|Description of programme
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:
- to strengthen and promote
Europe’s capacities in key digital technology areas through large-scale deployment;
- 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:
- Specific Objective
1 – High Performance Computing
- Specific Objective 2 – Artificial Intelligence
- Specific Objective 3 – Cybersecurity
- Specific Objective 4 – Advanced Digital Skills
- 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:
- 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;
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;
- 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.
Objective 2 – Artificial Intelligence
The financial contribution from the Union
under Specific Objective 2 – Artificial Intelligence shall pursue the following operational objectives:
- 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;
- 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;
- reinforce and network AI testing and experimentation facilities in
- 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
- 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;
- support the
building-up and best use of European knowledge, capacity and skills related to cybersecurity and the sharing and mainstreaming
of best practices;
- ensure a wide deployment of effective state-of-the-art cybersecurity
solutions across the European economy, paying special attention to public authorities and SMEs;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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’).
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:
the design and delivery of high-quality, long-term training and courses, including blended learning, for students and for
- 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;
- 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:
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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);
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- build up and strengthen the European Digital Innovation Hubs
and their network.
|Description of call |
"Data Spaces Support Centre"
objective of this action is to set up and operate a Support Centre, which coordinates all relevant actions on sectorial data
spaces and makes available (blueprint) architectures and data infrastructure requirements for the data spaces, including possible
technologies, processes, standard and tools that will allow reuse of data across sectors by the public sector and European
businesses, notably SMEs.
It will also support the work of the envisaged Data Innovation Board in view of enhancing
the interoperability of data as well as data sharing services between different sectors and domains. In particular, it will
identify cross-sector standards to be used and developed for data use and cross-sector data sharing, it will carry out cross-sectoral
comparisons and identify best practices with regards to sectoral requirements for security, access procedures, while taking
into account sector-specific standardisations activities.
The creation of the Support
Centre will have three main work strands.
- The first work strand will support the creation of a network of stakeholders
that will have the following main tasks:
- Support the creation of a community of
practice in the field of data sharing. The community will have to include and engage in the discussion also the participants
to the projects supported under Data for EU (see section 2.2).
- Liaise with the actions under section 2.1 and to promote
the competitive and seamless access and use of cloud infrastructures and services.
- The second work
strand in collaboration with the network of stakeholders will have the following main tasks:
- Identify the common requirements for data infrastructure across sectoral data spaces (e.g. technical design, functionality,
operation and governance, legal and ethical aspects).
- Define the guiding design principles for the creation of data
- Identify architecture and technical data governance frameworks establishing enabling schemata both at sector
or domain level and for cross-sector data use.
- Identify the common building blocks essential for the creation of the
sectoral data spaces and define technical specifications. These will include: identification & authentication of parties,
access rights management and access control, mechanisms for recording consent including portability of such consent, standards
and interoperability protocols, data analytics technologies including natural language processing technologies, metadata and
data models for sharing data across sectors and data exchange mechanisms.
- Identify common standards, including semantic
standards and interoperability protocols – both domain-specific and crosscutting.
- Identify the potential for synergies
between data spaces and coordinate related cross-cutting exchanges between data spaces.
- Identify and promote data
governance models, business models and strategies for running data spaces.
- Identify and address legal issues and other
- Identify common toolboxes that could be used across data spaces.
third strand will aim to create a platform to support the knowledge exchange between all actors in the data economy and provide
support for the deployment of the common building blocks necessary for implementation of sectoral common data spaces. The
platform will have the following main tasks:
- Offer and promote the use of common
architecture and technical data governance especially those identified by the network of stakeholders.
- Identify missing
solutions by using the guiding design principles and develop the necessary technical specifications to be procured under topic
2.1.1. All solutions should be open source software, should be possible to use for cross-data space, cross-domain synergies
- Test and approve the solutions and make them available to the data spaces.
- Publish good
practices for standards, technical tools such as APIs, and provide advice on other practical and legal questions.
access to model contract clauses tested in previous data transactions and backed by public authorities.
- Liaise with
all relevant activities in the programme including concurrent data space initiatives, to facilitate access to data for AI,
with Advanced Digital Skills actions and with European Digital Innovation Hubs, especially, but not exclusively to support
the participation of SMEs.
- Liaise with relevant related initiatives at European and international level including
those funded under the research programmes Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe.
- Provide support to the preparation of
new data spaces as indicated in the Data Strategy.
of this action will be the creation of a Support Centre, which will promote and coordinate all relevant actions on sectorial
data spaces and will make available technologies, processes, standard and tools that will support the deployment of common
data spaces and will allow reuse of data across sectors.