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Tuesday, October 31, 2023


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Making Europe more 'digital' is a major challenge for our generation. This requires not only new technologies, but also a good digital network infrastructure. On the latter topic, a new series of calls recently appeared from 'CEF Digital', a European programme aimed at realising (among others) 5G networks across the EU.
CEF Digital: part of the Connecting Europe Facility
CEF stands for ‘Connecting Europe Facility’, an EU programme to finance major European infrastructure projects. It consists of three sub-programmes focusing on infrastructure/networks for energy (CEF Energy), transport (CEF Transport) and digital communication networks (CEF Digital).

Target group and themes
All CEF programmes focus on major projects of European interest, such as building new (international) networks or addressing bottlenecks in trans-European network (TEN) infrastructure. This makes CEF grants highly accessible and mainly of interest to EU member states themselves and a small group of other parties (who have very specific expertise).
Key themes within CEF Digital include:
  • uninterrupted coverage of 5G systems at all major transport routes
  • an EU-wide network for ultra-secure exchange of cryptographic keys
  • transcontinental backbone networks, such as submarine cables, to strengthen connectivity between EU countries and beyond
  • digital infrastructure for cross-border transport or energy projects.
How does CEF Digital work?
The CEF Digital programme works through ‘calls for proposals’ (grant rounds) where interested parties can submit proposals around changing topics. Recently, a new series of calls was published with a total budget of €241 million. The submission of proposals for these new calls is possible until 17 January 2024 at the latest. Below is a brief overview of the new calls.
Themes of the open calls
The submission of proposals/grant applications is only possible for projects that closely follow one of the following five calls of CEF Digital:
More information on the topics, conditions and support amounts of each call can be found via the links above. As an indication, for ‘studies’ the grant usually reimburses up to 50% of the costs. For projects (‘works’) it is usually 35%, although sometimes higher percentages apply (depending on the location of the region in question and any cross-border aspects). CEF Digital’s Multiannual Programme contains important information of a more general nature.
What can PNO do for you?
PNO's experts have extensive experience with projects in the broad field of ICT, infrastructure and cross-border innovations. Are you interested in one of the above CEF calls? Submit your plans to us and we will be happy to tell you whether we see opportunities for a good grant application! Send us a message to 
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