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Specialised education programmes in key capacity areas - Advanced digital skills analysis
Estimated EU contribution per project
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This action will deliver insights into the changing advanced digital skills demands in the EU, by gathering inputs on the existing education and training offers in the area of advanced digital skills and to what extent the current education and training offers match the needs of the current and future labour market. This action will recommend priority areas for upcoming funding programmes in the area of advanced digital skills and give indications on which type of education programmes and training is most effective for building up advanced digital skills.
The proposed project is required to include the following activities:
- Based on the work carried out by the prior DIGITAL-SO4 action LEADS, as well as based on existing literature and mapping exercises, collect information on the advanced digital skills needed by companies and the public sector related to different advanced digital technologies (e.g. AI) and to specific sectors (e.g. health). These analyses should give a general overview of how needs by companies and the public sector are evolving and detect the main trends in emerging advanced digital skills needs per each key technology area and in specific sectors. These analyses should be compared with the existing education and training offer (particularly based on a detailed analysis of the DIGITAL-SO4 funded actions), in order to come forward with a clear gap analysis to identify whether there is a need for more educational programmes or training courses in the area of advanced digital skills. These analyses should be performed on a yearly basis and should result in recommendations, mainly with regard to which key digital areas and which specific sectors should be prioritised in upcoming future work programmes of the Digital Europe Programme in the area of advanced digital skills. This activity needs to be performed in close collaboration with the involved European Commission services.
- Based on desk research, detailed analyses of the outputs of all DIGITALSO4 actions as well as based on consulting consortium members of the DIGITAL-SO4 funded actions (e.g. by running focus groups, structured interviews or surveys), regularly provide insights, explore lessons learned and propose best practices on how to:
- Better match the education programmes and training to needs of companies and the public sector;
- Increase excellence of the learning content and its components of the education programmes and training (e.g. by including practice-oriented activities);
- Increase cooperation between higher education institutions and research and industry partners (especially SMEs and start-ups) in designing and implementing education programmes and training;
- Increase the involvement of female ICT specialists in the design and delivery of education programmes and training;
- Increase attractiveness of the education programmes and training for students and training participants (and in particular female students and training participants);
- Help retaining graduates to be employed in the EU after completion of the education programmes and training;
- Help retaining and attracting highly skilled teaching staff (including from third countries), in particular female teaching staff;
- Attract teaching staff from industry to higher education institutions;
- Most efficiently purchase or lease digital solutions, equipment and infrastructure to deliver excellence in educational programmes and training.
- Conduct surveys with consortia implementing DIGITAL-SO4 actions to find out which additional support requests consortia would need most. Deploy and carry out the most relevant support measures. Provide suggestions on what activities could be further implemented to create an ecosystem between higher education institutions and research and industry partners (especially SMEs and start-ups).
- Foster coordination between the different consortia of DIGITAL-SO4 actions (e.g. by supporting the Commission in organising regular yearly meetings with consortia implementing DIGITAL-SO4 actions, by creating databases with names, contact details and area of expertise of experts from different consortia in order to facilitate their exchange and collaboration; organise additional meetings and structures to facilitate exchange between the different consortia, etc.).
- Conduct awareness-raising campaigns for the educational programmes and trainings of DIGITAL-SO4 calls and their related activities. This includes also contributing to the upcoming dedicated webpage on the Digital Skills and Jobs platform and building a brand of excellence.
- Support the actions to strengthen the dialogue between consortia implementing DIGITAL-SO4 actions and relevant other stakeholders from their targeted field (e.g. technology providers, industry associations and investors, policy makers and ministries, research organisations and experts). Map relevant stakeholders, initiatives, activities, funded projects and so forth in the actions targeting digital areas and specific sectors at EU and national level. Map additional (co-)funding opportunities for actions.
- Provide a detailed analysis of data collected from the DIGITAL-SO4 actions via a questionnaire which is part of the actions’ mandatory periodic reporting to the Commission on different performance indicators, namely Indicator 1 (Persons who have received training to acquire advanced digital skills) and 3 (People reporting improved employment situation after the end of the training supported by the Programme). Conduct an additional representative survey with students and learners from the DIGITAL-SO4 actions and from similar programmes to gather representative and comparable data for Indicator 3.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Island (Ísland), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Liechtenstein, Montenegro (Црна Гора), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна)
Education and training institution, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be:
- legal entities (public or private bodies)
- established in one of the eligible countries:
- EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))
- listed EEA countries and countries associated to the Digital Europe Programme or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature (together ‘DEP associated countries’, see list of participating countries)
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 — 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 — EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium.
Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf and offer guarantees for the protection of the EU financial interests equivalent to that offered by legal persons.
Entities composed of members may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. Please note that if the action will be implemented by the members, they should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible).
Countries currently negotiating association agreements — Beneficiaries from countries with ongoing negotiations (see above) may participate in the call and can sign grants if the negotiations are concluded before grant signature (with retroactive effect, if provided in the agreement).
other eligibility criteria
Proposals must be submitted by a consortium composed of a minimum of 4 applicants (beneficiaries; not affiliated entities) from 4 different eligible countries.
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System (accessible via the Topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section. Paper submissions are NOT possible.
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 (future coordinator, beneficiaries and affiliated entities) 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 when applicable only):
- detailed budget table/calculator: not applicable
- CVs of core project team: not applicable
- activity reports of last year: not applicable
- list of previous projects (key projects for the last 4 years, template available in part B)
- ownership control declarations: not applicable
Proposals are limited to maximum 50 pages (Part B).