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Cluster "Digital, Industry and Space"

© vectorfusionart – stock.adobe.com
© vectorfusionart – stock.adobe.com

Contents and backgrounds

The "Digital, Industry and Space" Cluster promotes research and innovation in the fields of industrial technologies, including information technologies, communication technologies and space. The aim here is to contribute to three essential and closely interrelated challenges for Europe's economy and society: growth and global competitiveness as well as Europe's leadership and autonomy in key industrial technologies, sustainable industry and, finally, an inclusive digital, societal and industrial transformation focused on social needs.

The following "Targeted Impacts" are to be achieved:

  • Digitising and transforming industry

  • Increased sovereignty in key enabling technologies and digital technologies, in strategic value chains, and a secure and sustainable supply of raw materials

  • A European approach, involving a human-centred and ethical development and the use of new technologies

  • Industrial leadership in key enabling, digital and space technologies and uptake of new technologies, and space services and data, through technology infrastructures and increased autonomy in strategic value chains

The Horizon Europe Specific Programme, which sets the substantive framework for the Cluster, identifies the following "Areas of Intervention":

  • Manufacturing Technologies

  • Key Digital Technologies

  • Emerging enabling technologies

  • Advanced Materials

  • Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

  • Next Generation Internet

  • Advanced Computing and Big Data

  • Circular Industries

  • Low-Carbon and Clean Industries

  • Space, incl. Earth Observation

The actual calls to submit project proposals electronically can be found in the respective current Work Programme (see documents), which is prepared by the European Commission for a period of two to three years and contains all relevant details on the calls for proposals. The calls and all necessary documents are published online on the Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal of the European Commission. The calls are predominantly multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary as well as inter-sectoral in nature and offer opportunities for the involvement of humanities and social sciences and cooperation with non-academic partners (e.g. SMEs, associations, societies, etc.). In order to achieve the aforementioned economic and industrial policy objectives of the Cluster, the involvement of companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, is indispensable for the utilisation and exploitation of the results in this Cluster.

In addition to the Work Programme for the "Digital, Industry and Space" Cluster, but still falling under Horizon Europe, further calls for proposals are also published and implemented by the following institutionalised partnerships:

  • European Partnership for High Performance Computing

  • Smart Networks & Services

  • European Partnership for Key Digital Technologies (KDT)

  • European Partnership on Metrology

Important players

Several European Commission Directorates-General (DGs) are significantly involved in the design of the Work Programmes and calls due to the strong thematic integration. In addition to DG Research and Innovation (RTD), these are in particular DGs Communication Networks, Content and Technologies (CNCT), DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW) and DG Defence Industry and Space (DEFIS).

Programme planning and implementation of the Cluster are also characterised by numerous topic-specific partnerships. These include AI, data and robotics, Photonics Europe, Clean Steel – Low Carbon Steelmaking, Made in Europe, Processes4Planet-Transforming the European Industry for a sustainable society and Global competitive space systems.