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Call: European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) - national and multinational hubs

Programme
Acronym DIGITAL
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Digital Europe"

The general objectives of the Digital Europe Programme shall be to support and accelerate the digital transformation of the European economy, industry and society, to bring its benefits to citizens, public administrations and businesses across the Union, and to improve the competitiveness of Europe in the global digital economy while contributing to bridging the digital divide across the Union and reinforcing the Union’s strategic autonomy, through holistic, cross-sectoral and cross-border support and a stronger Union contribution.

The Programme shall be implemented in close coordination with other Union programmes as applicable, and shall aim:

  1. to strengthen and promote Europe’s capacities in key digital technology areas through large-scale deployment;
  2. in the private sector and in areas of public interest, to widen the diffusion and uptake of Europe’s key digital technologies, promoting the digital transformation and access to digital technologies.

It will reinforce EU critical digital capacities by focusing on the key areas of artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, advanced computing, data infrastructure, governance and processing, the deployment of these technologies and their best use for critical sectors like energy, climate change and environment, manufacturing, agriculture and health. Thus, the Programme shall have five interrelated specific objectives:

  1. Specific Objective 1 – High Performance Computing
  2. Specific Objective 2 – Artificial Intelligence
  3. Specific Objective 3 – Cybersecurity and Trust
  4. Specific Objective 4 – Advanced Digital Skills
  5. Specific Objective 5 Deployment and Best Use of Digital Capacity and Interoperability.

The Digital Europe Programme is strategic in supporting the digital transformation of the EU industrial ecosystems targeting upskilling to provide a workforce for these advanced digital technologies. It supports industry, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and public administration in their digital transformation with a reinforced network of European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH). The Programme will accelerate the economic recovery and drive the digital transformation of Europe.

Specific Objective 1- High Performance Computing

The financial contribution from the Union under Specific Objective 1 – High Performance Computing shall pursue the following operational objectives:

  1. deploy, coordinate at Union level and operate an integrated demand-oriented and application-driven world-class exascale supercomputing and data infrastructure that shall be easily accessible to public and private users, in particular SMEs, irrespective of the Member State in which they are located, and easily accessible for research purposes, in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2018/1488;
  2. deploy ready to use operational technology resulting from research and innovation in order to build an integrated Union HPC ecosystem, covering various aspects in the scientific and industrial value chain segments, including hardware, software, applications, services, interconnections and digital skills, with a high level of security and data protection;
  3. deploy and operate post-exascale infrastructure, including integration with quantum computing technologies and research infrastructures for computing science and encourage the development within the Union of the hardware and software necessary for such deployment.

Specific Objective 2 – Artificial Intelligence

The financial contribution from the Union under Specific Objective 2 – Artificial Intelligence shall pursue the following operational objectives:

  1. build up and strengthen core AI capacities and knowledge in the Union, including building up and strengthening quality data resources and corresponding exchange mechanisms, and libraries of algorithms, while guaranteeing a human-centric and inclusive approach that respects Union values;
  2. make the capacities referred to in point (a) accessible to businesses, especially SMEs and start-ups, as well as civil society, not-for-profit organisations, research institutions, universities and public administrations, in order to maximise their benefit to the European society and economy;
  3. reinforce and network AI testing and experimentation facilities in Member States;
  4. develop and reinforce commercial application and production systems in order to facilitate the integration of technologies in value chains and the development of innovative business models and to shorten the time required to pass from innovation to commercial exploitation and foster the uptake of AI-based solutions in areas of public interest and in society.

Specific Objective 3 – Cybersecurity and Trust

The financial contribution from the Union under Specific Objective 3 – Cybersecurity and Trust shall pursue the following operational objectives:

  1. support the building-up and procurement of advanced cybersecurity equipment, tools and data infrastructures, together with Member States, in order to achieve a high common level of cybersecurity at European level, in full compliance with data protection legislation and fundamental rights, while ensuring the strategic autonomy of the Union;
  2. support the building-up and best use of European knowledge, capacity and skills related to cybersecurity and the sharing and mainstreaming of best practices;
  3. ensure a wide deployment of effective state-of-the-art cybersecurity solutions across the European economy, paying special attention to public authorities and SMEs;
  4. reinforce capabilities within Member States and private sector to help them comply with Directive (EU) 2016/1148 of the European Parliament and of the Council including through measures supporting the uptake of cybersecurity best practices;
  5. improve resilience against cyberattacks, contribute towards increasing risk-awareness and knowledge of cybersecurity processes, support public and private organisations in achieving basics levels of cybersecurity, for example by deploying end-to-end encryption of data and software updates;
  6. enhance cooperation between the civil and defence spheres with regard to dual-use projects, services, competences and applications in cybersecurity, in accordance with a Regulation establishing the European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre and the Network of National Coordination Centres (the ‘Cybersecurity Competence Centre Regulation’).

