Spain: National Artificial Intelligence Strategy

On December 2, 2020, the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, officially presented one of the fundamental proposals of the Spain Digital Plan 2025 launched last July and one of the most principal components of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan for the Spanish economy; the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy (Estrategia Nacional de Inteligencia Artificial – ENIA).

The objective of this Strategy is to promote the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Spain in an inclusive, sustainable way, and with a human-centric approach.

“Positioning our country in line with the leading countries in research and the use of reliable Artificial Intelligence at the service of economic and social development, at the service of our economic modernisation[1]

Pedro Sánchez

The National Artificial Intelligence Strategy contains seven goals: 

  1. Excellence in AI innovation to position Spain as one of the foremost European countries leading on AI
  2. The projection of the Spanish language 
  3. Spanish employment: promoting the creation of qualified employment in AI, through the promotion of professional training courses in AI
  4. Transformation of the production base, incorporating AI as a means of improving productivity (in a sustainable and inclusive manner), and ensuring the competitiveness and growth of the economy 
  5. Build an environment of trustworthy AI 
  6. Promote values in the AI sector and an ethical framework that guarantees citizens’ rights 
  7. Promote inclusive, sustainable AI as a bridge that must be crossed in order to help the country cope with necessary transitions such as climate change, bridging the social and gender inequality gap and national digital transition


To achieve these seven goals, the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy proposes an action plan for the period 2021-2015 which focuses on six strategic axes: 

  1. Promote scientific research, technological development and innovation in AI: a provisional budget of 275 million euros
  2. Promote the development of digital capability, enhance national talent and attract global talent: a provisional budget of 42 million euros 
  3. Develop data platforms and technological infrastructures that support AI: a provisional budget of 42 million euros 
  4. Integrate AI into value chains to transform Spain’s economic fabric: a provisional budget of 133 million euros 
  5. Promote the use of Artificial Intelligence in Public Administration and within national strategic operations: a provisional budget of 100 million euros
  6. Promote an ethical and regulatory framework that guarantees the protection of individual and collective rights: a provisional budget of 8 million euros 

“The implementation of this strategy will mobilise a public investment of 600 million euros in the period 2021-2023, to which will be added the contribution of the Next Tech public-private fund and which seeks to promote entrepreneurship in enabling digital technologies. The General State Budgets for 2021 provide 330 million euros for Artificial Intelligence and Data Economy”. 

At the same time, a wider range of university courses and professional training will be offered in order to help the country train the next generation of AI professionals; this could also be achieved through the launch of the “SpAIn Talent Hub” program. The Data Office and the post of Chief Data Officer will also be created at a national level, promoting shared data spaces and decentralized,  accessible repositories, thereby participating in the creation of data repositories at the EU level. Additionally, aid programs will be created to enable companies to integrate AI into production processes and value chains. The Next Tech Fund will be launched to promote entrepreneurship and business growth. With regard to the public sector, GobTechLab will be launched, and AI will be integrated into public administration to improve its efficiency. 

Finally, the President of the Spanish Government placed great emphasis on the ethical and regulatory dimension of the protection of rights. Accordingly, observatories will be set up to assess the social impact of automatic algorithms, as well as a national quality label for AI and a digital rights charter.


[1] Original version: “Situar a nuestro país en la línea de los países líderes en la investigación y el uso de una Inteligencia Artificial confiable al servicio del desarrollo económico y social, al servicio de nuestra modernización económica ”

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