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The 2022 Report: Nordic State of AI – launched today

AI in the Nordics: large enterprises dominating industry newcomers as the knowledge gap widens

The second annual Nordic State of AI report shows that investments in AI in Sweden have increased from 200 million dollars to 500 million dollars in the last two years.

Silo AI, one of Europe’s largest private AI laboratories, today published its second annual Nordic State of AI report. The report, prepared in collaboration with 15 Nordic governmental and research organizations – among them Digital Futures – indicates that AI is moving from a period of startup hype into a phase of enterprise implementations. While overall investments in the Nordics have risen in the previous years, the lack of talent and data continues to pose a significant challenge for scaling the use of AI.

Karl Henrik Johansson, Director of Digital Futures and Professor at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, says: “Nordic cooperation plays a decisive role in the development of AI in Sweden. We already know that research and teamwork have played a crucial role in developing new generations of telecommunications technology with Nokia, Ericsson and many others. Although the most important industrial sectors differ in Nordic countries, a strong collaboration between the private and public sectors and the academic world is crucial. We have to get even more involved in the future.”

A more mature time in the use of AI is already here, and the new Nordic State of AI report gives various evidence to support this. One clear indication is that the knowledge gap between large enterprises utilizing AI and industry newcomers is widening, and the number of new AI startups is decreasing. Also, AI is used increasingly as a part of companies’ products and services: 73% of AI active companies surveyed for the Nordic State of AI report said this was their main use case for AI.

The Nordic State of AI survey responses also indicates that companies and organizations are continuously developing their use of AI. A third reported that they expect to adopt new AI solutions within the following 3 months, and close to 75% within a year. Also, 90% replied that AI is either Highly important or Important for their organization.

Other sources also support the idea of a growing Nordic AI activity, especially in large enterprises. According to Eurostat 2022, all Nordic countries score above the EU average, with 8% of enterprises using AI. Denmark is the clear leader in the Nordics and the EU, with a 24% user percentage. Finland’s enterprises were the second most active users, with 16% of enterprises using AI. Norway follows with 11%, and Sweden holds the last position among the Nordics at 10%, still above the EU average.

Peter Sarlin, CEO of Silo AI comments: “The use of AI in the Nordics is developing fast, and as our report suggests, we are moving into a more mature phase in AI deployment. AI is no longer considered a standalone solution but an inseparable part of products and services. Many AI startups from only a few years back have disappeared, not because of decreasing AI investments but because of a focus shift in how AI is utilized.”

Investments in AI in Sweden are increasing, but knowledge is still an obstacle.

Even though the use of AI seems to be maturing, a big part of AI investments is still geared towards experimenting with AI. Out of those surveyed for the Nordic State of AI, 55.5% said this was one of their investment targets during the next 6 months. Many also invest in specific AI use cases (47.1%), recruiting more talent (47.1%) and AI infrastructure (45.4%).

All Nordic countries have significantly increased their venture capital investments in AI in recent years. Especially Sweden has seen this increase, as VC investments have more than doubled in just two years, from less than $200 million in 2020 to over $500 million in 2022. Finland stands out with the least invested VC euros, barely exceeding $100 million. Overall, all Nordic VC investments in AI are estimated to decrease year on year in 2022, with the exception of Sweden.

One of the clearest obstacles to scaling the use of AI, according to the findings in the Nordic State of AI report, is the lack of talent. Almost half of the surveyed companies say they invest financially into recruiting new talent in the next 6 months. Many rely on internal talent when it comes to AI. 79.8% say they prefer to use internal expertise, which puts pressure on recruiting. Close to a third say that they use external experts as a resource for developing their AI, and 13.5% say they have outsourced their AI development entirely.

According to the 2022 Nordic Innovation report, Sweden’s best practice has been the Start Your AI Journey initiative. The initiative provides support to the non-public and private sectors in cases where limited funding hinders the transition to AI. Sweden has succeeded in creating an environment where collaboration between research and industry is appreciated and even promoted by the private sector.

For more information, please contact:
Pauliina Alanen, Head of Brand, Silo AI +358 50 462 2533
Peter Sarlin, CEO, Silo AI +358 40 572 7670

Download the report directly from the Digital Futures website here: Report_Nordic_State_of_AI_2022

More information about the Nordic State of AI report:

About the Nordic State of AI report: Nordic State of AI is an annual report by Silo AI, one of Europe’s largest private AI laboratories. The report concentrates on the state of artificial intelligence in the Nordic region, with the goal of providing business leaders, academics, policymakers, and anyone interested a comprehensive overview of the Nordic AI market. The report also catalyses new opportunities by bringing the Nordic organizations working with AI closer together.

This year, the report was made in collaboration with 15 governmental or research organizations across Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden: Chalmers, Danish Industry, The Pioneer Centre for AI, Business Finland, Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence, Women in AI Finland, NORA, Norwegian Cognitive Center, Smart Innovation Norway, Digital Norway, Swedish AI Society, Digital Futures, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Nordic Innovation, and

Silo AI is one of Europe’s largest private AI labs – a trusted AI partner that brings competitive advantage to product R&D. SIlo AI builds AI-driven solutions and products to enable smart devices, autonomous vehicles, industry 4.0, and smart cities. The company provides its customers unique access to world-class AI expertise and the Silo OS infrastructure to speed up AI development and deployment. Established in 2017, Silo AI is on a mission to build a European flagship AI company with offices currently in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland.

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