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Call key data

Towards networked Local Digital Twins in the EU

Funding Program

Digital Europe

Call number




21.11.2024 17:00

Funding rate


Call budget

€ 20,000,000.00

Estimated EU contribution per project

€ 20,000,000.00

Link to the call

Link to the submission

Call content

short description

Building on the Data Space for Smart Cities and Communities and the EU Local Digital Twin (LDT) Toolbox, both supported by the WP 2021-2022, and in synergy with the action “Developing CitiVerse”, the main objective of this action is to consolidate existing results and move towards an ecosystem of mature LDT-based infrastructures and services across the EU to help cities and communities achieve economies of scale to access and deploy data platform and LDT-based services.

Call objectives

The action is divided in three objectives, each to be achieved through a separate work strand. These objectives will be implemented through three work strands by a single project that will provide cascading funding to third parties through a single or several calls, as deemed appropriate.

Objective 1: Technical inter-connection of existing LDTs: Developing and connecting existing urban data platforms and LDTs-based infrastructure from cities and communities that already have a LDT in place, to create national cloud-based and data-driven infrastructure offering Digital Twin advanced services. These advanced services will be offered to cities and communities of different size and levels of maturity, and become the basis for a EU “federation” of LDTs potentially linked through the SIMPL middleware platform. Reinforced interoperability through the aggregation of LDTs at a larger scale (cross sectors, cross cities, and cross borders) will help to scale up the EU common data sets and open-source solutions. It will also pave the way for less advanced cities and communities who wish to join the existing EU LDT ecosystem and national cloud-based infrastructure for urban data platforms and LDTs. 

Objective 2: Creation of LDTs based on common needs: Developing open-source pilots for LDTs offering advanced services in new sectoral areas fundamental for cities, based on shared needs of cities and communities that already have a local data platform and/or a LDT and want to expand them with new real-life use case services and services. These new sectoral LDTs will address several key policy scenarios and urban management areas such as urban development, city mobility, climate change mitigation, optimising energy grids, mitigating air pollution, managing waste, and enhancing water resource management.

These services should strive to enhance urban management, serving as the basis for well informed decision-making processes and fostering meaningful interaction among citizens.; reduce risks, costs, and downtime; enhance efficiency, resilience and sustainability of LDT platforms and enable new value creation. Furthermore, it will foster the creation of common LDT infrastructures, creating cooperative service platforms for smaller communities’ collective use, maintenance of LDT tools for the needs of cities and communities, collaborative data spaces, including access to high end services like high-performance computing, trustworthy AI, and key technological initiatives at EU level. 

Objective 3: Adding new advanced AI-based tools to the LDTs toolbox: Complementing the EU LDT toolbox launched under WP2021-22 with additional more advanced AI-based and innovative open-source components underpinning novel use cases and emerging services, as highlighted by initiatives such as GenAI4EU e.g. generative AI models, virtual worlds, adaptable multi-sector considerations, advanced simulation and modelling approaches including bottom-up self organised models. The AI services should be developed and tested within existing cities/communities and be transferable to other contexts.

Work strands:

Work strand 1: Federate existing urban data platform and LDTs-based infrastructure from cities and communities that already have a LDT in place to create national cloud-based infrastructure for smart Communities, by sharing available resources among individual initiatives. This will lay down the foundations for a trans-national EU LDT ecosystem and advanced services. When connecting LDTs, and their related data sets, projects should align with the smart cloud-to-edge middleware platform SIMPL to achieve interoperability and make use of horizontal initiatives available under the Digital Europe programme such as the Data Space for Smart Communities’ blueprint, the EU data cloud infrastructure, and the EU LDT toolbox. This can be done by forging alliances among cities and communities that have already established Local Digital Twins (LDTs) to consolidate their urban data platforms. By federating these existing infrastructures, we can establish the foundation for deploying a national cloud-based infrastructure customized for smart communities. This approach enables cities and communities at varying levels of technological advancement to participate and benefit from the shared resources and expertise. As a result, less technologically advanced cities and communities can seamlessly integrate into the ecosystem, fostering inclusivity and driving collective progress towards smarter, more resilient communities. Through resource-sharing among individual initiatives across the EU, we can effectively scale up and enhance the capabilities of these platforms, fostering collaboration and synergy to drive innovation and sustainable development. 

Work strand 2: Customising advanced Digital Twin services by developing and piloting solutions and sectoral LDTs based on common policy needs of cities and communities where interoperability and collaboration are to be enhanced. These pilots will address several policy scenarios (for key urban areas) such as urban development, city mobility, optimising energy grids, mitigating climate related problems, managing waste, and enhancing efficient water resource management. 

