI in companies represents a strategic and competitive lever.

AI in its various forms can improve the productivity and performance of companies thanks to the automation of processes and activities with lower margins of errors, also affecting economic results. AI tools are, therefore, becoming essential for companies to remain competitive.

There are different sectors (banking, insurance, automotive, energy …), areas of application and advantages that a company derives from their application: automating repetitive activities, saving time, analyzing information, predicting results, reducing margins of error…

The implementation of AI in small to medium-sized enterprises represents a potentially winning investment. The first step for a company consists of understanding what to use Artificial Intelligence tools for and what it needs to develop and apply them correctly, identifying the scope, the area of ​​expertise and the aspects of the business to improve with AI. There are many sectors in which they resulted useful and successful and there are several initiatives in the AI ​​field that can be introduced, with different degrees of complexity and consequent need for costs and infrastructures. In order for them to be effective, the company must have specialized figures who deal with them adequately. In general, it’s important that the whole company is involved and aware of the functioning of the new technologies introduced, of their benefits and risks.

In the complex transition to an increasingly digitized ecosystem, it may therefore be necessary for small-medium enterprises to rely on external consultancy services in the collection, processing and interpretation of data through AI.

This is what Vedrai does. It’s the startup founded by Michele Grazioli in September 2020 and recognized by CIO Applications as one of the top 10 AI companies in Europe. Vedrai deals, through artificial intelligence and the development of virtual platforms, with helping companies in data collection and in predicting the impact of business decisions. Vedrai’s goal is, specifically, to bring artificial intelligence systems and forecasting tools to SMEs, to ensure their survival through an innovative tool. The startup’s software, accepting a large amount of data, compares the relevant variables to understand company performance and the impact of a decision on revenues, EBITDA, customer satisfaction …

Vedrai therefore wants to encourage SMEs to adopt cutting-edge tools, to reduce the risks of these companies in making decisions or certain investments. The startup wants to increase SMEs efficiency by finding the best strategy for them to achieve the objectives and by giving them a precise programming of the necessary resources, also to recover after the pandemic.

With adequate support, SMEs can therefore be successful and compete with the largest companies and make up for some structural and organizational differences that characterize big companies. The advantage is that AI technologies can be applied to any area, at any business level. By overcoming the prejudice of smaller companies on new technologies as a complex and expensive tool, structural rigidity, and the lack of propensity for innovative investments, the immense opportunities offered by AI can be seized. With adequate strategy and external support, this transition “towards the future” can take place.

The European Chips Act: An Illusion of Tech Sovereignty?

Semiconductors, such as microchips, are one of the most essential components of the digitization process and are employed in all the electronic devices and machines we use today. Since its invention their market has grown exponentially, especially within the last decade. Revenues reached US$440 billion in 2020, and is expected to reach US$50.9 billion in 2021. 

The global COVID-19 pandemic had negatively impacted the semiconductor market as supply chains were disrupted. This not only led to a global shortage of microchips, but posed an even bigger problem for European manufacturers as the region primarily outsourced their microchips from Asian suppliers. European car manufacturers bore the burden greatly, they incorrectly speculated the pandemic would result in a decline of sales, thus cancelled their chip orders. However, the unexpected recovery of demand meant that they were ill-equipped with supplies to satisfy them. The cancellation of orders meant that chip manufacturers had more commitments to IT sectors, reducing their capacity to supply car chips. The limited availability of new vehicles that resulted, matched with the rising prices of microchips, had a far-reaching impact on the affordability of new vehicles and consumer choice.

To address the chip shortage and in attempts to get Europe back in the tech race, the European Chips Act was announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her State of the European Union address. The Chips Act covers three dimensions:

  1. A European Semiconductor Research Strategy to push research ambitions of Europe to the next level.
  2.  A collective plan to enhance European production capacity to ensure Europe is prepared to tackle any possible future disruptions to the semiconductors supply chain.
  3. A framework for international cooperation and partnership to reduce overdependence on a single country or region. 

The proposal of the European Chips Act ignites hope amongst the European market by creating a vision and compelling players to believe that tech sovereignty is within their reach.

