The Digital Europe Programme (DEP) provides funding for projects in five areas, including artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and advanced digital skills, and ensures the use of digital technologies across different sectors, like transport among others. The programme is designed to bridge the gap between digital technology research and market deployment.
The programme focuses on building essential capacities and advanced skills in key digital technologies, as well as on accelerating their deployment and making the best use of them in areas of public interest and the private sector.
Selected EU policies and initiatives are maximising the potential of transport and mobility data to drive the digital and green transformation of the sector, including the 2020 European Strategy for Data of February 2020 and the 2022 Data Act proposal. In this framework, DEP is supporting the implementation of the mobility data space. A preparatory action has been launched to map existing initiatives and identify potential common building blocks. A deployment action will then help make available large amounts of data in machine-readable format, with a focus on urban mobility. Moreover, the Connecting Europe Facility programme is supporting a coordination mechanism to federate National Access Points.
Some recent DEP calls (November 2022) in the area of sustainable mobility include the €8 million deployment call for the common European mobility data space, with primary focus in identifying and supporting the deployment of mobility data sharing use cases in the area of urban mobility, based on data space building blocks. Another €8 million deployment call focused on the data space for smart communities, and encompassing predictive traffic management and sustainable mobility planning. It exploits synergies with the common European mobility data space and with the data available on transport National Access Points, and makes use of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Indicators (SUMI).
DEP aims to accelerate the economic recovery and shape the green and digital transformation. By doing so, it complements the funding available through other EU programmes, such as the Horizon Europe programme for research and innovation and the Connecting Europe Facility for digital infrastructure, the Recovery and Resilience Facility and the Structural funds. The lead DG is DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology, with other DGs also involved.
In December 2023, the European Commission adopted the amended DEP work programme 2023-2024, outlining the objectives and specific topic areas that will receive a total of €762 million in funding. Recognising the growing importance of artificial intelligence, the work programme devotes one fifth of its funding to strengthening AI support. The work programme is executed mainly through grants and procurements.