Germany reportedly outlined plans to spend almost €1 billion on AI research over the next two years through public funding in an attempt to step up competition with the US, which has established a lead in the sector.

Reuters reported Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger set the target, which is almost double what it spent on research in the field previously.

As part of the plan, the country aims to create 150 new university laboratories for AI research, expand data centres and make public data sets more accessible to generate new insights.

Stark-Watzinger apparently believes Europe could hold the edge over nations like the US and China due to the continent’s regulatory framework and the potential to work with other countries in the European Union.

She further claimed Europe has more of a focus on privacy and personal safety when it comes to AI development and could therefore attract more private investment.

“We have AI that is explainable, trustworthy and transparent,” she said. “That’s a competitive advantage.”

The country, however, has a long way to go to match the outlay by the US.

Citing a Stanford University report, Reuters placed US government spending on AI at $3.3 billion in 2022, when the sector also attracted $47.4 billion in private spending.