The Digital Europe Programme will provide strategic funding to answer these challenges, supporting projects in five key capacity areas: in supercomputing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, advanced digital skills, and ensuring a wide use of digital technologies across the economy and society, including through Digital Innovation Hubs. With a planned overall budget of €7.5 billion (in current prices), it aims to accelerate the economic recovery and shape the digital transformation of Europe’s society and economy, bringing benefits to everyone, but in particular to small and medium-sized enterprises.
The Digital Europe Programme will not address these challenges in isolation, but rather complement the funding available through other EU programmes, such as the Horizon Europe programme for research and innovation and the Connecting Europe Facility for digital infrastructure, the Recovery and Resilience Facility and the Structural funds, to name a few. It is a part of the next long-term EU budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027.
What will the Digital Europe Programme fund?
Build up and strengthen the EU’s supercomputing and data processing capacities by buying world- class exascale supercomputers by 2022/2023 (capable of at least a billion billion or 1018 calculations per second) and post exascale facilities by 2026/2027. Increase accessibility and broaden the use of supercomputing in areas of public interest such as health, environment and security, and in industry, including small and medium-sized enterprises.
2. Artificial intelligence
Invest in and open up the use of artificial intelligence by businesses and public administrations. Set up a true European data space and facilitate safe access to and storage of large datasets and trustworthy and energy efficient cloud infrastructure. Strengthen and support existing artificial intelligence testing and experimentation facilities in areas such as health and mobility in Member States and encourage their cooperation.
Strengthening cybersecurity coordination between Member States tools and data infrastructures. Support the wide deployment of the cybersecurity capacities across the economy.
4. Advanced digital skills
Support the design and delivery of specialized programmes and traineeships for the future experts in key capacity areas like data and AI, cybersecurity, quantum and HPC. Support the upskilling of the existing workforce through short trainings reflecting the latest developments in key capacity areas.
5. Ensuring the wide use of digital technologies across the economy and society
Support high impact deployments in areas of public interest, such as health (complemented by EU4Health programme), Green Deal, smart communities and the cultural sector.
Build up and strengthen the network of European Digital Innovation Hubs, aiming to have a Hub in every region, to help companies benefit from digital opportunities.
Support the uptake of advanced digital and related technologies by the industry, notably small and medium-sized enterprises.
Support European public administrations and industry to deploy and access state of-the-art digital technologies (such as blockchain) and build trust in the digital transformation.