Renowned French billionaire and CEO of telecom company Iliad, Xavier Niel, has recently unveiled his plans to spearhead strategic investments in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). With an intended allocation of up to $210 million (€200 million), Niel aims to revolutionize the AI landscape in Europe, boosting research and development efforts, cloud computing capabilities, and fostering innovation in the region.
Xavier Niel, the CEO and majority shareholder of Iliad, is allocating $210 million towards AI investments. Through the establishment of a research center, deployment of cutting-edge GPU cloud solutions, and the launch of a European AI conference, Niel intends to pioneer AI advancements in Europe, positioning the continent as a major player in the domain.
New Research Center in Paris
Iliad, Niel’s telecom company, has inaugurated a cutting-edge research center in Paris, marking the initial investment of $105 million (€100 million) towards AI advancements. The center aims to recruit top researchers specializing in AI and provide grants to doctoral students. Through active collaboration with notable professionals in the field, the center will generate research papers, facilitate the creation of spinoff companies, and foster public-private partnerships to advance AI technologies.
Scaleway’s Expansion in AI Cloud Solutions
Scaleway, a subsidiary of Iliad, has recently ramped up its efforts in the field of GPUs and AI cloud solutions. In a significant move, Scaleway has acquired 1,016 Nvidia H100 GPUs, prized components utilized by renowned AI companies such as Meta, OpenAI, and Stability AI. With this acquisition, Scaleway solidifies its position as the largest European cloud provider in terms of GPU cloud computing capabilities.
In collaboration with Nvidia, Scaleway plans to leverage all of Nvidia’s AI tools and frameworks, further enhancing its cloud infrastructure’s capabilities. By integrating GPU resources and cutting-edge AI technologies, Scaleway aims to support the growing needs of AI-driven startups and researchers, while bolstering technological advancements in the European AI ecosystem.
European AI Conference Launch at Station F
As part of the initiatives, Scaleway is set to launch the European AI Conference at Station F, a prominent startup campus in Paris, owned by Xavier Niel. The inaugural conference, slated for November 17, is projected to attract over 1,000 participants, specifically targeting engineers and researchers engaged in AI projects.
This conference serves as a platform to showcase the latest breakthroughs, exchange knowledge, and foster collaborations among industry leaders, academics, and emerging talents. By hosting such an event, Niel aims to demonstrate Europe’s commitment to AI innovations, positioning the continent as a formidable player in the global AI landscape.
Niel’s involvement in AI goes beyond Iliad, as he also backs several AI companies through his personal holding company. His investments in Poolside and Mistral AI reflect his holistic approach to fostering AI development, including providing necessary resources such as GPU capabilities and access to a vibrant community of researchers and engineers. With his holistic strategy, Niel aims to actively shape the future of AI and ensure Europe remains at the forefront of technological innovations.