Despite how convincing the Act is strategically, the Dutch are not convinced. They believe that the European Union should not decouple from the global semiconductor supply chain in efforts to be self-sufficient. A paper published on Netherland’s government website warned that decoupling would be a mistake and pointed towards the success of several Dutch companies as evidence. They illustrate their point further by stating that ‘European interests are best served by an open ecosystem that remains focused on attracting investment, accelerating innovation and adding market value. Diversification and mutual interdependence promote resilience and prevent one-sided dependencies.’ They instead proposed that instruments be put in place to prevent key takeovers of chipmakers that would negatively impact Europe and its manufacturers.

The contradictions presented by the Netherlands thus bring into question whether the European Chips Act is an illusion of success.

Microchip shortage: The cause and how it’s affecting the markets (Apple)

Chips are in nearly every electronic device humans own, phones, personal computers, cars, washing machines, toothbrushes… These parts are minimal in size, but essential from a power perspective – they can be conceived as the brain of our electronic devices. These chips are often also referred to as “semiconductors” or “microchips”; they host many transistors that allow electrons to move. Their supply chain and development involves many experts, countries and takes multiple steps. 

Recently we have been experiencing an exponential increase of their demand, causing a general shortage. As the world was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, chip-factories were forced to close and thus the production dropped. The current demand for microchips is so high that manufacturers can’t meet the deadlines and the quantity necessitated by customers.

Many industrial sectors have been hit by the microchip shortage as they represent the lifeblood of several industrial products. Nissan has announced that it will be making 500,000 less vehicles; General Motors was forced to interrupt some of its truck production; Apple has alerted its consumers that its products’ sales will suffer from the shortage. 

Apple Inc. is very likely to cut its production of iPhone 13 projected for 2021 as the company expected to produce around 90 million models of the latest iPhone in the remaining trimester of this year, but its microchip suppliers, Broadcom Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc., are insolvent to deliver the correct amount of microchips. Despite its size and importance on the tech products’ market, Apple is grappling with the same microchip supply disruption as every other company and industry.

The latest iPhone was released on the market in September, but orders have not been delivered from the official website for more than 30 days. Moreover, new devices are found as “currently unavailable” for pickup at many retail stores. The company’s carrier partners are facing very similar shipment delays. Apple is also struggling in producing the Apple Watch Series 7, ninth-generations iPads and iPad mini, third-generation AirPods.

The year-end quarter is expected to generate about $120 billion in revenue, hitting a sale record – 7% increase from the previous year. Nonetheless, it has still to be seen whether the chip shortage will affect also Apple’s revenues. By now, CEO Tim Cook confirmed CNBC that the supply chain constraints have already impacted on the financial results of the quarter; “We had a very strong performance despite larger than expected supply constraints, which we estimate to be around $6 billion”.

Hello Fresh And TooGoodToGo: Online Platforms vs. Food Waste

The boom in sustainable demand for purchases in every industry has seen exponential growth during the past few years, and the food industry is no exception. The rise of organic, sustainably grown, and cruelty free products are the results of some of the most called for changes. When going grocery shopping we now see organic labels, bio labels, farmer grown labels, among many others, everywhere. We see more plant-based solutions and recyclable materials used in plastic, but it is only recently that consumer trends are also leaning towards a demand from the industry in stopping food waste. 

Many of us have watched documentaries on Netflix such as “Wasted”, “Our Planet”, etc., (if you haven’t done so, we highly recommend you to), which have brought much needed attention to this issue, continuing and expanding on the important trend of sustainable eating. But how has this translated to consumerism? Consumers are constantly expecting more from companies in the industries, as they should. It is no longer enough to write a small statement on the side of the packaging indicating the companies ‘continuous effort to creating a more sustainable future’. Consumers want honest and tangible accountability, and the industry knows it needs to adapt and new players are ready to fill in those gaps. 

So how has the industry adapted in this case? It is starting to use technology to create new platforms to facilitate consumers’ needs regarding food habits, while keeping the comfort of purchasing products that we all seem to continuously desire. Some of these platforms that seem to be having greatest success are innovative app-based food delivery and pickup services such as GoodtoGo and Hello Fresh, two companies that have received global praise and recognition.

Hello Fresh just launched in Italy last month after seeing great success in the America’s. The business model is based on creating meal kits that are delivered right to your door, completely customizable, making the process of cooking a dinner for yourself of your family as easy as possible. The meals come with recipes and include all the ingredients you need to cook each one, with portioned ingredients, meaning you will not be having any leftover ingredients to deal with later. You are also able to select meals based on your dietary needs and preferences. 

