Adopting new technologies

The report looks into how major European companies – across various sectors and markets – approach AI strategically, how far they are in adopting AI technologies and how they rate the impact and benefits from implementing AI. Compared to their European peers, Dutch companies are slightly ahead on AI, especially when it comes to the importance placed on new AI developments and on how they rate the maturity of their own efforts of adopting AI technologies.

The importance of AI

According to the report, AI is considered an important topic across all levels in Dutch companies, which may be related to the recent influx to the country’s workforce of graduates with AI-related backgrounds. Within executive management, 73% of the Dutch companies surveyed report that AI is an important item on their agenda, and companies in the Netherlands are also among the highest in Europe in terms of considering AI to be an important topic for non-managerial employees.

Early adopters

The report also states that most companies in the Netherlands are engaging in successful pilot projects and proofs of concept, or have AI initiatives that are released into production. Another aspect where the Netherlands fare better than other European countries is that both business needs and IT innovations drive AI advancements. And AI is managed through a combination of top-down and bottom-up approaches in 45% of Dutch companies, which puts them well above the European share at 28%.

Icon of digital success

“The report shows that Dutch companies are early adopters of AI, which is a clear competitive advantage,” says Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer for Microsoft, in his foreword. Ernst-Jan Stigter, general manager of Microsoft Netherlands, adds: “The Netherlands is the largest and one of the fastest-growing digital economies in Western Europe,” and calls for the country to stay ahead in the transformation towards digitisation, to “enable the Netherlands to be the icon of digital success for the world.”

Amsterdam’s AI industry

Thanks to investment from the City of Amsterdam, a wealth of top talent and successful partnerships between multinationals, startups and researchers, Amsterdam is leading the way in artificial intelligence. One of the biggest developments in AI in the city is the AI hub planned by the UvA and the City of Amsterdam, which will tap into the booming global AI market by acting as a base for co-creation between the university, research institutes and the private sector.