The Digital Europe Programme (DIGITAL) is an EU funding programme which is focused on bringing digital technology to businesses, citizens and public administrations.It complements already existing funding in other EU programmes, such as the Horizon Europe programme for research and innovation, the Connecting Europe Facility for digital infrastructure, and the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
DIGITAL aims at accelerating the recovery and driving the EU’s digital transformation, building the EU’s strategic digital capacities, and facilitating the wide deployment of digital technologies.
The programme thus funds projects in 5 key capacity areas:
- Artificial intelligence
- Advanced digital skills
- Ensuring the wide use of digital technologies across the economy and society, including through European Digital Innovation Hubs
The main recipients for the Digital Europe programme are public and private organisations, industry and SMEs, as well as scientists, academics and universities.
Typical DIGITAL projects include, but are not limited to:
- Acquisition of exa-scale machines related to high-performance computing
- Set-up of data spaces and testing and experimentation facilities for artificial intelligence
- Setting-up of cybersecurity centres
- Master courses on use of advanced digital technologies
- Deployment of a network of European digital innovation hubs, offering public and private organisations support in their digital transformations
- Support for interoperability, in particular for public administrations
The total budget for the 2021-2017 period is estimated at 7.9 billion Euro, divided as follows according to the area:
|2.2 billion Euro
|2.1 billion Euro
|1.6 billion Euro
|Advanced digital skills
|580 million Euro
|Ensuring the wide use of digital technologies across the economy and society
|1.1 billion Euro
The budget is disbursed in 2 different ways:
- In the form of grants and procurements directly managed by the Commission, under the direct management scheme
- Under indirect management for the high-performance computing and cybersecurity actions, by the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) and the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre.
More details on funding purposes per area can be found here.
National Contact Points
When preparing a proposal to be submitted for a DIGITAL call, it is recommended that you discuss its value as well as any queries you may have with your National Contact Point (NCP).
NCPs are national structures established and financed by governments of the 27 EU member states and the states associated to the framework programme. Their role is to give personalised support and in applicants’ own languages.
You can check the full list here.
When preparing a project proposal, it is also advisable to check the list of previously approved projects, so you can take inspiration from them and build on their results.
You can access the project results platform here.
One Digital Europe project which was recently funded and which addresses the Maltese context is PRISM (Physical Security for Public Infrastructure in Malta).
With a budget of 15 million Euro, this 30-month project aims to build the first national quantum communications secure network spanning all of Malta and Gozo in order to allow for Critical infrastructure to be secured and for communications to pass without danger of eavesdropping.
You can learn more about PRISM by visiting the project website.
EU countries, as well as countries associated to the programme (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein) are generally eligible to participate in DIGITAL projects.
However, each area of the programme has its own specific eligibility criteria, which can be found in the Work Programmes.
Therefore, for full details always consult the DIGITAL Europe Work Programmes found here, or refer to the specific call documents.
New calls published
The European Commission has recently opened applications for the 5th round of Digital Europe Programme call for proposals on Advanced Digital Skills, with a total budget of 42 Million EUR.
These are related to:
- Specialised education programmes in key capacity areas and Advanced Digital Skills Analysis
- Cybersecurity Skills Academy
The Digital Skills and Jobs Platform is organising a virtual Info Day & Pitching Event on 12 December 2023 which will be dedicated to the new round of calls. You can register for the event here.
You can also check the full list of published calls under the Digital Europe programme on the Funding and Tenders Portal.
How can we help?
Navigating the vast ocean of European opportunities is a challenge, and finding the right funding call for your project is just the first step of the journey. The bigger challenge is crafting the perfect proposal that will meet all the requirements of the call and sufficiently address the expectations of the evaluators to get your project funded. When applying for EU grants, experience matters.
Here at AcrossLimits we have over 22 years of experience in funding procurement, with participation in over 80 successful EU projects to date. We have a dedicated team of experts from a broad range of sectors that can guide proposal writing and help you apply for EU funds. Furthermore, we are well-connected with industry, academia and public authorities across Europe and beyond, making sure that we can bring together the perfect consortium for your project.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you make your project idea a reality, contact us at: [email protected].