Another online platform that aims to reduce food waste is TooGoodToGo. The business model differs from that of Hello Fresh in that it essentially outsources its products by working directly with independent restaurants and grocery stores that wish to get rid of their leftover products for a small price. You may select from the range of restaurants and/or grocery stores available in your area to buy a ‘Magic box’, a box filled with products from that establishment that remain at the end of the day or are near their expiration date for a highly discounted price. You do not know what you will be receiving, but that’s half the fun. 

But how sustainable are these platforms? Well it depends on how you look at it. In a way, they still incentivize consumerism, but on the other hand they are creating a positive effect in creating conscience in people’s minds like HelloFresh by allowing customers to feel the satisfaction of using all their ingredients without throwing anything away, or TooGoodToGo which gives consumers access food that would otherwise be likely wasted for a low price. 

I am excited to see what the future holds in terms of sustainability trends within the food industry, and how consumers continue to shift their perspective on the importance of holding sustainable food practices. I am sure we will continue to see a boost in apps and platforms that bring us closer to sustainable eating, and see platforms such as Hello Fresh and TooGoodToGo continue on the rise. Are you ready to try them out?

The future of mobility is Electric

In the last few years customer all over the world have started to develop more and more awareness about the social and environmental problem that concern our Historical period. So people have really started to gain more and more interest about new sustainable alternatives and understand that the need for a more sustainable future is closer than they could think. That’s why sustainability is becoming the main drive for the development of new products in many fields.

The speed of these changes can be seen in the automotive industry which has witnessed an exponential growth in terms of performances of both cars and batteries and in sales of electric and hybrid cars.

While a few years ago a completely electric future for mobility was just a utopia now it’s starting to look more and more like reality.

With the exponential progress that has been made in the last years and the growing interest that car manufacturing companies are showing in the development of electric cars shows us that these kinds of limits can be overcome in a not so far future 

Prices are starting to drop. In many countries Governments are offering different kind of incentives to people who buy electric and hybrid cars while increasing taxes for the sales cars that have higher impact on the environment to try and accelerate this transition.

According to BloombergNEF (BNEF) the equality of prices between electric cars and Gas cars will be reached between 2025 and 2030

The main factor to keep into account are the price of batteries, that are the one that affect more the total cost of electric cars, but they have witnessed a tremendous reduction in the last years, the fact that as long as the sales of electric cars concerns a small part of the market share, the price are destined to remain quite high.

On the contrary if companies could increase the market share for electric cars, they could use more economies of scale and reduce the prices as well as offer a wider range of products for different type of customers

The BNEF research found that battery electric vehicles could reach 100% of new sales across the EU by 2035, if lawmakers introduce measures like tighter vehicle CO2 targets and strong support for charging infrastructure.

One of the reason why electric car are more environmentally friendly is the fact that electric motor are four times more efficient in transforming energy into movement so, also if the electric energy used to charge the batteries wouldn’t be coming from renewable sources it would anyway be less polluting than using gas Car moreover we also need to take into account the fact that at the end of the usage gas car engine goes demolished while batteries can have a second life and be recycled or reused

It’s obvious that in order to put into place a transition of this magnitude there would also be need for the creation of a completely new infrastructure that will allow drivers to travel for long distances without having to worry about “range anxiety” even though these days electric car have a range of autonomy that goes from 200 to 600 km. Which is quiet higher than the average daily drive of the general user (50 km) according to the The JRC-IET study that analyzed car mobility patterns derived from direct surveys in six European Union Member States (France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and United Kingdom).

The time needed to make a full charge of batteries depend on the power of the charger and how much energy the car consumes but, on the average, using AC charger you could recharge as much as 100 km in an hour so it would

Together with the sector of private car also sales and delivery companies have started investing in the electric mobility business.

Amazon invested 700 Million in the American Start-up Rivian and has ordered 100 thousand electric truck to be used for deliveries It will use 10.000 electric vehicle within 2022 that will become 100000 in 2030 as it’s trying to create a fleet for the deliveries that will help the company to nullify the carbon emission within the year 2040. 

It’s a transition that it’s already in place and the market will witness more and more growth as battery prices fall, energy density improves, more charging infrastructure is built, and sales spread to new markets.

RRI And Collaborative Strategies In Sustainable Fashion: Who Is Orange Fiber?

