The European Union is planning to invest massively in high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and digital skills through the Digital Europe Programme approved by MEPs for 2021-2027.
The goal of the programme is “to ensure that all Europeans have the skills and infrastructure they need to meet coming digital challenges,” according to the EP press release.
“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.
Part of the budget would be provided for SMEs and public administrations to use technology better and more often. Other parts will be directed towards strategically important fields such as supercomputers, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.
The funding will be allocated as follows:
- EUR 2.7 billion to supercomputing
- EUR 2.5 billion for AI
- EUR 2 billion for cybersecurity
- EUR 700 million for digital skills
- EUR 1.3 billion to ensure wide use of digital tech
“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.”