Brussels and Antwerp are in the top 15 hubs of artificial intelligence talent in Europe, according to a new report from the international venture capital firm Atomico. As Europe is becoming more and more focussed on deep tech, this is a significant evolution. 

AI, machine learning, VR, AR, internet of things: Europe is becoming a real powerhouse in deep tech. Innovators from all over the world are turning to European excellence, while there’s a substantial increase in the developer base in these sectors.

This is one of the conclusions in ‘The State of European Tech’, a new report from venture firm Atomico and the Finnish tech conference Slush. Since 2011, the number of deep tech startups founded in Europe has grown with a factor 3.5.

Nearly 2.3bn dollars has been invested in deep tech in Europe since 2015, compared to the 1.7bn dollar that was invested over the four-year period between 2011 and 2014. 2016 was a bumper year with 88bn in deep tech M&A, while more US and Asian tech giants as well as European corporates and investors are investing into, or acquiring, deep tech companies and tapping into a growing deep tech talent pool.

Not surprisingly to some, Brussels (12) and Antwerp (14) are also in the top 15 European hubs of artificial intelligence talent in Europe. London takes the number one spot here, followed by Paris (2) and - this is a surprise - Madrid (3). Other hubs where you might not immediately expect to find AI talent, are Cologne (14), The Hague (13) and Copenhagen (9).

Atomico and Slush use LinkedIn data as a source for their conclusions. To be more precise: cities with the highest amount of LinkedIn members with artificial intelligence skills. The following skills were considered: AI, machine learning, computer vision, deep learning, neural networks and natural language processing.

Proliferation of entrepreneurship 

Other findings in the report suggest that - more and more - talented European entrepreneurs are building companies across European cities, also in lesser known places. This proliferation of talent, entrepreneurship and ambition has sparked deep engagement in regions where there was previously only a minor tech presence. In other words: great tech companies can come from anywhere now.

It also turns out that Europe has many more developers than anyone thought, and those developers are increasingly engaging with entrepreneurs, or are becoming entrepreneurs by themselves.

While it’s true that we do see a poor funding quarter here or there, the overarching trend in venture financing luckily is a positive one. Deal volume and capital inflows remain at record levels in Europe, across the major tech hubs as well as promising new hubs.

Read more