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Call: Governance of the community

Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Digital Europe"

The general objectives of the Digital Europe Programme shall be to support and accelerate the digital transformation of the European economy, industry and society, to bring its benefits to citizens, public administrations and businesses across the Union, and to improve the competitiveness of Europe in the global digital economy while contributing to bridging the digital divide across the Union and reinforcing the Union’s strategic autonomy, through holistic, cross-sectoral and cross-border support and a stronger Union contribution.

The Programme shall be implemented in close coordination with other Union programmes as applicable, and shall aim:

  1. to strengthen and promote Europe’s capacities in key digital technology areas through large-scale deployment;
  2. in the private sector and in areas of public interest, to widen the diffusion and uptake of Europe’s key digital technologies, promoting the digital transformation and access to digital technologies.

It will reinforce EU critical digital capacities by focusing on the key areas of artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, advanced computing, data infrastructure, governance and processing, the deployment of these technologies and their best use for critical sectors like energy, climate change and environment, manufacturing, agriculture and health. Thus, the Programme shall have five interrelated specific objectives:

  1. Specific Objective 1 – High Performance Computing
  2. Specific Objective 2 – Artificial Intelligence
  3. Specific Objective 3 – Cybersecurity and Trust
  4. Specific Objective 4 – Advanced Digital Skills
  5. Specific Objective 5 Deployment and Best Use of Digital Capacity and Interoperability.

The Digital Europe Programme is strategic in supporting the digital transformation of the EU industrial ecosystems targeting upskilling to provide a workforce for these advanced digital technologies. It supports industry, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and public administration in their digital transformation with a reinforced network of European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH). The Programme will accelerate the economic recovery and drive the digital transformation of Europe.

Specific Objective 1- High Performance Computing

The financial contribution from the Union under Specific Objective 1 – High Performance Computing shall pursue the following operational objectives:

  1. deploy, coordinate at Union level and operate an integrated demand-oriented and application-driven world-class exascale supercomputing and data infrastructure that shall be easily accessible to public and private users, in particular SMEs, irrespective of the Member State in which they are located, and easily accessible for research purposes, in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2018/1488;
  2. deploy ready to use operational technology resulting from research and innovation in order to build an integrated Union HPC ecosystem, covering various aspects in the scientific and industrial value chain segments, including hardware, software, applications, services, interconnections and digital skills, with a high level of security and data protection;
  3. deploy and operate post-exascale infrastructure, including integration with quantum computing technologies and research infrastructures for computing science and encourage the development within the Union of the hardware and software necessary for such deployment.

Specific Objective 2 – Artificial Intelligence

The financial contribution from the Union under Specific Objective 2 – Artificial Intelligence shall pursue the following operational objectives:

  1. build up and strengthen core AI capacities and knowledge in the Union, including building up and strengthening quality data resources and corresponding exchange mechanisms, and libraries of algorithms, while guaranteeing a human-centric and inclusive approach that respects Union values;
  2. make the capacities referred to in point (a) accessible to businesses, especially SMEs and start-ups, as well as civil society, not-for-profit organisations, research institutions, universities and public administrations, in order to maximise their benefit to the European society and economy;
  3. reinforce and network AI testing and experimentation facilities in Member States;
  4. develop and reinforce commercial application and production systems in order to facilitate the integration of technologies in value chains and the development of innovative business models and to shorten the time required to pass from innovation to commercial exploitation and foster the uptake of AI-based solutions in areas of public interest and in society.

