December 10, 2018
The EU is setting up a new funding programme, Digital Europe, to be launched in 2021 to support the digital transformation of Europe’s societies and economies.
The Council has now agreed its position on the proposal, which aims to increase large-scale deployment of key digital technologies and encourage their uptake.
The programme will provide funding for projects in five areas: supercomputing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, advanced digital skills, and ensuring wide use of digital technologies across the economy and society.
The Council says that funding for projects to build up high-performance computing will benefit areas such as healthcare, car safety and renewable energy. With EU support, public authorities and even the smallest businesses will have better access to artificial intelligence testing facilities, which will help spread the use of AI. Funding will also be given for cyber defence and state-of-the-art cybersecurity equipment.
The programme will also support advanced digital skills training for the current and future workforce, as well as for small and medium-sized enterprises and public administrations. The provision of financing will help the digital transformation of public administrations and enhance the EU-wide interoperability of such services. The programme also reinforces the network of Digital Innovation Hubs providing access to technological expertise for businesses, in particular SMEs, and public administrations.
Digital Europe will be complementary to a number of other programmes supporting digital transformation, such as Horizon Europe and the digital aspects of the Connecting Europe Facility.
The text agreed is the Council’s position for negotiations with the European Parliament. Both institutions have to agree on the text before it can enter into force. To read the Council’s press release in full and for a link to the agreed text, click here.