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Negotiators agree on Digital Europe Programme
15. December 2020 News

Negotiators agree on Digital Europe Programme

On 14 December 2020, the negotiators of the Council and of the European Parliament reached a provisional deal on the Digital Europe programme. 

The programme focuses on building the strategic digital capacities of the EU and on facilitating the wide deployment of digital technologies. With an overall budget of €7,588 million, the Digital Europe programme will provide funding for projects in five areas: high performance computing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and trust, advanced digital skills and deployment, best use of digital capacities, and interoperability. A network of European digital innovation hubs will provide access to technological expertise for businesses and public administrations.

The Digital Europe programme will provide funding for projects in five crucial areas, each with their own indicative budget:

  • high performance computing: €2 226 914 000
  • artificial intelligence: €2 061 956 000
  • cybersecurity and trust: €1 649 566 000
  • advanced digital skills: €577 347 000
  • deployment, best use of digital capacities, and interoperability: €1 072 217 000

A network of European digital innovation hubs will provide access to technological expertise for businesses – in particular SMEs – and public administrations. These hubs will bring together industry, businesses and administrations in need of new technological solutions on the one hand, and companies that have market-ready solutions on the other. With a broad geographical coverage across Europe, the hubs will play a central role in the implementation of the programme.

The programme will be put into practice through multiannual work programmes covering one or more of the five action areas. It will involve co-financing from member states and, when needed, from the private sector. The co-financing rate will be established in the work programmes. The work programmes will also set out the eligibility criteria for the actions under the Digital Europe programme. Grants under the programme may cover up to 100% of the eligible costs.

Digital Europe will be complementary to a number of other programmes supporting digital transition, such as Horizon Europe, which focuses on research and technological development, and the digital aspects of the Connecting Europe Facility.

The provisional agreement reached today is subject to approval by the Council. It will now be submitted to the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) for endorsement.

 

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