Specific Objective 3 – Cybersecurity and Trust

The financial contribution from the Union under Specific Objective 3 – Cybersecurity and Trust shall pursue the following operational objectives:

  1. support the building-up and procurement of advanced cybersecurity equipment, tools and data infrastructures, together with Member States, in order to achieve a high common level of cybersecurity at European level, in full compliance with data protection legislation and fundamental rights, while ensuring the strategic autonomy of the Union;
  2. support the building-up and best use of European knowledge, capacity and skills related to cybersecurity and the sharing and mainstreaming of best practices;
  3. ensure a wide deployment of effective state-of-the-art cybersecurity solutions across the European economy, paying special attention to public authorities and SMEs;
  4. reinforce capabilities within Member States and private sector to help them comply with Directive (EU) 2016/1148 of the European Parliament and of the Council including through measures supporting the uptake of cybersecurity best practices;
  5. improve resilience against cyberattacks, contribute towards increasing risk-awareness and knowledge of cybersecurity processes, support public and private organisations in achieving basics levels of cybersecurity, for example by deploying end-to-end encryption of data and software updates;
  6. enhance cooperation between the civil and defence spheres with regard to dual-use projects, services, competences and applications in cybersecurity, in accordance with a Regulation establishing the European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre and the Network of National Coordination Centres (the ‘Cybersecurity Competence Centre Regulation’).

Specific Objective 4 – Advanced Digital Skills

The financial contribution from the Union under Specific Objective 4 – Advanced Digital Skills shall support the development of advanced digital skills in areas covered by the Programme in order to contribute to increasing Europe’s talent pool, bridge the digital divide and foster greater professionalism, especially with regard to high performance and cloud computing, big data analytics, cybersecurity, distributed ledger technologies (e.g. blockchain), quantum technologies, robotics, AI, while taking gender balance into account. In order to tackle skills mismatches and to encourage specialisation in digital technologies and applications, the financial contribution shall pursue the following operational objectives:

  1. support the design and delivery of high-quality, long-term training and courses, including blended learning, for students and for the workforce;
  2. support the design and delivery of high-quality, short-term training and courses for the workforce, in particular in SMEs and in the public sector;
  3. support high-quality on-the-job training and work placements for students, including traineeships, and the workforce, in particular in SMEs and in the public sector.

Specific Objective 5 – Deployment and Best Use of Digital Capacities and Interoperability

The financial contribution from the Union under Specific Objective 5 – Deployment and Best Use of Digital Capacities and Interoperability shall pursue the following operational objectives while bridging the digital divide:

  1. support the public sector and areas of public interest, such as health and care, education, judiciary, customs, transport, mobility, energy, environment, cultural and creative sectors, including relevant businesses established within the Union, to effectively deploy and access state-of-the-art digital technologies, such as HPC, AI and cybersecurity;
  2. deploy, operate and maintain trans-European interoperable state-of-the-art digital service infrastructures across the Union, including related services, in complementarity with national and regional actions;
  3. support the integration and use of trans-European digital service infrastructures and of agreed European digital standards in the public sector and in areas of public interest to facilitate cost-efficient implementation and interoperability;
  4. facilitate the development, update and use of solutions and frameworks by public administrations, businesses and citizens, including of open-source solutions and the re-use of interoperability solutions and frameworks;
  5. offer the public sector and the Union industry, in particular SMEs, easy access to testing and piloting of digital technologies and increase the use thereof, including their cross-border use;
  6. support the uptake by the public sector and the Union industry, in particular SMEs and start-ups, of advanced digital and related technologies, including in particular HPC, AI, cybersecurity, other leading edge and future technologies, such as distributed ledger technologies (e.g. blockchain);
  7. support the design, testing, implementation, and deployment and maintenance of interoperable digital solutions, including digital government solutions, for public services at Union level which are delivered through a data-driven reusable solutions platform aiming to foster innovation and establish common frameworks in order to unleash the full potential of the public administrations’ services for citizens and businesses;
  8. ensure the continuous capacity at Union level to lead digital development, in addition to observing, analysing and adapting to fast-evolving digital trends, and share and mainstream best practices;
  9. support cooperation towards achieving a European ecosystem for trusted data sharing and digital infrastructures using, inter alia, services and applications based on distributed ledger technologies (e.g. blockchain), including support for interoperability and standardisation and by fostering the deployment of Union cross-border applications based on security and privacy by design, while complying with consumer and data protection legislation;
  10. build up and strengthen the European Digital Innovation Hubs and their network.
Link Link to Programme
Governance of the community
Description of call
"Governance of the community"