Fast fashion has changed our purchasing habits: we buy more, and we spend less for each item. In 2014, on average, people bought 60% more clothing items compared to 2000 and, on average, keep them for half the time. But at what cost? According to the World Economic Forum “the fashion industry produces 10% of all humanity’s carbon emissions and is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply”. Additionally, every year, almost 85% of textiles go to the dump and the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles are dump into the ocean in the form microplastics every year. 

Currently the fashion industry’s carbon emissions count for 10% of the world’s total emissions. On top of that, current fabrics used in the fashion industry have many drawbacks: polyester releases two to three times more carbon emissions than cotton; to produce a cotton shirt approximately 2700 liters of water are required, and the amount almost triples when it comes to producing a pair of jeans, because cotton is a highly water-intensive plant. In addition to requiring exorbitant amounts of water, the fashion industry is also responsible for water-pollution. It is estimated that fashion is responsible for 20% of all industrial water pollution worldwide. Some fashion firms are starting to fight these trends by joining initiatives to cut back on textile pollution, to grow cotton more sustainably  and to find alternative, more sustainable fabrics. There is also a positive trend in the increase in the number of consumers demanding sustainable materials and fashion brands seeking green innovation. 

Additionally, a significant growth in food processing can be noticed, which has led to an even more significant increase in the amount of non-edible byproducts over the past 50 years. For instance, 700.000 tons of citrus waste is produced every year in Italy alone. The disposal of such waste has been a challenge for citrus juice companies: both the illegal disposal of such waste and the exorbitantly high disposal costs are factors that have led many firms operating in the market to close down.

It is because of these trends, the growth of non-edible byproducts and increasing negative impact of fashion on the environment, that Orange Fiber was created. Orange Fiber is an Italian innovative SME that was founded in 2014.  

Orange Fiber identified the opportunity of using discarded products and natural resources that would otherwise be wasted to create value. It developed a system that allows to transform citrus juice byproducts that do not rival food consumption into something new, sustainable and useful: yarn for fashion industry. 

In this case we can see how commercial innovation is controlled by two sets of forces: market forces (search for sustainable products from consumers) and forces of progress at the technological and scientific frontiers (patented technology developed to produce yarn from citrus byproducts). 

The idea at the base of Orange Fiber, and the firm itself, are a clear example of RRI. Responsible Innovation, or Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), is “on-going process of aligning research and innovation to the values, needs and expectations of society”. It is a “transparent, interactive process by which societal actors and innovators become mutually responsive to each other with a view to the (ethical) acceptability, sustainability and societal desirability of the innovation process and its marketable products”. In this sense, Orange Fiber has developed a product by stepping into some problematic aspects of both the fashion industry and the food manufacturing industry. It has aligned its activity to the increasing demand of sustainable fashion from more environmentally concerned consumers, to the need of dealing with byproducts from the food manufacturing industry and to the expectations towards more sustainable fashion brands that consumers have developed over time.

Over time, companies have integrated CSR within their operations. Current CSR efforts tend to focus more on later phases of a product lifecycle, such as the manufacture, use, and disposal of products. RRI emphasizes the earlier phases of R&D, innovation, and design when addressing responsibility in product development and its life cycle phases. This is exactly what Orange Fiber is doing.

The goal of developing an RRI strategy is to “identify early in the product development and life cycle process of new innovations, what potential social effects are associated with the invention and how to accommodate these before the technology’s embedding is irreversible or can only be undone at high costs and with delays in market launch”. Orange Fiber is a clear example of an attempt to identify the possible effects associated with their product. As stated by the company itself, its goal is to “make the world we live in a better place”. In fact, during a 2020 TEDxTalk, Enrica Arena, the co-founder of Orange Fiber, expressed some key aspects that society should take into consideration when it comes to fashion: people should buy less, but buy better; people should wear for longer what they have and repair garments instead of disposing them. This goes to show that the company aims at revolutionizing the fashion industry thanks to its technology, by providing high quality products that have a smaller impact on the environment. In fact, it also states that “We are committed to bringing sustainable design values to the fashion industry” 

Orange Fiber is also proof of the importance of collaborative strategies and the benefits they may bring, especially within the start-up world. Before the foundation of the firm, the two co-founders, collaborated with Politecnico di Milano University, to conduct a feasibility study of the product. In August 2013 the innovation was patented, and, in the same month of the following year, the patent was extended in international PCT. This patent “gives the owners the legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a limited period”. In these terms, the Orange Fiber technology is exclusive to them and this sets a strong base for a competitive advantage for the firm. In fact, they aim at “establish (themselves) as the first Italian mover in the segment of sustainable fabrics through a “green” production of cellulosic fabrics from renewable sources, and to create a highly recognisable textile brand for its commitment toward environmental protection and transparency”
In 2015, Orange Fiber was the winning firm of the annual H&M Foundation’s Global Change Award. The firm was awarded with grant of €150,000 and a year of innovation accelerating, provided by the H&M Foundation in collaboration with Accenture and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. 

