‘Digital Europe’ Program: Nearly € 2 billion to promote digital transition

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The European Commission has approved three Digital Europe work programs, identifying the objectives and specific thematic areas that will receive funding totaling € 1.98 billion.

“This first set of work programs includes strategic investments that will be crucial to achieving the Commission ‘s goals of turning this decade into Europe’ s digital decade,” the Commission said in a statement. strengthening Europe’s technological dominance and introducing digital market solutions for the benefit of citizens, public administrations and businesses.

The main work program, amounting to 1.38 billion euros, will focus investments in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and data spaces, quantum communication infrastructure, advanced digital skills and the widespread use of digital technologies throughout the economy and society, by the end of 2022.

In parallel with this main work program, the Commission has published two specific work programs:
-The first focuses on funding in cybersecurity sector with a budget of EUR 269 million by the end of 2022

-The second focuses on its creation and operation network of European digital innovation hubs, with a budget of € 329 million, by the end of 2023.

Ms. Margaret Westeyer, Executive Vice President for a Europe Ready for the Digital Age“With the Digital Europe program, we are creating a secure and sustainable digital infrastructure. We also enable businesses to gain better access to data or use artificial intelligence-based solutions. The program also invests in ensuring that the right skills are acquired.” “Europeans to be actively involved in the labor market. The aim is for everyone in Europe – citizens, businesses and administrations – to be able to benefit from market-ready technology solutions.”

Mr. Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market“This is Europe ‘s digital decade. By 2030, data, cloud computing, fringe computing and quantum computing will boost industrial and social innovation, creating new business models. Investments of $ 2 billion. announced today enable European companies – of all sizes and especially start-ups – to seize opportunities in fast-growing markets, as well as empower European citizens with the skills needed to thrive in a secure digital environment. this strengthens our technological dominance. ”

The main work program for the Digital Europe program will include investments such as:

Development of common data spaces (eg data processing, mobility and financing spaces) to facilitate cross-border data exchange for enterprises, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups, and for the public sector, as well as the development of federal infrastructure and services from the cloud to the fringes, ie a backbone of digital solutions that will ensure secure data flows.

Establishment of testing and experimentation facilities for TN-based solutions, in order to enhance the use of reliable TN (including use by SMEs and start-ups) to address key societal challenges, including climate change and sustainable healthcare (e.g. development of artificial intelligence testing facilities for health and smart cities and communities).

Development of a secure quantum communication infrastructure for the EU (EuroQCI) that will offer high resistance to cyber attacks.

Design and deliver postgraduate courses in key advanced digital technologies to enhance digital skills in Europe, including actions such as intensive digital courses for SMEs, as announced in the 2020 Skills Agenda and SME Strategy;

Establishment, operation and ongoing and ongoing maintenance of digital services that support cross-border interoperability of solutions to support public administrations (eg European Digital Identity).

The cybersecurity work program envisages investments in the development of advanced cybersecurity equipment, tools and data infrastructures. The development and optimal use of knowledge and skills related to cybersecurity will be funded, the exchange of best practices will be promoted and the widespread dissemination of cybersecurity solutions throughout the European economy will be ensured.

To help achieve its goals, the Digital Europe project will develop a network of European digital innovation hubs that will provide access to technology testing and support the digital transformation of private and public organizations across Europe, including governments at national level. , regional or local level, as appropriate. European digital innovation hubs will be an important tool of EU policies, in particular industrial and SME policy, to support business and the public sector in the dual green and digital transition.

Next steps

The first calls for proposals for the “Digital Europe” program will be published by the end of November and more calls will be published in 2022. The work programs will be implemented mainly through grants and public procurement. Some actions, such as the issues under the “Destination Land” initiative, will be implemented through indirect management, while the partner organizations will conclude contracts for the necessary developments.

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Source From: Capital

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