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Specialised education programmes in key capacity areas
Estimated EU contribution per project
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Link to the submission
The objective of this call topic is to support excellence in higher education institutions, making them world leaders in training the digital specialists of the future and to increase the capacity of the educational offer in the area of advanced digital skills. This should lead to the development of dynamic digital educational ecosystems where higher education institutions as well as innovative partners from industry and research work together to attract and retain the best talents worldwide.
The primary objective of this call topic is to support the design and delivery of higher education programme(s), such as bachelor’s and master’s leading to a degree (at ISCED levels 6, 7 or equivalent - hereafter programmes) and to develop related selfstanding modules (online, hybrid or in-person) leading to a certification. These programme(s) and module(s) need to be co-designed jointly between higher education institutions, and industry and/or research partners in the consortium. The choice of the type(s) of programme(s) and self-standing module(s), as well as the precise curricula and the modalities (e.g. bachelor or master programme; single or joint degree; academic or professional programme, etc.) is left to the consortium, provided that they all result in a degree (applicable for programme(s)) and certification (applicable for self-standing module(s)) released by the higher education institution(s). For the education programme(s) and self-standing module(s), consortia are highly encouraged to include practice-oriented components (e.g. acquisition of practical experience in a company/organisation, visits of industry facilities or research organisations, etc.).
Proposals under this topic must address the design and delivery of at least one of the following types of programmes:
- Type 1: Programme(s) to build up advanced digital skills in one or in a combination of the following key digital areas (this list is not exhaustive, however below areas are the digital key areas that are highly encouraged):
- Artificial intelligence
- Cloud and/or edge computing
- Extended reality
- Internet of Things
- Quantum technologies
- Type 2: Interdisciplinary programme(s), targeting at the acquisition of advanced digital skills in specific sectors. Sectors to be addressed include (the list is not exhaustive):
- Media and culture
- Sustainable and autonomous mobility
- Type 3: Conversion programme(s) for students graduated from a bachelor’s programme from non-ICT fields to access specialised master’s programmes in the areas listed above in point 1.
The proposed project(s) must address at least one of the objectives below and one or more sub-objectives (detailled list available on pages 7-12 of the call document)
- Design and deliver programme(s) and self-standing module(s) that provide students with the necessary theoretical and practical advanced digital skills and knowledge to contribute to the design, deployment and use of the current and future generation of digital technologies and equip users of advanced digital technologies in non-ICT sectors with the necessary advanced digital skills;
- Attracting qualified teaching staff and students;
- Upgrading participating higher education institutions with digital solutions, equipment and infrastructure, with a special focus on interoperability of IT systems;
- Establishing structural and sustainable partnerships between the members of the consortium.
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 6 applicants (beneficiaries; not affiliated entities) from 5 different eligible countries.
Financial support to third parties is allowed in for grants and prizes under the following conditions:
- the calls must be open, published widely and conform to EU standards concerning transparency, equal treatment, conflict of interest and confidentiality;
- the calls must be published on the Funding & Tenders Portal, and on the participants’ websites;
- the calls must remain open for at least two months;
- if call deadlines are changed, this must immediately be published on the Portal and all registered applicants must be informed of the change;
- the outcome of the call must be published on the participants’ websites, including a description of the selected projects, award dates, project durations, and final recipient legal names and countries;
- the calls must have a clear European dimension.
- Your project application must clearly specify why financial support to third parties is needed, how it will be managed, and provide a list of the different types of activities for which a third party may receive financial support. The proposal must also clearly describe the results to be obtained.
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: Please be aware that since the detailed budget table serves as the basis for fixing the lump sums for the grants (and since lump sums must be reliable proxies for the actual costs of a project), the costs you include MUST comply with the basic eligibility conditions for EU actual cost grants (see AGA — Annotated Grant Agreement, art 6). This is particularly important for purchases and subcontracting, which must comply with best value for money (or if appropriate the lowest price) and be free of any conflict of interests. If the budget table contains ineligible costs, the grant may be reduced (even later on during the project implementation or after its end)
- 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 70 pages (Part B).