Specific Objective 4 – Advanced Digital Skills

The financial contribution from the Union under Specific Objective 4 – Advanced Digital Skills shall support the development of advanced digital skills in areas covered by the Programme in order to contribute to increasing Europe’s talent pool, bridge the digital divide and foster greater professionalism, especially with regard to high performance and cloud computing, big data analytics, cybersecurity, distributed ledger technologies (e.g. blockchain), quantum technologies, robotics, AI, while taking gender balance into account. In order to tackle skills mismatches and to encourage specialisation in digital technologies and applications, the financial contribution shall pursue the following operational objectives:

  1. support the design and delivery of high-quality, long-term training and courses, including blended learning, for students and for the workforce;
  2. support the design and delivery of high-quality, short-term training and courses for the workforce, in particular in SMEs and in the public sector;
  3. support high-quality on-the-job training and work placements for students, including traineeships, and the workforce, in particular in SMEs and in the public sector.

Specific Objective 5 – Deployment and Best Use of Digital Capacities and Interoperability

The financial contribution from the Union under Specific Objective 5 – Deployment and Best Use of Digital Capacities and Interoperability shall pursue the following operational objectives while bridging the digital divide:

  1. support the public sector and areas of public interest, such as health and care, education, judiciary, customs, transport, mobility, energy, environment, cultural and creative sectors, including relevant businesses established within the Union, to effectively deploy and access state-of-the-art digital technologies, such as HPC, AI and cybersecurity;
  2. deploy, operate and maintain trans-European interoperable state-of-the-art digital service infrastructures across the Union, including related services, in complementarity with national and regional actions;
  3. support the integration and use of trans-European digital service infrastructures and of agreed European digital standards in the public sector and in areas of public interest to facilitate cost-efficient implementation and interoperability;
  4. facilitate the development, update and use of solutions and frameworks by public administrations, businesses and citizens, including of open-source solutions and the re-use of interoperability solutions and frameworks;
  5. offer the public sector and the Union industry, in particular SMEs, easy access to testing and piloting of digital technologies and increase the use thereof, including their cross-border use;
  6. support the uptake by the public sector and the Union industry, in particular SMEs and start-ups, of advanced digital and related technologies, including in particular HPC, AI, cybersecurity, other leading edge and future technologies, such as distributed ledger technologies (e.g. blockchain);
  7. support the design, testing, implementation, and deployment and maintenance of interoperable digital solutions, including digital government solutions, for public services at Union level which are delivered through a data-driven reusable solutions platform aiming to foster innovation and establish common frameworks in order to unleash the full potential of the public administrations’ services for citizens and businesses;
  8. ensure the continuous capacity at Union level to lead digital development, in addition to observing, analysing and adapting to fast-evolving digital trends, and share and mainstream best practices;
  9. support cooperation towards achieving a European ecosystem for trusted data sharing and digital infrastructures using, inter alia, services and applications based on distributed ledger technologies (e.g. blockchain), including support for interoperability and standardisation and by fostering the deployment of Union cross-border applications based on security and privacy by design, while complying with consumer and data protection legislation;
  10. build up and strengthen the European Digital Innovation Hubs and their network.
Link Link to Programme
Call
European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) - national and multinational hubs
Description of call
"European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) - national and multinational hubs"

Objective:

As indicated in the Guidance to strengthen the Code of Practice on Disinformation6, EDMO and its national hubs are crucial to address the problem of disinformation effectively. EDMO does not only provide support in the area of research and fact-checking, but it also plays an important role regarding the monitoring framework, including assisting the Commission in the assessment of the Code’s implementation and being part of the Permanent task-force.

This call aims to create new independent national or multinational hubs in order to expand the regional coverage of EDMO and its hubs. The ultimate objective of the call is to support the establishment of EDMO hubs in the Member States not yet covered by the existing hubs. In this regard, one Member State should be covered by only one hub (including existing hubs and hubs yet to be established). At the same time, one hub can cover more than one Member State.

A national/multinational hub is a network of organisations active in one or several Member State(s), that will provide specific knowledge of local information environments so as to strengthen the detection and analysis of disinformation campaigns, improve public awareness, and design effective responses relevant for national and regional audiences. The activities of the hubs should be independent from any public authority.

These national/multinational hubs will focus their activities on emerging digital media vulnerabilities and disinformation campaigns, which are of special relevance within the territory and/or linguistic area in which they will operate. Multinational hubs will cover more than one Member State preferably with similar media ecosystems within an EU region. The hubs should as well strengthen the networks of independent fact-checkers at national and regional level.

Scope:

