Scope of potential IPCEI-CIS
IPCEI procedures allow for public-sector funding to be granted at national level for certain projects that make an important contribution to the growth and competitiveness of the European industrial sector and to the strategic objectives of the European Union. Under this framework EU Member States are able to set-up important projects of common European interest, that are based on notified and authorized state aid and which include major contributions to growth, employment and competitiveness of the European industry and economy. An IPCEI must contribute to the strategic objectives of the European Union (EU) and must be conducted by at least two EU Member States. It must include co- financing from the beneficiaries including private companies and disseminate positive spill-over effects across the whole EU. It must also pursue ambitious targets for Research, Development and Innovation (R&D&I), which explicitly exceed current state-of-the-art technologies of the corresponding sector and First Industrial Deployment (FID).
For the IPCEI to qualify as compliant with EU competition rules - in particular the state aid rules - and important market or systemic failures needs to be demonstrated. The criteria for the analysis of the compatibility with the internal market of State aid to promote the execution of Important Projects of Common European Interest are described in the 2014 Communication from the Commission (2014/C 188/02).
The overall objective of the potential IPCEI on Next-Generation Cloud Infrastructure and Services (IPCEI-CIS) is to lay the ground for technological leadership of the European society and economy by fostering highly innovative, energy efficient and secure cloud and edge capabilities in the EU in the future. It shall facilitate the creation of the next generation cloud edge infrastructure and services to unfold the increasing value of the data. The potential IPCEI will not be possible without the commitment of the industry, research, and technological organizations (RTOs) rely heavily on the active engagement of private participation in accordance with IPCEI Communication.
The IPCEI will require relevant R&D parts in the consortia participating in the project. The integrated project should comprise industrial R&D parts as well as initial roll-out of the technologies developed in the IPCEI. The specific ratio between R&D and industrial and R&D institutions will depend on national selection of project proposals and the further EU Match Making process.
The potential IPCEI-CIS shall develop and first industrially deploy the key interdependent building blocks and the associated transverse requirements (sustainability, cybersecurity) along the strategic value chain of the Distributed Multi Provider Cloud-Edge Continuum. The identified key building blocks comprise (1) digital Infrastructure such as software components for real-time and security-critical data transfer and operations as well as evaluation of compatible soft- and hardware packages (2) Interconnections to improve network transparency and interoperability (3) Foundation Services to establish a common highly automated Operation System, for orchestration e.g. load balancing, latency and resource optimization (4) Platforms and Smart Processing Services for app and data management and processing in the cloud-edge continuum (5) Initial Roll-out and deployment of innovative use cases at first industrial deployment stage.
Projects can be specialized on single areas of the value chain. However, they need to be aligned with other projects to form one integrated project.
Projects participating in the IPCEI-CIS should aim at first industrial deployment of developed technologies. The TRL levels serve as an orientation and are not mandatory. Usually, projects address TRL levels between 5 and level 8 according to the below indicative Technology Readiness Level (TRL) scale:
TRL 1 – basic principles observed
TRL 2 – technology concept formulated
TRL 3 – experimental proof of concept
TRL 4 – technology validated in lab
TRL 5 – technology validated in relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
TRL 6 – technology demonstrated in relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
TRL 7 – system prototype demonstration in operational environment TRL 8 – system complete and qualified
TRL 9 – actual system proven in operational environment (competitive manufacturing in the case of key enabling technologies; or in space)
Prerequisites for Participation (National Selection Process)
What are the perquisites for private stakeholders and research and technological intuitions to participate?
Each participating Member State will either host a national Call for Project Proposals (CPP) or a Call for Expression of Interest (CEI). In order to receive notification all Companies participating in the IPCEI have to fully comply with all conditions described in the Communication from the Commission on the Criteria for the analysis of the compatibility with the internal market of State aid to promote the execution of important projects of common European interest.
In case funding of a project proposal might not be possible under the IPCEI framework other national or European funds might be available for them.
Are Member States going to follow a similar schedule when launching their respective, national Call for Project Proposals or Call for Expression of Interest?
To synchronize national project selection across the participating EU Member States CPP will follow similar timeframe and closing. However, due to national legal requirements the launch of national CPP may vary from country to country. All Calls are expected to be closed by end of summer 2021. Please contact your responsible government authority for further information about national selection process (indicated at the end of this FAQ).
One key target of the IPCEI-CIS is to digitize small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the European Union. The participation of SMEs as part of project consortia is appreciated. Requirements for the participation of SMEs might depend on national Call for Project Proposals. Please contact your responsible government authority for further information about national selection process.
As IPCEI are state aid instruments, each participating EU Member State is responsible for the selection of project proposals. Project proposals should refer to the country where they are submitted. A same project cannot be funded twice by two different Member States. However, companies operating in different EU Member States may participate in different national IPCEI-CIS Call to submit different Project Proposals.
