About the programme
Special Objective 2 of DIGITAL aims to reinforce the EU’s core Artificial Intelligence (AI) capacities as a crucial driver for the digital transformation of businesses and public administrations. As data fuels the development of AI, DIGITAL also aims to set up sectoral European data spaces with the aim of linking them in the future into one true European data space. DIGITAL will also facilitate safe access to and storage of large datasets and trustworthy and energy-efficient cloud infrastructure. In addition, DIGITAL will strengthen and support existing artificial intelligence testing and experimentation facilities in areas such as health and manufacturing in the Member States and encourage their cooperation.
Three main interlinked work strands are foreseen in the first two years of implementation of the Digital Europe Programme:
- The deployment of cloud-to-edge infrastructure and services compliant with EU rules, notably on security, data protection and privacy and environmental aspects. Open-source by default, they will ensure fluid data flows. Completing the picture, the deployment of the Testing and Experimentation Facility for edge-AI as a role model in showing effective ways to comply with existing legislation, and taking into account relevant codes of conduct and guidelines.
- The establishment of sectoral data spaces, based on the above federated cloud-to-edge infrastructure and with tailored governance mechanisms to enable secure and cross-border access to key datasets in the targeted thematic areas, such as Green Deal, smart communities, mobility, manufacturing, agriculture, cultural heritage, health, media, skills, language technologies, financial sector, public administrations and tourism. A Data Space Support Centre will coordinate the various initiatives to ensure that data will be accessible across different sectors.
- The deployment of sectoral AI reference testing and experimentation facilities (for health, smart communities, manufacturing, and agriculture) to provide common, highly specialised resources to be shared at European level. In addition, the AI-on-demand platform will be consolidated as a catalogue of AI-based resources and marketplace, for trustworthy AI tools made in Europe for both private and public sector use.