European Commission Allots Two Billion Euro for AI, Quantum and Digital Skills

The  European Commission has adopted a Digital Europe Programme and allotted it €1.98 billion (US$2.25 billion) of funding as part of Europe’s Digital Decade initiative1. The funding is split into three programs, which in turn spread across the overall objectives.

The Commission agreed on the €7.5 billion ($8.5 billion today)  Digital Europe Programme2 in December 2020 as part of the 2021-2027 budget period to boost the bloc’s “technological sovereignty” via the development of supercomputing (€2.2 billion earmarked), artificial intelligence (€2.1 billion), cybersecurity (€1.7 billion), advanced digital skills (€580 million) and “ensuring the wide use of digital technologies across the economy and society” (€1.1 billion).

The latest funding announcement3 shows that the main work program will receive €1.38 billion for investment in AI, “cloud and data spaces” that facilitate cross-border data sharing and edge computing, quantum communication infrastructure, advanced digital skill and the wide use of digital technologies across society and the economy until the end of 2022. The main program budget release will also go towards funding “set-up, operations and evolving and continuous maintenance of digital services supporting cross border interoperability of solutions in support of the public administrations (e.g. European Digital Identity).”

The EU is currently developing a regional digital identity system based on digital wallets with biometric access control.

An additional two work streams will receive €269 million for cybersecurity and €329 for establishing and operating a network of European Digital Innovation Hubs across the  EU.