October 12, 2023

Start IA Wallonia: Boost your business with artificial intelligence with B12


Artificial intelligence is more than ever at the heart of corporate strategies, offering unprecedented opportunities for players of all sizes. From SMEs to large corporations and public operators, the use of artificial intelligence has become essential for decision support, optimizing operations and proposing new offers. It's against this backdrop that the "Start IA" project was launched in Wallonia, an initiative aimed at supporting companies wishing to explore ways of integrating AI into their activities. B12 Consulting is proud to have been selected as an expert in this program to support Walloon companies in their transformation and innovation process.

In this article, we answer the main questions you, as a Walloon company, may have about the Start IA program.

How can AI help my company?

Artificial intelligence offers significant advantages in terms of efficiency, innovation and profitability. Companies often have data, but aren't sure how best to exploit it.

Here are just a few examples of what AI can do for your business:

  • Supply chain optimization: AI steps in to predict delays or inefficiencies, enabling you to take preventive action and cut costs.
  • Advanced predictive maintenance: By monitoring equipment in real time, AI can recommend specific actions to maintain or repair machines, and predict when equipment is likely to break down, enabling you to prevent costly unplanned downtime.
  • Automatic analysis and processing of documents (texts, diagrams and other complex data): AI can extract information, compare or classify documents, summarize them, amend them, answer questions about them, determine the action to be taken, detect non-conformities, ...
  • Anomaly and defect detection: whether from image streams on production lines, transaction logs or production data, AI algorithms help increase product quality and reduce defects and waste.
  • Human resources department support: AI can support the recruitment process by providing analysis tools that complement the human review of CVs, enabling a balanced and efficient approach.
  • Real-time market analysis: AI can scrutinize market trends and competitor movements, offering business intelligence to guide your strategies.
  • Optimized energy consumption: AI systems can automatically adjust energy use in your facilities, reducing costs and ecological footprint.
  • Improved customer service: AI-powered chatbots can handle routine queries 24/7, freeing up your staff for more complex tasks.
  • Increased sales: Intelligent algorithms can personalize offers based on customers' buying behavior, increasing conversion rates and revenues.
  • Reducing customer churn: Using predictive analytics, AI can identify customers likely to leave your service, giving you the chance to retain them.
  • Digital twins: Use AI to create digital replicas of industrial machines or systems, enabling you to simulate, test and optimize performance in a virtual environment.
  • Process optimization: In chemical, pharmaceutical or biotech industries, AI can help optimize process parameters to maximize yield or quality, and identify and anticipate anomalies.

This list is just a glimpse of the many possibilities that AI can offer companies to optimize operations and stimulate innovation.

Start IA for SME

What is a Start IA?

The "DigitalWallonia4.ai" program was launched by the Agence du Numérique, the AI Network, the Infopole ICT Cluster and Agoria. It aims to accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence in Wallonia. It includes a special focus on businesses, offering a range of support programs to facilitate their digital transformation. Three support programs have been set up to achieve this objective:

  • Start IA: enables a 360° analysis of the possibilities for integrating AI and targeting the opportunities most relevant to your business.
  • Tremplin IA: for companies wishing to carry out a feasibility study or Proof of Concept (PoC).
  • Cap IA: to help companies bring their AI product to market.

As an accredited expert for Start IA and Tremplin IA, B12 Consulting can support you in this process. In concrete terms, during a Start IA mission, we carry out an assessment of your company's activities, identify AI-related opportunities, and rank them according to their profitability potential.

Is my company eligible for the Start IA program?

Most companies or associations can participate regardless of their size, level of digitalization or field of activity. However, the organization must meet a few conditions. Contact us to find out more.

If you are a company based in Flanders, have a look at our article related to the "Start IA Flanders" program.

How much will it cost my company?

In October 2023, unless there is a change, the maximum subsidy of €3,500 will cover 70% of expenses.

When should I apply?

This scheme is open on a permanent basis and subject to budget availability: so don't delay in contacting us. Acceptance times are fast.

How do I participate in the Start IA program?

It's easy to get involved: we invite you to contact us for an initial discussion. The administrative formalities are straightforward.

Start IA in Wallonia

Can public-sector organizations participate?

Yes, Walloon public entities can also submit an application (cities, communes, provinces, public hospitals, intercommunales, public administrations or public administration units). You can also contact us to schedule a discussion.

Would you like to boost your company's growth and competitiveness with AI? Don't hesitate to contact us at info+start-ia@b12-consulting.com.

Vincent Boucher, Managing Partner

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