The EU-funded HumanE-AI-Net project brings together leading European research centres, universities and industrial enterprises into a network of centres of excellence. Leading global artificial intelligence (AI) laboratories will collaborate with key players in areas, such as human-computer interaction, cognitive, social and complexity sciences. The project is looking forward to drive researchers out of their narrowly focused field and connect them with people exploring AI on a much wider scale. The challenge is to develop robust, trustworthy AI systems that can ‘understand’ humans, adapt to complex real-world environments and interact appropriately in complex social settings. HumanE-AI-Net will lay the foundations for designing the principles for a new science that will make AI based on European values and closer to Europeans.