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European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA)
Call for proposalsClosed

Specialised education programmes in key capacity areas


Publication date
1 November 2023 in!6BbMnF
Opening date
Deadline model
Deadline date
21 March 2024, 17:00 (CET)
Programme Sector
  • Digital
  • Digital Europe Programme
  • AWP
  • Digital transformation
  • EU financing
  • Proposals



This action aims at contributing to the target of 20 million ICT specialists in the economy by 2030, as set in the Digital Decade Policy Programme. Gains from major EU investment cannot materialise if there are not enough people to develop, deploy and use digital technologies and applications. Evidence from the Structured Dialogue on digital education and skills with Member States shows that, while a number of activities are in place to equip people with general digital skills, only few Member States devote attention to the challenges related to advanced digital skills and ICT specialists. Even in Member States that are digital frontrunners, there is a persistent shortage of people able to develop and deploy key digital technologies. For example, over 70% of enterprises looking for ICT specialists in the Netherlands, Finland and Luxembourg found it extremely difficult to recruit them. There also is a significant increase in the demand for professionals combining sectoral knowledge with digital skills enabling the use of digital solutions for specific business cases. This is for example the case of employees in the manufacturing sector able to use automated reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) tools to repair engines remotely, software developers and engineers with specific automotive expertise, or professionals in green transition industries who are increasingly relying on advanced digital technologies in the development of renewable energy or clean and smart mobility solutions. These profiles can be referred to as users of advanced digital technologies and they are crucial to enable the digitalisation of traditional industries from agriculture and finance to manufacturing, automotive and medicine. Looking at the related education offer, the 2022 JRC report shows that the offer of specialised education programme in AI, cybersecurity, HPC and data science has slightly improved in the EU 27, in particular in AI, where the number of Master’s has increased by 20% compared to the previous year. However, it remains lower than in the US. For cybersecurity the UK alone continue to offer as many programmes as the whole EU 2770 . The actions in the skills pillar aims at tackling this challenge, while triggering a new way of delivering these courses, building partnerships between academia, businesses and research across the EU.

Expected outcome:

  • Consortiums of higher education institutions, vocational education and training institutions, research organisations and businesses delivering advanced digital technology programmes and multi-disciplinary courses for users of advanced digital technologies.
  • At least, supported to equip, 2 fully interoperable higher education institutions per consortium, e.g., transnational (virtual) campuses, shared equipment and libraries of learning content, automatic recognition of ECTS for students.
  • At least 500 students supported with scholarships or other financial support measures.
  • As a separate deliverable this action entails a coordinated and support action which will provide an analysis of skills need in key digital areas and continue to support the networking among the organisations part of the digital consortia, building a brand of excellence.

Useful documents

21 NOVEMBER 2023
Specialised Education Programmes in Key Capacity Areas