On top of the initial collaboration, the first collection made with Orange Fiber fabric was launched by Salvatore Ferragamo, an Italian top fashion house, in 2017. The collaboration represented the first marketed Orange Fiber product. Salvatore Ferragamo was in fact the first fashion house to make use exclusively of Orange Fiber fabrics. In 2019 the innovative fabric was then used in H&M’s Conscious Exclusive collections 

The collaborations of H&M and Salvatore Ferragamo helped Orange Fiber gain visibility in the fashion industry as a possible substitute to, for instance, cotton or polyester. And this represents one valuable aspects of collaborations, which increased visibility for both brand: visibility for Orange Fiber thanks to the visibility provided by the two well know and established firms, and visibility for the two firms that show interest in environmental and sustainability matters.

Among the challenges that Orange Fiber has faced, and that is still facing, is the problem related to the industrial scale up and the optimisation of the costs of production. It is challenging to make sure to exploit synergies with citrus squeezers and their processes, and to work simultaneously work with industrial players in the cellulosic industry in order to meet the industry’s standards of production.  

As for now, Orange Fiber is still aiming at scaling up their production. It may be beneficial for the firm to develop alliances with other textile firms in order to scale the production. However, this strategy could pose some threats to Orange Fiber. Most importantly it can be highlighted the loss of control over the technology. In this sense, despite it being patented, Orange Fiber could experience being victim of opportunistic behaviour from the allied firm which could, for instance, learn how to use the technology and, in case of bigger size, overtake Orange Fiber, therefor Orange Fiber’s first mover advantage would be jeopardized.

The Digitalization of Financial Advisors: the trend of robo-advisors

Robo-advisors are digital advice platforms that provide automated, algorithm-driven investment services without any human supervision. They are often very inexpensive and require very low opening balances compared to human wealth managers.

Since the technology behind robo-advisors is not new, given the fact that automated portfolio allocation existed in the early 2000s already, the innovation lies in the fact that they do not require intermediation from any traditional financial advisors anymore. 

You are probably wondering how robo-advisors work. They first ask information about the client’s financial situation, risk-profiling and investment goals through an online survey and then use data to offer advice and to invest the client’s assets. Specifically, many of them offer a variety of investment-related services that can be considered as an improvement from traditional investment banking, such as an easy account setup, attentive customer service, comprehensive education, and most importantly low fees.

In order to develop a profitable robo-advisor is crucial to think of an efficient revenue model, which basically indicates how the digital advice platform is going to make money. The main source of revenues is the management “wrap” fee based on assets under management (AUM), which is usually lower if compared to traditional advisors.  Apart from it, robo-advisors can make money also through the interest earned on cash balances, which becomes a significant source only if there are many users, through payments for order flow and by marketing targeted financial products and services to their clients.

There are many examples of robo-advisors that can be mentioned. However, the best-in-class robo advisors nowadays are Betterment and Wealthfront that have the significant competitive upside of having respectively no and low ($500) account minimums if compared to other competitors. Whereas in terms of AUM, the major player is Vanguard Personal Advisor Services, with an amount of assets under management equal to $170 Bn. 

The main advantages of these digital financial advisors are the fact that they are more accessible and efficient then traditional human advisors. Users can access their services 24/7, as long as they have an Internet connection and can operate on their balance within a few clicks in the comfort of their home. Furthermore, by eliminating human labor, they also represent a low-cost alternative to traditional advisors. They offer the same services at a fraction of the cost, charging an annual flat fee that ranges from 0.2% to 0.5% of clients’ total account balances. This fee is definitely convenient especially if compared to the typical rate of 1% to 2% charged by a human financial advisor. Finally, robo-advisors require significantly less capital to get started, from hundreds to thousand depending on the users’ needs and on which digital advisor they decide to opt for. This represents a huge incentive for potential users to access their services considering the fact that human advisors typically require an initial minimum capital of $100,000 to invest.

