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Digital Europe – Preparatory actions for the AI-on-demand platform – 2021

The Digital Europe 2021-2027 programme aims 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.

1 million euro

Appeal framework

Institution European Commission
Beneficiaries All beneficiaries
Regions Balkans, Candidate countries, European Economic Area, European Union, Mediterranean countries

Countries eligible for the grant:

  • Countries associated to the Digital Europe Programme;
  • Countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature are eligible for the grant are equally eligible for the grant.

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Priorities and funded actions


  • To support the implementation of the Adopt AI programme which supports the procurement of AI systems for public administrations;
  • To serve the needs of both public administrations as well as the user industry, in particular SMEs, addressing the major industral sectors in Europe, with high potential for large large scale deployment;
  • To support the wide uptake of trustworthy AI “made in Europe”, in line with AI regulatory framework on AI for the benefit of the European economy, society and also addressing environmental challenges;
  • To interconnect with the cloud for computing requirements and with the data spaces;
  • To interconnect with the Testing and Experimentation Facilities, and the Digital Innovation hubs.


  • Priority 1: Define clear rules for the open, fair and transparent functioning of the marketplace, including how these would be guaranteed in the long term through an appropriate and transparent governance structure in cooperation with (EU) public authorities;
  • Priority 2: Deploy the technical infrastructure of the marketplace platform, with a focus on customer experience, user-friendliness, and inclusion and equality principles;
  • Priority 3: Ensure that the marketplace is built over the cloud-to-edge middleware platform developed under the Digital Europe Programme;
  • Priority 4: Operate the platform according to high security, energy and resource efficiency, data protection, ethical standards and interoperability/portability requirements;
  • Priority 5: Ensure the integration of state-of-the-art identity and access management services on the marketplace platform to support its operations;
  • Priority 6: Design a curation/vetting process, involving (EU) public authorities and auditing bodies, for services offered on the marketplace, notably for sectorspecific services in regulated sectors (e.g. the public sector, health, energy, finance…);
  • Priority 7: Adopt the appropriate governance to ensure the proper supervision of the marketplace by all relevant stakeholders, including EU and national public authorities and auditing agencies, fostering interconnections with similar marketplaces and service catalogues that exist in some Member States;
  • Priority 8: Where marketplaces exist that are developed by Member States public authorities or that address specific areas (such as the AI-on-demand platform developed under the Digital Europe Programme), this marketplace will put in place the required mechanisms to offer a seamless and integrated end-user experience;
  • Priority 9: Enable access on such platforms, through a single EU portal for cloud users, to an online catalogue of existing cloud-to-edge based service offerings (such as predictive analytics, data visualisation, edge services, Artificial Intelligence services and language technology services) that are compliant with a predefined set of EU rules and requirements (to be compiled in the EU Cloud Rulebook);
  • Priority 10: Implement a service brokerage functionality to enable transactions between providers and users to take place on the marketplace;
  • Priority 11: Ensure a vendor-neutral technical architecture and reference framework;
  • Priority 12: Develop an agile and future-proof revenue model to cement long-term commercial viability of the EU online marketplace, while ensuring unbiased competition and strict vendor neutrality in the positioning of services on the marketplace and, (If necessary), ensure the integration of trusted payment
    services on the marketplace platform to facilitate transactions;
  • Priority 13: Report regularly (at least once per month) to the Commission throughout the deployment phase of the project.

Among financed actions

  • The proper governance mechanism to supervise the marketplace by all relevant stakeholders, possibly through the setup of a legal entity;
  • A large-scale and user-friendly interoperable European marketplace for cloud-to-edge based services for public and private entities across the EU and Common Data Spaces. Interconnections of the marketplace with the existing national cloud marketplaces.

Additional information

  • This call for proposals is an open call for proposals.
  • Initial duration of the action: between 12 and 24 months.


  • Be legal entities (public or private bodies);
  • Be established in one of the eligible countries;
  • A consortium composed of at least 3 independant entities, established in at least 3 different eligible countries must be constituted.
  • Total budget of the call: 140 million euro
  • Total budget of the topic “Preparatory actions for the AI-on-demand platform”: 1 million euro
  • Amount of the grant: up to 1 million euro
  • Co-financing rate: up to 100% of the total eligible costs

Test your eligibility

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