  • Increase the number of independent national or multinational EDMO hubs and cover Member States not yet covered by existing EDMO hubs while avoiding geographical overlaps between hubs – one Member State should be covered only by one hub.
  • Pull together and foster the growth of a national/multinational multidisciplinary community composed of academic researchers, independent fact-checkers based in the covered regions, media practitioners and other relevant stakeholders in order to create a network capable of quickly detecting and analysing disinformation campaigns, as well as producing content to support mainstream and local media and public authorities in exposing harmful disinformation campaigns. To this end applicants must prove their ability to reach out to at least 3 experts and/or organisations not involved in the proposal with expertise in relevant areas of investigation and research (e.g. health, climate change, immigration, security, economics, European policies, or other relevant areas prone to disinformation).
  • Cooperate with EDMO and contribute to its repositories of fact-checks, media literacy materials and scientific articles, including surveys on disinformation trends, situational analyses and assessments of online platforms’ policies to address disinformation-related harms. Hubs should aim to support the growth of local fact-checking and media literacy activities.
  • Detect, analyse and disclose harmful disinformation campaigns at regional, national, multinational and EU level and analyse their impact on society and democracy. Hubs will analyse relevant actors, vectors, tools, methods, dissemination dynamics and prioritised targets of disinformation campaigns by applying a common methodology, established in coordination with EDMO, to monitor the evolution of disinformation-related harms on relevant audiences. Each hub should indicate in its proposal the type of collaborations intended with independent media outlets operating within its territory or linguistic area.
  • Regularly assess the impact of relevant disinformation campaigns on society and democratic processes, as well as the effectiveness of the policies set out by online platforms to counter disinformation. In addition, the hubs will actively participate in the EDMO joint research activities selected by the EDMO Governance Body and promptly react to EDMO requests linked to emerging disinformation issues.
  • Support tailor-made media literacy campaigns for the covered territory or linguistic area. Hubs will leverage on the exchange of good practices and materials stored on the EDMO platform and contribute to the EDMO repositories with their own material.
  • Cooperate with institutions responsible for the monitoring of online platforms’ policies and digital media ecosystem at national level. In particular, they will support the competent entities which oversee and participate in the monitoring of the implementation of the Code of Practice on Disinformation by its signatories.

Expected Outcome:

The following outcomes are expected to be elaborated in the proposal with an aim to include them in the Grant Agreement preparation and implementation of actions:

  • Create the national/multinational hub, including a website and a communication campaign at national/multinational level;
  • Integrate the hub into the EDMO in cooperation with EDMO’s Governance Body; and link its platform to the EDMO platform;
  • Ensure the production of a continuous flow of fact-checks which will be stored at the EDMO’s repository;
  • Deliver at least 10 analytical reports on specific disinformation campaigns and/or studies linked to relevant disinformation phenomena;
  • Deliver at least 5 media literacy campaigns or events at national/multi-national level to increase citizens’ awareness and societal resilience;
  • Deliver the annual reports on the support provided to monitor the policies put in place by online platforms to limit the impact of disinformation;
  • Deliver the annual reports on the activities, including the information on: i) the cooperation with other national/multinational hubs through EDMO; ii) additional funds received by the hubs; and iii) the process put in place to preserve the independence of the hub.
Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Digitisation, ICT, Telecommunication, Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Community Integration, European Citizenship, Shared Services, Administration & Governance, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Justice, Safety & Security, Art & Culture, Cultural Heritage, History, Media
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Iceland / Ísland
Israel / ישראל / إسرائيل
Liechtenstein
Moldova
Norway / Norge
Serbia / Сpбија
Turkey / Türkiye
Ukraine / Україна Oukraïna
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Iceland / Ísland
Israel / ישראל / إسرائيل
Liechtenstein
Moldova
Norway / Norge
Serbia / Сpбија
Turkey / Türkiye
Ukraine / Україна Oukraïna
Eligible applicants Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), Other, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Public Services, University, NGO / NPO, Association, Start Up Company
Applicant details In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:
  • be legal entities (public or private bodies)
  • be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
    • EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))
    • listed EEA countries and countries associated to the Digital Europe Programme or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature
  • Natural persons are NOT eligible (with the exception of self-employed persons, i.e. sole traders, where the company does not have legal personality separate from that of the natural person).
  • International organisations are NOT eligible, unless they are International organisations of European Interest within the meaning of Article 2 of the Digital Europe Regulation (i.e. international organisations the majority of whose members are Member States or whose headquarters are in a Member State).
  • EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium.
Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details Proposals must be submitted by:
  • Minimum 2 applicants (beneficiaries; not affiliated entities).
  • The coordinator of the consortium is established in a Member State to be covered by the hub.
  • The consortium includes at least one independent fact-checking organisation or a fact-checking unit from an independent media organisation. The consortium must have fact-checking services covering all geographical area to be covered by the hub (i.e. in every Member State to be covered by the hub).

Targeted stakeholders are fact-checking organisations, public and private research organisations, media organisations, and other stakeholders which conduct relevant activities for tackling the phenomenon of disinformation.
Project duration max 30 months
Further info Proposals must be complete and contain all the requested information and all required annexes and supporting documents:
  • Application Form Part A — contains administrative information about the participants  and the summarised budget for the project (to be filled in directly online)
  • Application Form Part B — contains the technical description of the project (to be downloaded from the Portal Submission System, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded)
  • mandatory annexes and supporting documents (to be uploaded):
    • ethics issues table
    • ecurity issues table
Proposals are limited to maximum 70 pages (Part B).
Type of Funding Grants
Financial details The available call budget is EUR 11,000,000. This budget might be increased by maximum 20%.

Funding rate: 50% and 75% (for SMEs) - SME Support Actions

Project budget (maximum grant amount): EUR 1,500,000 per project
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal. Paper submissions are NOT possible.

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