The diversity and potential of AI applications are nearly limitless. Today, a growing number of businesses and citizens unknowingly rely on AI-driven solutions to enhance their work and life. As these innovative technologies become increasingly mainstream, MSMEs should adopt AI to maintain their competitive advantage. This study will shed light on the opportunities and challenges of AI uptake for Europe’s MSMEs with an in-depth sectoral and EU Member State analysis. Effective actions are proposed that could boost AI uptake in MSMEs and include:
Supporting education and training systems to ensure AI skills demanded by the labour market are acquired and general knowledge on AI is gained, which in turn enables civil society members to be responsible and informed users of AI devices and applications
Ensuring MSMEs, the largest employers in Europe, have a targeted support system from finance and infrastructure to data availability and interoperability, allowing for a successful pan-European AI adoption
Raising awareness about issues such as cybersecurity and the potential impact of data bias
Guiding best practices, promoting success stories, and sharing experiences that can serve as a starting point for a broad AI uptake among MSMEs
The study presents a toolbox for both policymakers and MSMEs to support the uptake of AI within MSMEs and preserve their economic relevance in Europe.