Enabling the digital transformation for people and businesses through European funding

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Digital technology is continuously changing and transforming both the lives of people and businesses. To accelerate this transformation, the European Commission is determined to make this Europe’s “Digital Decade”. Europe must now strengthen its digital sovereignty and set standards, rather than following those of others – with a clear focus on data, technology, and infrastructure. Towards this end, the European Commission (EC) has devised the Digital Europe Programme which provides strategic funding to support companies that focus their investments on digital technologies

About the Digital Europe Programme

The Digital Europe Programme is designed to support the digital transition in the EU by bridging the gap between digital technology research and market deployment. Worth €7.6 billion (in current prices), the Programme is a part of the long-term EU budget, and runs until 2027. Its aim is to foster the uptake of digital technologies by European citizens, public administrations and businesses, in particular SMEs. The programme helps to reach the EU’s goal set out in the European Data Strategy of creating a genuine single market for data. It also enables technologies to help reach Europe’s climate and environmental goals presented in the European Green Deal, such as climate neutrality by 2050, strengthening the resilience of Europe’s industry and increasing the EU’s open strategic autonomy.

Compared to the Horizon Europe programme, the main focus is on the deployment of digital technologies, instead of funding research. The Programme will provide funding for projects in five crucial areas: supercomputing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, advanced digital skills, and ensuring the wide use of digital technologies across the economy and society. The funded projects aim to target critical sectors like energy and environment, manufacturing, agriculture and health. Most calls within this Programme require collaboration with multiple partners from different eligible countries.

The programme is open to all types of entities but puts a particular focus on small and medium-sized companies. 

Focus of the 3rd wave

Officially opened on the 29th of September 2022, the third wave of this programme will specifically focus on three of the five Digital Europe objectives listed below with 14 new topic calls:

  • AI, data and cloud (6 calls available)
    • Projects that involve the interaction with large amounts of data, and increase data sharing on agile supply chain management and dynamic asset management.
    • Support for a consortium that combines data from different focus areas relevant to the European Green Deal and the New European Bauhaus.
    • Projects deploying advanced cloud-to-edge services such as edge cybersecurity services.
    • Development and deployment of a platform for all AI resources (algorithms and tools), making them available to both public and private users.
  • Cybersecurity (7 calls available)
    • Support for the market uptake and dissemination of innovative cybersecurity solutions, improve the knowledge, and auditing of cybersecurity preparedness.
    • Projects supporting existing, or establishing new Security Operation Centres (SOC) to monitor and analyse data from public internet network traffic.
    • Projects supporting 5G cybersecurity initiatives.
    • General projects that improve cybersecurity capabilities across the EU, mainly for SMEs and public organisations.
    • Projects focussing on the handling of cybersecurity incidents.
    • Projects increasing testing and certification capabilities of the EU. 
  • Advanced digital skills (1 call available)
    • Increase the capacity of the training offer for advanced technologies.
Potential benefit? 

Depending on the project specifics and the type of action of the call, funding can go up to 100% of the eligible project costs with a maximum funding amount capped at € 10 million per project.

Timing? 

The new calls are open as of September 29th 2022 and will close on January 24st 2023 at 17 PM Brussels time. Before the final cut-off date, applications must be submitted through the EC Funding & Tenders portal.

Do you want to find out more about this opportunity, or is your company considering applying for a Digital Europe call? The PwC Incentives Hub can support you every step of the way! 

Please reach out to Tom Wallyn (tom.wallyn@pwc.com) or Bart Wyns (bart.wyns@pwc.com) to learn about how we could assist you!

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