Large AI Grand Challenge – The winners are out!

The European Commission announced the winners of the Large AI Grand Challenge: four innovative AI startups from Europe will share the prize of €1 million and 8 million computational hours, advancing Europe’s leadership in AI development.

Today, Commissioner Thierry Breton awarded the Large AI Grand Challenge winners in a ceremony held at Berlaymont in Brussels.

The winners are:

🏆 Lingua Custodia (France) – A fintech company specialising in AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) for the finance sector, aiming at enhancing the fintech sector operations with solutions designed to achieve speeds five times faster than current systems.

🏆 Unbabel (Portugal) – A language technologies company headquartered in Lisbon, combining AI and human translation for multilingual support, encompassing all 24 official EU languages.

🏆  Tilde (Latvia) – Experts in language technologies, offering machine translation and AI-powered chatbots, targeting Balto-Slavic languages spoken by 155 million individuals within the EU and candidate countries.

🏆 Textgain (Belgium) – An AI start-up enabling companies and governments to gain insights from
unstructured data through predictive text analytic and focusing on the analysis of hate speech, an area of significant concern that has historically received limited attention.

Large AI Grand Challenge award ceremony

These four startups will share a total prize of €1 million and an allocation of 8 million GPU hours on two of the world-leading EuroHPC JU supercomputers, LUMI and LEONARDO. The awarded supercomputing time will be essential for developing their large-scale AI models over the next 12 months and will enable them to reduce training times from years to weeks. Following this period, the winners are expected to release their developed models under an open-source license for non-commercial use or publish their research findings. 
All these initiatives underscore the extensive innovation and strategic focus within AI development in Europe, addressing a wide spectrum of areas from linguistic inclusivity, to societal challenges, and efficiency in different sectors.

In November 2023, the Large AI Grand Challenge was launched to foster European innovation and excellence in large-scale AI models. 

The competition led by AI-BOOST was developed in collaboration with the European Commission and the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking.

As announced by President von der Leyen in January 2024, the Large AI Grand Challenge was the first step in a comprehensive package of measures to support European AI startups and SMEs.  This initiative not only highlights the European Union’s commitment to fostering technological innovation but also sets the stage for a collaborative future where European AI talent and resources are optimally harnessed This initiative aligns with the GenAI4EU initiative, which aims to create AI solutions that empower strategic sectors within the EU and the public sector.

The Large AI Challenge received a total of 94 proposals, showcasing the competitive nature of Europe’s AI landscape. 


AI-BOOST is a project funded by the EC’s Horizon Europe programme that has a central focus on establishing and managing highly scalable AI open innovation competitions, fostering scientific advancements in critical AI domains.

AI-BOOST is composed of a strong consortium of seven partners: ZABALA, F6S, CINECA, INESC TEC, Univerzita Pavla Jozefa Safarika V Kosiciach, EIT DIGITAL and Universitat Pompeu Fabra.


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