Italy sets up €1B AI fund, mulls new penalties for the tech’s misuse

Key Points:

  • Italy commits €1bn to AI development over the next five years.
  • The investment will be divided into funding startups, scaling mature companies, and technology transfer from university research to market.
  • Italy is drafting AI legislation focusing on ethical rules and potential penalties for crimes assisted by AI tools.


Italy, with the support of state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), is committing €1 billion to AI development over the next five years. This initiative, announced by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, aims to act as a multiplier and attract further investment in AI. The funds, provided by CDP’s venture capital arm, will be divided into three areas: €580 million for startups, €300 million for mature companies looking to scale abroad, and €120 million for technology transfer from university research to market.


In addition to this investment plan, Italy is working on AI legislation that will complement the EU’s AI Act. Prime Minister Meloni emphasized the importance of developing AI within an ethical framework that prioritizes people’s rights and needs. The draft bill includes provisions for heavy penalties for AI-assisted crimes such as money laundering, market rigging, and copyright infringement. The specific timeline for the legislation’s implementation remains uncertain.


Italy’s strategic investment in AI and the planned legislation reflect the broader European movement to boost innovation and economic competitiveness in the field while implementing safeguards to address potential risks. This proactive approach aligns with the EU’s efforts to advance AI technology responsibly.



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