This action is to support the governance of the movement6 that seeks to scale up the digital transformation of cities and communities the ‘European way, in co-creation with citizens, respecting European values and diversity, individuals’ digital rights and ensuring technological leadership in the EU. was launched in December 2019 in Oulu, Finland as a city-led initiative aimed at accelerating the digital transformation at local level according to the principles set out in the ‘Join Boost Sustain’ Declaration. This declaration, signed by mayors or leaders and ministers at regional and national level, is still open for signature, so the movement is constantly growing. The declaration includes a set of principles and commitments, focusing on scaling up solutions, sharing expertise and experience, building capacity as well as monitoring progress and impact. Non-city actors such as civil society organisations, technology providers, and research institutes can also join the movement as supporters.

This action should provide ongoing governance of the movement. The consortium will be responsible for:

  • Growing the membership of the movement, both signatories and supporters, so that all Member States are represented at national, regional and local levels and a significant proportion of the EU population is covered;
  • Growing number of technology companies as supporters that are active in supplying local digital twins and/or their components and organised around a joint vision compatible with Living-in.EU principles;
  • Supporting the co-creation work of the movement and managing its sub-groups (financial; technical; legal; education and capacity building; monitoring and measuring; communication and marketing) and iconic projects teams (including, but not limited to Local Data Platforms, Local Digital Twins, Citizen Cards and the Digital Neighbourhood Instrument);
  • Bringing consortium members’ expertise to all sub-group and iconic project domains to further develop the specifications and assets and to create new ones in close cooperation with signatories and supporters;
  • Fostering the take up of specifications and assets to increase the number of interoperable Urban Data Platforms in the EU based on commonly agreed open standards/specifications as well as the number of Urban Digital Twins;
  • Supporting the engagement of cities and communities with other relevant DEP actions for smart cities and communities as well as other EU activities and programmes in related areas (including, but not limited to the Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities, the Mission on Adaptation to Climate Change, the Intelligent Cities Challenge, Smart Cities Marketplace, ISA programme and CEF Digital, H2020 and Horizon Europe projects);
  • Facilitating the dialogue with the various smart cities and communities actors to nourish conversations about the transformation of our places and life styles towards greater sustainability, accessibility and aesthetics promoted by the New European Bauhaus to advance the construction of a more ecological, social and cultural Europe.

The consortium will report regularly to the Steering Board on its activities and will receive guidance from it regarding its strategic orientation and areas of focus. The Steering Board will comprise for example representatives of cities and communities, regions and member states, Commission Services, organisations representing cities and communities and/or regions, organisations representing citizens, organisations representing Digital industry and organisations engaged in developing digital standards.


  • Engage and coordinate signatories and supporters in the delivery of the commitments of the Join Boost Sustain declaration, in particular through the work of the sub-groups and iconic project teams and in collaboration with the EU data space for smart communities and taking into account the European Data Spaces Technical Framework developed by the Data Spaces Support Centre (see Work Programme).
  • Host, improve and maintain the website, animate and moderate community discussions, ensure engaging content is regularly provided and kept up to date, and use other communications channels as appropriate to amplify the work of the movement;
  • Organise communication and marketing campaigns and events to raise awareness of the movement and attract new members, contribute to relevant events and publications and ensure media and press coverage;
  • Coordinate and bring expertise to bear on the work of the sub-groups and the plenary meetings, in close consultation with the Steering Board;
  • Produce enhanced versions of existing specifications and assets created by the community, and create new ones in support of the digital transformation at local level for communities at various levels of digit maturity, in close collaboration with signatory cities and communities. These could include for example technical specifications to ensure interoperability of digital services within and across EU cities and communities; guidance on procurement of digital services; training materials such as online tutorials and manuals supporting development and deployment of digital solutions in cities; case studies; catalogues of services and/or use-cases.
  • Organise the supply side around a joint vision compatible with the Living-in.EU principles for the provision of Local Digital Twins solutions in Europe;
  • Follow, with the help of the supporters, the development of the most relevant standards in particular for Local Digital Twins and engage supporters to further promote the use of the MIMsPlus;
  • Promote the uptake by signatory cities and communities of assets developed by the movement;
  • Support engagement of the community in the delivery of DIGITAL Programme actions in the area of smart cities and communities and related initiatives;
  • Help supporting discussion between cities and communities actors and the Commission around the New European Bauhaus initiative underlying values.

