European startups will get a massive boost from a new generation of AI infrastructure – and it’s coming just in time.

This is according to Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang, who says: “We’re now seeing a major second wave.”

Huang was speaking at Scaleway’s ai-Pulse conference in Paris.

Two elements are propelling this force, he explains. First, “a recognition that every region and every country needs to build their sovereign AI”. Second, the “adoption of AI in different industries,” as generative AI spreads throughout the world.

“So the types of breakthroughs that we’re seeing in language I fully expect to see in digital biology and manufacturing and robotics,” Huang says, noting this could create big opportunities for Europe with its rich digital biology and healthcare industries. “And of course, Europe is also home of some of the largest industrial manufacturing companies.”

Huang expressed his views on the European AI ecosystem, especially in France, where the government has invested millions of euros in AI research and development.

“Europe has always been rich in AI expertise,” he says, noting that Nvidia works with 4 000 startups in Europe, more than 400 of them in France alone.

Highlighting the critical role of data in AI’s regional growth, Huang notes companies’ increasing awareness of the value of training AI with region-specific data. AI systems need to reflect the unique cultural and industrial nuances of each region, an approach gaining traction across Europe and beyond.

Huang adds that he is a “huge fan” of open source and open science in AI.

“Let’s acknowledge that without open source, how would AI have made the tremendous progress it has over the last decade,” Huang says.

“And so the ability for open source to energise the vibrancy and pull in the research and pull in the engagement of every startup, every researcher, every industry is really quite vital.”