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EU to award grants for the development of Digital Service Infrastructures

Matteo Natalucci Published 18 August 2017

Up to €77m EU grants to help European public administrations and their partners adopt core digital services platforms


The EU has issued grants under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme to support public administrations and their partners, including, for example, local authorities looking to develop digital service infrastructures and broadband networks.

The CEF programme is managed by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) and it supports trans-European networks and infrastructures in the sectors of transport, telecommunications and energy. The programme aims to support the development of digital service infrastructures (DSIs) and broadband networks. Part of the funding under the CEF is expected to be made in the form of grants allocated following competitive calls for proposals.

INEA assists the commission in processing, evaluating and selecting the projects. It also helps to communicate calls for proposals, manages the funds once these are allocated to specific projects, and monitors implementation of projects.

Between 2014 and 2020, the bulk of the CEF’s €24b financial envelope will be allocated through the multi-annual work programmes to support projects in EU member states.

€1.04bn is made available for the telecommunications sector under the CEF programme for 2014-2020. Of that, €870m is dedicated to DSIs delivering networked cross-border services for citizens, businesses and public administrations, while the rest is for broadband networks.

CEF Telecom's supported projects contribute to:

- Improvements in the competitiveness of the European economy;

- Promotion of the interconnection and interoperability of national, regional and local networks;

- Access to such networks, thus supporting the development of a Digital Single Market

In 2017, up to €77m worth of grants is available from the 2017 CEF Telecom Work Programme for grants managed by INEA in the area of Generic Services.

The CEF Telecom grants will support European public administrations and businesses to hook up to the core platforms of the digital services that are the object of the calls.

Open calls include:

- Cyber Security (indicative €12m of funding - Deadline for submission September 21)

- eDelivery (€0.5m - Deadline: September 21)

- eHealth (€9m - Deadline: September 21)

- eProcurement (€4m - Deadline: September 21)

- eInvoicing (€10m - Deadline: November 28)

- eTranslation (€6m - Deadline: November 28)

- Europeana (€2m - Deadline: November 28)

- Public Open Data (€6m - Deadline: November 28)

After the call deadline, INEA, supported by independent experts, assesses and evaluates the submitted proposals on the basis of eligibility, selection and award criteria. Once the list of proposals recommended for funding is formally approved by the commission, successful applicants are invited by INEA to prepare and sign individual grant agreements. INEA then works closely with the beneficiary on the technical and financial project implementation.

A CEF  Telecom Virtual Info Day covering the last call for the year 2017 will be held on September 12.

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