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CEF 2 Digital – Interconnection of backbone networks for cloud federations – Works – 2021

The 2nd generation of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF-2 programme) “Digital” strand (2021-2027) aims to support and catalyse investments in digital connectivity infrastructures of common interest.

65 million euro

Appeal framework

Institution European Commission
Beneficiaries All beneficiaries
Regions European Union

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Priorities and funded actions


  • To stimulate the commercial offering of cloud services throughout the EU
  • To strengthen the cloud capacity and grant access for users to multiple computing resources as a result of the projects supported by CEF
  • To support the deployment of Gigabit links for the interconnection between Socio-economic drivers that are public administrations or public or private entities entrusted with the operation of SGIs or of SGEIs and backbone networks for cloud federations
  • To guarantee the reliability and resilience of cloud connectivity that can ensure adequate, safe and secure connectivity for the Gigabit society


Priority 1 – Providing the key data processing infrastructures to support the digital transformation and modernisation of the public sector in Europe

Priority 2 – Increased competitiveness and resilience of the EU computing industry in line with EU rules on data protection, security, portability and sustainability

Priority 3 – Technological autonomy in essential digital computing infrastructures to process EU data, in particular through European common dataspaces; the infrastructure will also be an essential enabler for the roll-out of emerging technologies, including AI, IoT, HPC

Priority 4 – Energy efficiency and sustainable large scale deployment of interconnected cloud-to-edge infrastructures across the EU territory

Among financed actions

The topic will support the investment costs (studies, works and equipment) related to the development and deployment of cross-border and national cloud infrastructure interconnections at both the physical (i.e. very high capacity networks) and functional levels (i.e. management systems, and software-defined infrastructures) for public administrations or public and private entities entrusted with the operation of SGIs or of SGEIs across the EU.

The applicants may apply for grants for works, including studies:

  • For works, the total project costs required to construct, long-term lease and deliver the described networking solution for the foreseen system lifetime, from end to end, including the on-premises portion
  • Any costs for operating the infrastructure during the lifetime and extra components after the arrival on premises such as cloud resources not necessary to support the links, hosting facilities and other services, after the end of the project, will be excluded under the call
  • For studies, all preparatory work required prior to signing a contract with a supplier is covered under this call. Studies specifically include topographic definition of the links for required permits and rights of way

Additional information

  • This call for proposals is an open call for proposals
  • Initial duration of the action: 36 months


  • Be legal entities (public or private bodies)
  • Consortium must be composed by minimum 3 applicants (beneficiaries) from 3 different eligible countries
  • To be eligible for funding under this topic, projects must (i) address a market failure which cannot be solved by regulatory measures, (ii) avoid crowding out private investments or unduly distorting competition
  • The end users will be public administrations or public and private entities entrusted with the operation of SGIs or SGEIs
  • Total budget of the call: 80 million euro
  • Total budget of the topic “Interconnection of backbone networks for cloud federations – Works”: 65 million euro
  • Co-financing rate: up to 70% of the total eligible costs

Test your eligibility

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