However, robo-advisors have their downsides as well. Given the newness of this phenomenon, they have been often criticized for lacking in sophistication and empathy. Moreover, they limit the options that you can make as an individual investor since users cannot purchase individual stocks or bonds nor choose which mutual funds or EFTs they invest in.

Robo-advisors are becoming increasingly popular among investors, but only the future will tell whether this is a temporary phenomenon or if it is a trend that is going to stay.

TECH SERIES: Drone Project

The Drone Delivery Project was worked on by our members Aryan Mishra, Francesca Argenziano, Daniele Micheleti and Aliya Davletshina.

It was intended to solve a synthetic code challenge by Google. The problem was first released during the 2016 qualification round of Google’s annual coding competition, Hash Code.

If you’d like to find out more, email as.bsi@unibocconi.it

Importance Of Assistive Tech Innovations

In the past decade there have been many new advances in assistive technology. A staggering one billion people are benefiting from an assistive technology! Assistive technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that improves the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities. China, United States, Germany, Japan and South Korea are the five main origins of innovation in assistive technology as patent data filings show. 

Some well-known examples of such technology include workSmart gloves, driverless cars, and robotic arms. One particular revolutionary assistive technology that should be highlighted is eSight! It consists of electronic glasses that were recently released and allow the visually impared to “see”. Visually impaired students traditionally use a combination of braille, audio books, and talking calculators as assistive devices in the classroom but eSight is hoping to add their revolutionary glasses to that list of solutions. eSight claims that the electronic glasses let the legally blind actually see, without the need for any surgery. In particular the glasses contain a high-speed, high-definition camera that captures everything the user is looking at, and then algorithms enhance the video feed and display it on two OLED screens in front of the user’s eyes, in a format that is palatable for the eye.

 This could obviously revolutionize the classroom experience for visually impaired students. Thanks to advances in assistive tech, these students can now view the board from any seat, easily read from books, tablets, and computers, move independently between classes, and participate in on and off campus events, which is truly remarkable! 

Soon we will hopefully see more integrated technology and  hopefully a more inclusive and better world be realised.

Where does Europe stand with respect to Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) as become one of the top issues at the center of the European Commission and national governments’ attention. This domain bears many opportunities for the European economy and welfare; however, it has also raised some doubts on its ethics, regulation compliance and its implementation process. The political and societal debate has come to see the strategic importance of AI, which would drive economic development and spur innovation. Indeed, Artificial Intelligence is one of the goals that shall be achieved with uttermost importance according to the European policy on a “Digital Europe”.

A key element for positioning the EU among the actors on the forefront of Artificial Intelligence would be holding high-quality data. The Commission underlines the need for legal clarity in AI implementation, especially for what concerns data protection. Thus, in 2016, it proposed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)to promote a coordinated approach of data sharing across Member States and industries. Brussels underlines that AI is not only a matter of technological development, but also an ethical and societal values. The great power of Europe is mirrored by its great human centric responsibility – protecting data subjects and benefitting citizens are the milestone of AI-based applications.

“Digital Europe” has played the role of ground-breaking in the process of AI progress and improvement. Although on the other side, Europea has much at stake to fulfil its potential. Only a small percentage of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are adopting Big Data and AI for their business; some lack from the so-called know-how, while others have not set digital innovation of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (ML) as their priority. Moreover, infrastructures have been shifting towards the digital and the cyber only in recent years. 

From a national and international perspective, synergetic and cooperation are in the process of being developed, but it is not an easy task. R&D should be in the top-list of Member States’ investments or else it is not possible to make the most of European Artificial Intelligence, but it is not. It is also possible to find reluctance in sharing information with other actors about innovation and digital trends. States should be ready to overcome their sentiment of nationality to achieve harmonization. The “co-ordinated plan on Artificial Intelligence” in intended for harmonization and the alignment of AI application with European fundamental rights, principles and regulations. Any actor involved, from public to private, must evince the required levels of transparency and accountability.

The European landscape is fragmented, and each situation calls for a case-by-case solution. Different sectors have specific different applications of AI. Anyhow, this matter has always existed, and the EU has already being working on the harmonization processes, adopting both a vertical and horizontal approach.

The Covid-19 pandemic has obliged the entire world to take a leap from traditional operations and has accelerated digitalization within all sectors – workplace, education, bureaucracy. Europe has responded pretty good to the challenge and shall keep steering in this direction.