EU plans to invest €9.2 billion in key digital technologies

The EU is set to invest billions in high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and digital skills after MEPs approved funding for these projects for 2021-27.

Thinking Cyborg
The EU is investing in cutting edge technology ©AP Images/European Union-EP

The Digital Europe Programme is a new €9.2 billion funding programme whose goal is to ensure that all Europeans have the skills and the infrastructure needed to meet a full range of digital challenges.

It is part of a strategy to further develop the digital single market, which could help to create four million jobs and boost the EU’s economy with €415 billion every year while increasing the EU’s international competitiveness.

“For too many years, Europe’s tech sector has lagged behind third countries such as the US and China. We need a coherent Union-wide approach and an ambitious investment to secure a solution to the chronic mismatch between the growing demand for the latest technology and the available supply in Europe,” said Austrian ALDE member Angelika Mlinar, one of the MEPs repsonsible for steering the plans through Parliament.

A part of the budget  would be allocated to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises and public administrations to use technology more often and better, while other parts will cover strategically important fields such as supercomputers, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.

“We can count on European excellence when it comes to research and innovation, but our businesses, especially SMEs, still found it difficult to access and take advantage of new solutions," said Milnar. "This programme has been crucially designed to tackle the low take-up of existing testing technologies. We are on track to deliver one of the most promising and necessary funds for Europe’s future."

EU funding for key digital technologies:

  • €2.7 billion for supercomputing
  • €2.5 billion for artificial intelligence
  • €2 billion for cybersecurity
  • €700 million for digital skills
  • €1.3 billion for ensuring the wide use of digital technologies