AI transformation support for SMEs
This initiative, part of the AI Change Agent West project, has supported 100 SMEs in West Sweden in beginning their AI maturity journey, ensuring that Western Swedish companies, value chains, and ecosystems now utilize the potential of AI-driven businesses and services.
Small and medium-sized companies represented a large and diverse group that, in many cases, had not even initiated their journey of change towards a digital, data, and AI-driven business. This project provided effective support to facilitate the transformation of SMEs by leveraging knowledge, tools and established relationships and networks.
The project successfully initiated and strengthened the transition to sustainable and gender-equal, data- and AI-driven businesses in 100 SMEs in Västra Götaland and Halland. This initiative significantly contributed to the business development of these companies by enhancing digital transformation directly integrated into their operations, thereby bolstering their competitiveness in regional, national, and international markets. It also opened doors for companies to become more innovative and broaden their market reach.
Starting in late May of 2023, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were able to participate in a 6-8 week project free of charge. Participants were also eligible for de minimis aid. The project included informative sessions to help SMEs understand key concepts, an AI Maturity assessment to map out a strategic path forward, and an ideation workshop to identify practical use cases with tangible business benefits.
AI-verkstan (The AI workshop)
AI-verkstan is a podcast specifically designed for small and medium-sized businesses that want to learn more about AI regardless of their industry. The conversations focus on how artificial intelligence can create value in a company, rather than what artificial intelligence is.
All episodes are in Swedish.
Why should you care about AI? That's the question Astrid Sjögren, project manager and business coach at AI Sweden, discusses in the first episode. The answer depends on who's asking the question, but better customer experiences and smoother administration are two examples that Astrid mentions.
Using AI in the right place. With AI, you can improve your business and develop your operations. But how do you find the right area for the application of artificial intelligence? In the second episode of AI-verkstan, Astrid Sjögren discusses the quest for the right use cases.
"Think of artificial intelligence as a design material that you need to understand." That's the advice from Pontus Wärnestål, a designer and associate professor in digital service innovation at Halmstad University. In this episode, he draws comparisons with previous technological breakthroughs: "If we were to roll back the discussion, the equivalent question would have been whether only electricians need to be interested in electricity. That's not the case. And you don't have to be a programmer to benefit from the possibilities of AI," he says.
Most companies lack in-house AI expertise. When you have an idea of how to use AI, you need external technology providers. Anders Bjurström is the CEO of the consulting company Tenfifty. In this episode, he shares his experiences on how to make this collaboration as smooth as possible. The conversation revolves around domain knowledge and technical knowledge - and the importance of good data. "Have a big vision, but start small," is one of Anders' most important pieces of advice.
Get started with AI is a comprehensive foundational course on artificial intelligence and how AI can be used as a tool within an organization. Supplementary questions are available for each episode to provide support.
AI introduction for Leaders will give you an overview of potential applications through concrete examples and real-world experiences.
Elements of AI was originally developed as an AI introduction for the Finnish population but is now also available in English and Swedish.
The project was led by AI Sweden in cooperation with Skövde Science Park, Innovatum Science Park, IUC Sjuhärad, HighFive Halland and Lindholmen Science Park.
The project was financed by the European Regional Development Fund, Västra Götalandsregionen and Region Halland.