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Call: e-Justice Communication via Online Data Exchange (e-CODEX)

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
e-Justice Communication via Online Data Exchange (e-CODEX)
Description of call
"e-Justice Communication via Online Data Exchange (e-CODEX)"

Objective:

The aim of this call for proposals is to provide a continued robust, albeit temporary, sustainability framework for the continued management, development and maintenance of the e-CODEX system, previously developed and maintained as a Core Service Platform (CSP) under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) in the field of Trans-European Telecommunication Networks. At the end of the project, the e-CODEX system will be handed over to the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (eu-LISA).

In the description of the activities described below, the term "core projects" shall be understood to cover the following e-CODEX use cases at the minimum:

  • European Payment Order
  • European Small Claims Procedure
  • The e-Evidence Digital Exchange System (including Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters)
  • In the context of the decentralised IT system pursuant to the recast Service of documents and Taking of Evidence Regulations in civil and commercial matters
  • The iSupport system

Scope:

The applicants must cover, at the minimum, the full set of tasks and activities outlined hereunder. The action should follow seamlessly from the presently ongoing Me-CODEX II project. It should be noted that those tasks that follow from the draft e-CODEX Regulation, currently being negotiated in Council and the European Parliament, may be adjusted to reflect the provisions of the final Regulation as adopted.

Governance and management aspects

  • Governance and operational management of the e-CODEX system;
  • Project, risk and quality management;
  • Transparent administration and communication about the progress of the project, monitoring of the uptake of e-CODEX and identification of stakeholder needs;
  • Management of the components of the e-CODEX system and of the supporting software products;
  • Provision of an updated project plan (every six months), available to the Commission, HaDEA and all e-CODEX stakeholders, with detailed delivery milestones for tasks and sub-tasks. This is required in order to ensure the visibility of task planning and the reliability of the delivery deadlines to the user community.
  • Further developing e-CODEX to support areas where its potential use has already been identified. These activities must not exceed 10% of the overall project budget.

Software development aspects

  • Provision of maintenance, further technical evolution, defect resolution and regular updates (with a swift response to security issues) of the e-CODEX system’s software components;
  • Adjustments to the e-CODEX components to:
    • Ensure alignment with amendments in legal procedures for which e-CODEX is already used or could be used (e.g. in the context of Regulation (EU) 2020/1784 and Regulation (EU) 2020/1783)
    • Align with other legal changes with impact on the use of the e-CODEX system (e.g. pertaining to electronic signatures);
    • Maintain semantic interoperability;
    • Maintain alignment with changes in the CEF eDelivery and eSignature Building Blocks and/or evolutions concerning other software components;
    • Upgrade the e-CODEX system to align with evolving standards and address user requirements. Exploration of technical solutions to limit the operational overhead caused by the growing number of participants in the network, such as dynamic discovery;
    • Ensure compliance with Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (the General Data Protection Regulation);
    • Implement the principles of security by design and data protection by design and by default.
  • Production and provision of new or improved clear and comprehensive technical documentation for the e-CODEX system technical artefacts;
  • Updates and distribution to the authorised e-CODEX access points of all documentation relating to the components of the e-CODEX system and its supporting software products, the business process models, the templates defining the electronic format of documents and of the underlying pre-defined collection of data models;
  • Maintenance of the EU e-Justice Core Vocabulary, on which the business process models and templates are based;
  • Making all e-CODEX products available in public repositories and ensuring that what is published is constantly up to date. This should not only cover the produced technical artefacts, but also the necessary source material for their maintenance and re-generation (e.g. source code, input for generation of XML schemas, etc.);
  • Provision and maintenance of environment-independent versions of the e-CODEX products. In particular, of the Central Testing Platform and the Configuration Management Tool to be used for the maintenance, update and distribution of a configuration file containing an exhaustive list of authorised e-CODEX access points, including the cross-border procedures and forms each of these access points is authorised to use;
  • Preparation and distribution to the authorised e-CODEX access points of new business process models and templates defining the electronic format of documents.

