On November 10, 2021, the European Commission detailed the first three roadmaps of its “Digital Europe” program, which will receive funding of 1.98 billion euros. This program, with a global endowment of 7.5 billion euros, aims to build “safe and sustainable digital infrastructures”, explains Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president in charge of competition policy.
1.38 billion euros in artificial intelligence, cloud and quantum
The main roadmap, with a budget of 1.38 billion euros until 2022, will focus on investments in the areas of artificial intelligence, cloud, data, quantum and digital skills.
In detail, it provides for the deployment of common data spaces to facilitate cross-border data exchange for companies and the public sector. The construction of test and experimentation facilities for AI-based solutions is also planned to stimulate the use of “trusted AI” in the health and climate change sectors.
Furthermore, this roadmap aims to establish master courses in key advanced digital technologies, to strengthen skills in Europe. The deployment of a quantum communication infrastructure, dubbed “EuroQCI”, is also on the table.
At the same time, Brussels published two more specific roadmaps: one on cybersecurity (€ 269 million) and the other on the operation of a network of European digital innovation hubs (€ 329 million). The Commission wishes to fund the development and better use of information security related knowledge and skills and to promote the exchange of best practices. The network of European digital innovation centers must support the digital transformation of public and private actors.
The first calls for projects published in November
The content of the envelopes will be distributed through calls for projects. The first is due to be published at the end of November 2021 and then in 2022. The work programs will be implemented mainly through grants and public procurement, the Commission specifies.
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