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Most of the governments of Eastern European countries are focusing on investing and developing AI within their own borders. These countries see continuing investment in education and startups as a priority to support the growth of Artificial Intelligence industry as a core part of their own national economic development agendas. The aim of this report is to present a comprehensive overview of the most advanced AI companies operating in Eastern Europe, and present an in-depth study of 2018 Eastern Europe artificial intelligence ecosystem, segmenting the industry and showing which specific AI subsectors are most prominent in different Eastern European countries. This new report aims to outline the history, present state and future of the Artificial Intelligence industry in 11 Eastern European countries, profiling 500 companies, 230 investors, 60 influencers, 30 Hubs & Accelerators and 15 conferences. All of this contributes to the first even comprehensive and in-depth study of 2018 Eastern Europe artificial intelligence ecosystem.

Some key findings of the report include:

Evolution of AI in Eastern Europe: Countries like Poland, Romania, Estonia and Lithuania are progressing at a rapid pace due to their support of disruption-focused startups and development strategies, as well as aggressive entry into untapped market sectors. While Russia still leads the region, the rate of progress and industry development displayed by other countries indicates that they have the potential to rival Russia through the deployment of sufficiently-advanced national development strategies and the establishment of core partnerships and allegiances with EU nations.

Eastern European AI Industry National Development Strategies and EU Support: In addition to several national development strategies coming out of Eastern European countries, the past few years has seen a substantial influx of support towards Eastern European AI industry development from EU officials in Brussels. Those countries that proactively leverage this support stand the strongest chance of leading industry developments in the region within the next 5 years.

Asia Likely to Become Major Source of Investments and Partnerships Within Next 5 Years: In both parts of Eastern Europe (EU and CIS), AI companies are largely oriented towards EU or US-based clients. Similarly, Western countries are the largest source of investment into Eastern European AI companies. However, this situation is poised to shift dramatically. Asia led by China, but with Singapore and Hong Kong making substantial contributions, has become a proactive and aggressive leader of AI industry development and investment. As the socio-economic situation in Eastern Europe continues to shift, the likelihood that Asia will begin targeting Eastern European AI companies for partnerships and investments continues to increase.

The report also features in-depth comparative analyses showing which countries lead the region in terms of specific AI sectors and market niches, and compares the pace of industry progress in various countries when resources like government support and GDP are taken into account (finding, for example, that Poland has almost the same share of the Eastern European AI ecosystem as Russia, despite being 3x smaller than Russia in terms of GDP).

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