Communication, support and customer outreach activities

  • Stakeholder engagement using electronic means of communication, and where relevant and possible via physical meetings;
  • Online presence and communication activities.
  • Elaboration of an engagement strategy with the e-CODEX system user community in order to assess the quality, usability and sustainability of the products and creation of a follow-up action plan;
  • Outreach to further Member States for deploying the e-CODEX generic service in the context of one or more areas where it is in use;
  • Support all current pilot e-CODEX use cases, to help align to the version of e-CODEX that will be handed over to eu-LISA. This concerns operational activities in view of the handover to eu-LISA;
  • Rollout and operational support for new and existing participants in the core projects;
  • Advice and support of new areas of e-CODEX, both at a technological and business level. Support to projects leveraging e-CODEX other than its core projects (conference calls, remote assistance);
  • Support and coordination of testing activities, including connectivity testing, involving the authorised e-CODEX access points;
  • Coordination with parallel projects dealing with other e-CODEX aspects;
  • Collection of user feedback in a systematic way and preparation of future adaptations of the Core Service Platform.
  • Communication and customer outreach activities must not exceed 10% of the overall project budget

Handover activities

  • By 1 October 2022 at the latest, the grant beneficiaries must submit the following information and material, in a format and with a level of detail appropriate to serve as implementing acts under a future EU Regulation governing the e-CODEX system:
    • the minimum technical specifications and standards, including on security (see below) and methods for integrity and authenticity verification;
    • draft service level requirements for the activities to be carried out by eu-LISA, as well as other necessary technical specifications for those activities;
    • a proposal for the specific arrangements of the handover/takeover process (see below).
  • The grant beneficiaries must submit a detailed security plan for e-CODEX by 31 December 2022, at the latest. In addition, they must develop security rules and guidance on security issues regarding the e-CODEX access points, which are managed by authorised national authorities.
  • By 31 December 2022, at the latest, the grant beneficiaries should submit a common handover document to eu-LISA, specifying the detailed arrangements for the transfer of the e-CODEX system, including the description on how the criteria for a successful handover process and completion, established by the Commission, are going to be fulfilled. It will also contain the related documentation.
  • The grant beneficiaries must plan for a handover and transfer of the intellectual property and usage rights associated with all e-CODEX material – i.e. software binaries, source code, project documentation, XML schemas, etc. to either the European Commission or eu-LISA following the Grant Agreement’s conclusion. Directorate-General Justice and Consumers of the Commission will inform the beneficiary(ies) on the exact modalities in this regard during the project’s execution. In view of the Commission proposal on e-CODEX (COM 2020/712), the transfer of intellectual property rights must take place by 31 December 2022. The applicants must take this date into account in their proposal.
  • The handover process should be completed by 1 July 2023. During the implementation period, the grant beneficiaries will continue to manage the e-CODEX system and will retain full responsibility for it. They will ensure that only corrective maintenance activities are performed in the system and that no new release of the e-CODEX system is delivered. The Commission will monitor the handover/takeover process.

Expected Outcome:

The outcome of the action grant must guarantee robust management, development and maintenance of the e-CODEX system, as well as its timely handover to eu-LISA.

The project partners must further ensure that the tools chosen to produce the project's artefacts should not lead to vendor lock-in and thus impede the future take-up, further development and maintenance of those artefacts. If such tools are used, clear arrangements have to be made to provide a perpetual free of charge licence for their use by the receiving organisation.

All software components produced or updated in the execution of work must be published on the Joinup platform under a EUPL v1.2 licence. In case applicants are unable to comply with this condition, due to third party licencing restrictions, they should provide substantiated justifications.

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
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, International Organization
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) from different eligible countries.
  • Proposals must be submitted by at least two EU Member State public authorities which have been previously responsible for the maintenance of the e-CODEX system.
Targeted stakeholders are EU Member State public authorities and other international organisations, Joint Undertakings, public and private undertakings, bodies or entities established in the EU Member States or EEA countries.
Project duration max 24 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 3,000,000. This budget might be increased by maximum 20%.

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

Project budget (maximum grant amount): EUR 3,000,000 per project
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal. Paper submissions are NOT possible.

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