The Programme initiated by the Commission will aim to increase the EU's international competitiveness, as well as develop and reinforce Europe's strategic digital capacities in 5 spheres while leading green transition towards climate neutrality by 2050 and ensuring technological sovereignty.
- With a budget of €8.2 billion, the Digital Europe Programme aims to build the strategic digital capacities of the EU and facilitate the wide deployment of digital technologies, to be used by Europe’s citizens, businesses and public administrations.
- This Programme aims to trigger investments by the EU, Member States and industry for the next 7 years in 5 spheres between which the programme is divided, which include the following actions deemed to also impact the digitalisation of the health sector:
1. €2.4 billion for high performance computing (HPC)
- Build and strengthen the EU’s supercomputing and data processing capacities by buying world- class exascale supercomputers by 2022/2023 and post exascale facilities by 2026/2027.
- Increase accessibility and expand the use of supercomputing in areas of public interest such as health, including small and medium-sized enterprises.
2. €2.2 billion for artificial intelligence (AI)
- Invest in and open up the use of AI by businesses and public administrations.
- Set up a European data space and facilitate safe access to and storage of large datasets and trustworthy and energy efficient cloud infrastructure.
- Strengthen and support existing AI testing and experimentation facilities in areas such as health and mobility in Member States and encourage their cooperation.
3. €1.2 billion for digital technology across the economy and society
- Support high technological impact deployments in areas of public interest, such as health and the Green Deal.
- Build up and strengthen the network of European Digital Innovation Hubs, aiming to have a Hub in every region, to help companies benefit from digital opportunities.
- Support the uptake of advanced digital and related technologies by the industry, notably small and medium-sized enterprises.
4. €600 million for advanced digital skills
Support the design and delivery of specialised programmes and traineeships for the future experts in key capacity areas like data and AI, cybersecurity, quantum and HPC.
5. €1.8 billion for cybersecurity
- Strengthen cybersecurity coordination between Member States tools and data infrastructures.
- Support the wide deployment of cybersecurity capacities across the economy.
- Boost Europe’s capabilities in optical communications and cybersecurity through Quantum Communication Infrastructures.
- The Commission, the Council and the European Parliament are expected to strike a full inter-institutional agreement on the Digital Europe programme in Autumn 2020;
- The Digital Europe programme is expected to start allocating grants as of 1 January 2021.