Only one project proposal will be selected for this grant.

Expected Outcome:

  • Community Management Toolkit that enables the management and fosters the growth of the community in a sustainable manner;
  • Increased uptake of cross-domain interoperable digital solutions, including local data platforms, and AI-powered local digital twins across EU cities and communities for improved service delivery and to address societal challenges, in particular the objectives of the European Green Deal objectives and the Zero Pollution Action Plan;
  • Widespread uptake of easy-to-use digital assets developed by the community to facilitate their digital transition;
  • Increased visbility of the community, including a large increase in signatories and supporters; regular dedicated events; contributions to events in connection with related events and policy debates; active participation and co-creation with member cities and communities at various stages of their digital transformation;
  • Action Plan to maintain, make available and promote the MIMs Plus and the most relevant Local Digital Twins standards for suppliers in a user friendly manner
  • Close collaboration with EU initiatives such as the New European Bauhaus initiative, the Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities and Mission on Adaptation to Climate Change, and others as relevant, in order to promote synergies and alignment with the principles.
  • Long term sustainability plan to ensure the smooth transfer of all specifications and assets (including the platform content) and any related IPRs to any organisation that will take over the activities of the movement.
Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Digitisation, ICT, Telecommunication, Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Community Integration, European Citizenship, Shared Services, Administration & Governance, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Green Technologies & Green Deal, Justice, Safety & Security
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Iceland / Ísland
Israel / ישראל / إسرائيل
Norway / Norge
Serbia / Сpбија
Turkey / Türkiye
Ukraine / Україна Oukraïna
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Iceland / Ísland
Israel / ישראל / إسرائيل
Norway / Norge
Serbia / Сpбија
Turkey / Türkiye
Ukraine / Україна Oukraïna
Eligible applicants Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), Other, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Public Services, University, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, NGO / NPO, Research Institution, National Government, Association
Applicant details In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:
  • be legal entities (public or private bodies)
  • be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
    • EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))

  • Natural persons are NOT eligible (with the exception of self-employed persons, i.e. sole traders, where the company does not have legal personality separate from that of the natural person).
  • International organisations are NOT eligible, unless they are International organisations of European Interest within the meaning of Article 2 of the Digital Europe Regulation (i.e. international organisations the majority of whose members are Member States or whose headquarters are in a Member State).
  • EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium.
Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details Proposals must be submitted by:
  • a consortium of at least 3 applicants (beneficiaries; not affiliated entities)
The proposal should include:
  • Collective and representative groups of mayors and cities, at European, regional and national level, including those with a sectoral focus in digital and the environment;
  • Public and private organisations active in the area of the digital transformation of cities and communities with relevant expertise;
  • Research and development organisations active in the area of technology solutions addressing societal challenges and their adoption in cities and communities;
  • Civil Society Organisations with experience in citizen engagement and upskilling, in particular in areas relating to digital and environmental transformation.
Project duration max 48 months
Further info Proposals must be complete and contain all the requested information and all required annexes and supporting documents:
  • Application Form Part A — contains administrative information about the participants  and the summarised budget for the project (to be filled in directly online)
  • Application Form Part B — contains the technical description of the project (to be downloaded from the Portal Submission System, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded)
  • mandatory annexes and supporting documents (to be uploaded):
    • list of previous projects (key projects for the last 4 years)
    • ethics issues table
    • ecurity issues table
Proposals are limited to maximum 50 pages (Part B).
Type of Funding Grants
Financial details The available call budget is EUR 2,000,000. This budget might be increased by maximum 20%.

Funding rate: 100 % - Coordination and Support Actions (CSA)

Project budget (maximum grant amount): EUR 2,000,000 per project
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal. Paper submissions are NOT possible.

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