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CEF 2 Digital – Preparation of works for Operational digital platforms – 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.

4 million euro

Appeal framework

Institution European Commission 
Sectors Energy
Beneficiaries All beneficiaries
Regions European Union

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Priorities and funded actions


To prepare the future works project(s) by identifying the most appropriate cases to be funded and by delivering the building blocks (such as governance, detailed design, etc.) needed for immediate deployment of the cross-border infrastructure within the works project(s).


  1. Exploratory study to prepare the baseline and identify and shortlist lead use cases in energy, mobility and cross-sector energy/mobility (5 months)
  2. Feasibility study for the shortlisted cases (7 months)
  3. Detailed preparations for the shortlisted cases (9 months)
  4. Assistance to projects coming from the first call for works (6 months)

Among financed actions

The first stage will provide the following outcomes:

  • Define the needs in digitalising the cross-border energy and/or transport infrastructure between Member States
  • Identify criteria and recommendations for selecting appropriate and most credible, within standard constraints, lead use cases and potential project(s)
  • Identify relevant technologies, architectures, standards, stakeholders and possible governance options
  • Develop the design principles and architecture for connecting the ODPs to the 5G infrastructures along transport corridors and smart communities; the emerging dataspaces in particular in the energy, mobility and related sectors; and the federation of European Cloud and edge services

The second stage will deliver the following outcomes:

  • For each case, create a high-level description, solution architecture, governance scheme and a cost-benefits analysis
  • Define the feasibility of each proposal i.e. how realistic is each case within the constraints
  • Shortlist three proposals, which are feasible and with the best cost-benefits outcome. For cases with similar characteristics, priority should be given to cross-sector cases between energy and mobility
  • Prepare a draft for the call text for the works call to be handed over to the Commission

The third stage will deliver, to the extent possible, the following outcomes:

  • Create detailed design/architecture for each of the cases
  • Define key performance indicators for each of the cases
  • Create detailed governance scheme and get feed-back and buy-in from the identified stakeholders
  • Set up governance bodies with the most relevant stakeholders and have a governance agreement signed for each of the three cases
  • Prepare procurement templates and framework agreements
  • Prepare purchasing orders for potential suppliers for the final deployment including integration and SLAs
  • Deploy testing environment from willing suppliers and test the solution
  • Deploy pilot solutions from willing suppliers involving at least 2 and preferably 3 member states and pilot the solution

The fourth and final stage will consist of the following tasks:

  • Transfer all documentation and know-how
  • Fine-tune the documentation according to the works project reality
  • Prepare recommendations for future work

Additional information

  • This call for proposals is an open call for proposals
  • Initial duration of the action: 27 months


  • Be legal entities (public or private bodies)
  • A consortium of at least 5 applicants (beneficiaries; not affiliated entities) from 3 different eligible countries must be constituted
  • Total budget of the call: 7 million euro
  • Total budget of the topic “Preparation of works for Operational digital platforms”: 4 million euro
  • Amount of the grant: 4 million euro
  • Co-funding rate: up to 100% of the total eligible costs

Test your eligibility

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