The customised Digital Twin services should be tested in real-life conditions and expand the EU LDT ecosystem by making use of and expanding the EU LDT toolbox catalogue. The pilots should aim at including at the following activities:

  • Designing real life use cases for urban planners based on open and interoperable data sets across sectors. The use of these data sets should follow requirements of the Data Space for Smart Cities and Communities' blueprint;
  • Building and deploying the pilot services on LDT platforms at city/community level with real use case data;
  • Provide and package the technical solutions supporting LDT-based customised services as open source and make it available to the EU LDT toolbox catalogue. 

Work strand 3: Add new advanced AI-based components to the forthcoming EU LDT toolbox to address the needs of cities/communities: 

  • Develop and deliver new AI-based services such as generative AI to create simulations, predictive models and forecast in a variety of sectors and use cases amongst which address the objectives of the New European Bauhaus, public services, and communities’ resilience.
  • Develop and deliver solutions for designing, optimising, and testing urban policies in dynamic complex environments with several interwoven sectors (e.g., traffic volume and pollution levels). AI classical optimization may be complemented with self-organised bottom-up solutions that will offer the necessary adaptability and robustness.
  • Develop and deliver new complex AI-based services related to citizens’ engagement, with or without the use of eXtended Reality technology to address aspects of the New European Bauhaus initiative and implement a sustainable, democratic, and citizen-centric CitiVerse.
  • Provide and package the AI-based components into an out-of-the-box solution so that they be reused and become part of the EU LDT toolbox catalogue.

read more

Expected results

  • An EU ecosystem of LDTs sharing a common interoperability blueprint, addressing joint repositories, capacity building actions and cooperative approaches coordinated by the consortium managing the community of pilots.
  • An increase in the number of national infrastructures for urban data platforms and digital twins, anchoring advanced services compatible with the EU data cloud infrastructure, and reusing interoperable and open-source tools from the EU LDT toolbox.
  • New technical solutions of the EU LDT toolbox supporting LDT-based customised services in several policy scenarios and key urban management areas.
  • New AI-based solutions extending and supplementing the catalogue of the EU LDT toolbox for cities and communities.
  • Increasing and maturing the AI services offering in the public domain with new predictive modelling services and immersive solutions, paving the way to the CitiVerse.

Eligibility Criteria

Regions / countries for funding

EU Member States, Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT)
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Iceland (Ísland), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Liechtenstein, Montenegro (Црна Гора), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна)

eligible entities

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)

Mandatory partnership


Project Partnership

Proposals must be submitted by: 

  • A consortium of at least 3 applicants (beneficiaries; not affiliated entities) and which complies with the following conditions: 
    • minimum 3 independent entities from 3 different eligible countries

Targeted stakeholders: Public and private entities such as (but not limited to): public administrations (national, regional, and local level), the EDIC “Networked Local Digital Twins towards the CitiVerse”, technology developers and suppliers, research and academia. It is important to note, due to the type of action chosen, that members of a potential consortium cannot be beneficiaries of the cascading fund.

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 (list of participating countries)
  • Entities must not be directly or indirectly controlled from a country that is not an eligible country unless they comply with the requirements to guarantee the protection of the essential security interests of the Union and the Member States and to ensure the protection of classified documents information as set out in the relevant work programme (conditions for foreign controlled entities - guarantees).

Specific cases:

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 without legal personality — 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.

Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’.

other eligibility criteria

The budget for this topic is 20 million Euro; one single project will be sought for. Within the open call for cascading grants, the selected project should ensure that at least 85 % of the budget is allocated to the cascading funding, from which at least 30 % is allocated to work strand 1 activities; at least 30 % to work strand 2 and at least 15 % to work strand 3. The indicative duration of the action will be 42 months.

Financial support to third parties is allowed for grants or similar forms of support 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. 

Projects involving EU classified information must undergo security scrutiny to authorise funding and may be made subject to specific security rules (detailed in a security aspects letter (SAL) which is annexed to the Grant Agreement).

Additional information


Air Quality, Biodiversity & Environment, Climate & Climate Change, Water quality & management, 
Digitalisation, Digital Society, ICT, 
Rural & Urban Development/Planning

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)

project duration

42 months

Additional Information

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):
    • 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): applicable
    • ownership control declarations (including for associated partners and subcontractors): applicable

Proposals are limited to maximum 70 pages (Part B).


European Commission, Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology

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