A company can be involved in different consortia as long as different kinds of solutions are developed.
The IPCEI is a state aid instrument and rules of participation are defined by each participating Member State according to national laws. National selected projects will then be coordinated in a European Match-Making process. In this process a common Chapeau Text will be elaborated. Companies will have to fill a specific template as part of their application incl. information on funding gap, planned public funding and a project portfolio.
One key target of the IPCEI is to foster European technological leadership in the field of innovative data processing. The IPCEI will also focus on very high level of protection of European data and be fully compliant with the GDPR Regulation.
Notification Process (EU-Match Making Process)
After the selection of the participants on national level, a common Chapeau Text will be elaborated together with all participating companies. In the next step, a matchmaking process will start to establish and enhance collaboration between the participating industrials and RTOs. Also, a governance structure will be created to ensure the integration of the various sub-projects along the value chain defined in the IPCEI-CIS. The overall objective will be that all actors effectively contribute to the objectives of the integrated project.
EU Member States with the support of the European Commission are currently working on exposing the market failures in the data processing market that the IPCEI-CIS will contribute to tackle. During the pre-notification process also, each participating project will have to prove at least one specific market failure and calculate its specific funding gap.
Is there an estimated ratio of infrastructure investment (DC, Cloud, Edge, Interconnection) vs software and coordination overhead?
There is none. Both infrastructure and software are part of the potential IPCEI. Main goal is to have an integrated project that contains contributions to every part of the IPCEI value chain to deliver fully the integrated project. The selection of projects will be influenced by this.
The specific amount of state aid for the IPCEI-CIS has not yet been decided. The concrete amount will depend on concrete funding gap of the projects participating in the IPCEI and the associated national schemes in this area.
The concrete amount of public funding per project will depend on national budgets for the implementation of the project. Please contact your responsible government authority for further information about potential amount of public funding.
The amount of state aid grant will depend on each participating project and the specific funding gap.
Duration of the IPCEI-CIS project
Until 05/21: Pre-project phase I (Project preparation)
Until 09/21: Pre-project phase II (National Call for Project Proposals and Call for Expression of Interests)
Until 12/21: Pre-project phase III (EU-Matchmaking)
Until 12/21: Pre-project phase IV (Pre-notification)
Until 04/22: Pre-project phase V (Notification)
Until 12/26: Project implementation phase (R&D&I and Initial Roll- out)
The milestones during implementation phase might depend on each participating EU Member State and might vary from country to country.
It is expected that the implementation phase of the potential IPCEI-CIS will start in 2022 with the set-up of a governance structure and the launch of R&D&I projects. Preliminary results of these R&D&I projects will be used to support the scoping and preparation of use cases to be piloted. With R&D&I projects developing further first pilots of the use cases will be carried out. When R&D&I projects reach the final stage, a large-scale piloting can be done across the EU. After that the testing and production stage of the First Industrial Deployment can take place based on large scale piloting results from projects of infrastructure/platforms/services.
Roll-Out / First Industrial Deployment
Are the technologies, services and products developed by the potential IPCEI-CIS limited to be offered in the internal European market only?
The potential IPCEI must include committed actions for concrete positive spillovers on the internal market by each beneficiary; concrete, identifiable benefits must be spread beyond the participating companies, RTOs, Member States and sectors. However, participating companies are free to market the results of the project also in Non-European countries outside of the scope of the IPCEI.
Are the potential technologies, services and products developed under this funding instrument expected to be released as open source?
The approach in every IPCEI is case specific (e.g. integration, spillover). It will be under assessment if parts of the technologies, services and products developed under the potential IPCEI will require the release under Open-Source license.
Co-investments on infrastructure between public and private players might be possible under IPCEI-CIS, for the development and first industrial deployment of highly innovative cloud and edge nodes, addressing the specific needs of the EU Member States as long as they are compliant with EU competition rules. These investments could cover the whole cloud-edge value chain, with a focus on increasing the capacity (density of nodes), efficiency, security and sustainability of the cloud and edge facilities when compliant with EU competition rules. This is aligned with the ambition of the European Commission to deploy 10,000 climate-neutral highly secure edge nodes by 2030, guaranteeing equal access to data services with low latency (few milliseconds) wherever users are located as highlighted under the Digital Decade Communication. However, investments for highly innovative and sustainable infrastructure will be limited to the first industrial deployment phase, corresponding to the testing at small scale of the R&D phase.
National Point of Contacts
Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action
Ministry for Innovation and Technology
Ministry of Economic Development
Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development
Ministry of the Economy
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy
Chancellery of the Prime Minister
Ministry of Economic Development and Technology
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Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transition