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Call: Digital Product Passport: sustainable and circular systems

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
Digital Product Passport: sustainable and circular systems
Description of call
"Digital Product Passport: sustainable and circular systems"

Objective:

The Sustainable Products Initiative foreseen in the new Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) should establish a Digital Product Passport (DPP) that gathers and makes accessible data on a product and its value chain. The objective of the DPP is:

  • To support sustainable products and production, to enable the transition to circular economy, boosting material and energy efficiency, extending product lifetimes and optimizing product use;
  • To provide new business opportunities to economic actors through circular value retention and extraction (for example repair, servicing, remanufacturing, recycling, extended producer responsibility and product-as-a-service activities) based on improved access to data;
  • To support consumers in making sustainable choices; and
  • To allow authorities to verify compliance with legal obligations.

The objective of this Coordination and Support Action is to prepare the ground for a gradual piloting as of 2023 of a digital product passport (DPP) in minimum 3 key value chains: electronics and ICT (at least consumer electronics), batteries as defined in and included in the scope in the proposal for a Regulation on batteries, and, at least another one of the key value chains identified in CEAP such as textiles (garments and apparel), packaging (particularly plastic), furniture, construction and buildings.

Scope:

The overall aim is to support the goals of the Green Deal and in particular Circular Economy Action Plan’s Sustainable Product Initiative, the EU Digital strategy’s Circular Electronics Initiative and the EU Data strategy by improving product sustainability, boosting material and energy efficiency, enabling new business models and circular value extraction based on data sharing.

A specific contribution is expected on identifying the data held or generated by operators along these value chains for which an access by other relevant stakeholders would have a major beneficial impact on circularity and sustainability. This should be done through consultation with the private and public stakeholders at all stages of those value chains, in order to establish which data could be included in the DPP. In order to keep the DPP manageable, it is not expected to include comprehensive data, but rather the most essential for unlocking circular value and improving product sustainability.

The work should also establish protocols for secure and tailored access for relevant stakeholders, and contribute to the development of standardized and open digital solutions for identification, tracking, mapping and sharing of product information along its life-cycle, ensuring interoperability across borders and a well-functioning EU Internal Market. This work needs to build on and complement existing open global standards with the aim to provide for a consistent operational framework.

Particular emphasis should be given to balanced and inclusive engagement of all relevant stakeholders throughout the value chain and to optimal use of adequate and up-to-date digital technologies.

This CSA will support the establishment of an interoperable data space, building on and linking to manufacturing dataspaces (see topic 2.2.1.4 in the DEP 2021-2022 Work Programme) and other available and relevant data sources. The awarded consortium will work in partnership with the Data Spaces Support Centre (see 2.2.2.1 in the DEP 2021-2022 Work Programme) in order to ensure alignment with the Smart Middleware Platform developed under topic 2.1.1, and actions in the context of section 2.2.1 of this Work Programme, and in particular:

  • the data space reference architecture, building blocks and common toolboxes to be used;
  • the common standards, including semantic standards and interoperability protocols, both domain-specific and crosscutting;
  • The data governance models, business models and strategies for running data spaces.

Expected Outcome:

Delivery of at least 3 digital product passport prototypes, one in each of the 3 key value chains mentioned above, including agreements on:

  • Agreed key data for circularity and their classification according to potential importance in delivering benefits for circularity and sustainability, along with recommendations for dealing with potential disagreements over access;
  • Data and system architectures, including an analysis of any risks;
  • Open European or global standards and relevant classifications and nomenclatures, based on a commonly applicable framework concept.

For each of the key value chains considered, the deliverables should include a roadmap with milestones for piloting of the developed DPP prototypes as of 2023, as well as a gradual deployment of DPP as of 2026, based on analysis of existing and upcoming legislation, existing European and global standards, past and ongoing activities and initiatives related to DPP in these sectors. The business model to ensure the deployment and continuity of use has to be also addressed.

While different product groups will have different information requirements, the necessary conditions to enable cross-sectoral interoperability and use should be identified and proposed. The results are also expected to support the EU Single Market providing consistent information about products, across the value chain and borders, to business, customers and authorities.

The work should also contribute to future DPP in other key value chains by harnessing lessons learnt in effective concertation of stakeholders, provision of a roadmaps for open and standardised approaches for viable use of digital product passports based on digital innovations that are beneficial in terms of environmental sustainability and circular business opportunities.

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, Circular Economy, Sustainability, Natural Resources, Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Green Technologies & Green Deal, Consumer Protection
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), Other, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Public Services, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, National Government, Research Institution, Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), Start Up Company, University, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, NGO / NPO
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 Targeted stakeholders are parties that represent or have demonstrated ability to gather economic actors/standardization bodies along each entire key value chain, including suppliers (of components, intermediary goods and materials), materials processors, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), distributors, wholesalers and retailers, public and private consumers, recyclers and producer responsibility organisations. Particular attention should be paid to ensuring representation of SMEs, disruptive and circular businesses.

Relevant stakeholders include also European and international bodies and standardization organisations that will work on ensuring cross-sector interoperability of sectoral digital product passports.

The Consortium should display the relevant convening power to identify, address and involve the targeted stakeholders along the considered value chains (also including other experts from academia and NGOs) to work on common methodologies for DPP and the product related DPP prototypes. The consortium should show a good understanding of circular economy and sustainable design, and minimum experience in the subject matter of digital data exchanges, in steering complex multi-stakeholder projects and providing a robust project design as a basis to delivering within the short projects duration.

Project duration max 18 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 50 pages (Part B).
Type of Funding Grants
Financial details The available call budget is EUR 2,000,000. This budget might be increased by maximum 20%.

Funding rate: 100% - Coordination and Support Actions (CSA)

Project budget (maximum grant amount): EUR 2,000,000 per project
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal. Paper submissions are NOT possible.

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