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New Digital Europe Programme invests over €176 million in European digital capacities and tech

A new set of calls has been launched from the 2023-2024 Digital Europe work programme. boosting work in AI, data, cloud, skills, and digital public services.

Following the adoption the amended work programmes for 2024 for the Digital Europe Programme, (DIGITAL) in December 2023, the European Commission is today launching a set of calls worth over € 176 million in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), data, cloud to edge infrastructure, the deployment of digital public services, and digital skills. The deadline for the calls is 29 May. These calls roll out strategic investments that will be instrumental in making this Europe's Digital Decade.

Artificial Intelligence

The European Union has announced a substantial funding of €67.5 million to invest in projects to accelerate and strengthen the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in Europe. This includes support for businesses and SMEs in their preparation for compliance with the AI Act. Examples include an EU AI innovation accelerator, which will accelerate innovation in trustworthy AI by providing a range of services and tools to providers of AI systems, in particular to SMEs, to prepare for and facilitate compliance with the AI Act.  Other investments in support of the AI Act include the coordination at EU level for the AI regulatory sandboxes, and the establishment of Union Testing Facilities, to help Member States authorities in the verification of the compliance of AI systems placed on the market.

These calls will also have a focus on AI-assisted healthcare with projects supporting work in pathways for AI in healthcare. This will foster the development and uptake of new AI-based healthcare products and services that significantly improve patient safety and wellbeing, while preserving their privacy and safety. There will also be investment in projects that facilitate the use of AI in support of Quantum-Enhanced Metabolic Magnetic Resonance Imaging Systems. This will mean the use of AI techniques to analyse the vast amount of data generated by this quantum imaging technology. It will lead to faster, more accurate and personalised diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up notably of cancer and neurological disorders.

Generative AI in the EU will also receive investment. One example of activity is the Alliance for Language Technologies announced in the recent AI innovation package. This will support the creation of European large language models and generative AI, thus enriching European linguistic diversity in this respect, and providing better autonomy for the use and sharing of European data. Funding will also be made available for a large-scale project to support a European foundational model. This will make available one open-source large language foundation model with an infrastructure designed to be largely used by public or private users, in particular by European SMEs. This will ensure that European businesses and users will have trustworthy foundation models that include all the official languages of the Member States.


€74 million will be invested in data and data-related activities under the Digital Europe Programme calls launched today. This includes the continuation of deployment of sectorial common data spaces, such as data space for skills, the Green Deal, agriculture, energy, manufacturing, and mobility. Such investments continue the European Commission’s work with the development of the data market and the general capitalisation of data, investing in common European data spaces in strategic economic areas and areas of public interest.

Concerning the area of health data space, actions will support patient’s access to their health data, as well as those that will demonstrate the benefits of a common format for exchanging of electronic health records for healthcare providers. Also within the context of health data, investments will be made to prepare an EDIC for facilitating the uptake of genomics and the European genomic data infrastructure (so called: 1+ Million Genomes) .

In the field of culture and data, funds will be provided for a competence centre for 3D deployment. This will provide cultural heritage institutions the means to accelerate their digital transformation and adoption of technologies such as AI, extended reality, and virtual worlds.

Cloud to Edge infrastructure

In line with the European Data Strategy and the need to have highly distributed and decentralised data processing, the Digital Europe Programme will invest €30 million to create a pilot project that shows the benefits of using Telco Edge technology in different areas and industries. This project will encourage the balanced use of Telco Edge and IoT Edge technologies, ensuring their interoperability. This will mean that in the future different edge solutions from the telecom and industrial sectors will be able to work together effectively.

Furthermore, this project should help the EU reach its Digital Decade targets, by incentivising the balanced deployment of climate-neutral highly secure edge nodes across the EU. All of this will be done with a view to providing every European citizen, business, and public services with data services with millisecond-levels of latency.

Advanced Digital Skills

Calls will also be launched to invest €4 million in advanced digital skills, with investment in the Digital Skills and Jobs Platform to help adults achieve basic digital skills, and a project on ‘girls and women in digital’ to feed better policy in achieving the Digital Decade target of gender convergence in the ICT sector.

Public Services

To reach Digital Decade targets in respect of the digitisation of public services, this set of calls will contribute with €1 million to support a project on innovative and connected public administrations. This project will create a virtual environment where European public administrations can come together to test and develop interoperability solutions for access to digital public services, across EU borders.


The Digital Europe Programme is the first funding programme of the EU focused on bringing digital technology to businesses and citizens. With a planned total budget of €7.5 billion over 7 years, it is contributing to the digital transformation of Europe's society and economy, bringing benefits in particular to small and medium-sized businesses. The Digital Europe Programme is implemented by multiannual work programmes.

The Digital Europe Programme complements investments under other EU programmes, such as the Horizon EuropeEU4HealthInvestEU, the Connecting Europe Facility, as well as investments under the Recovery and Resilience Facility. The Regulation establishing the Digital Europe Programme was published in the Official Journal of the EU on 11 May 2021, entered into force on the same day, and has applied retroactively since 1 January 2021.

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