Key Digital Technologies

Key Digital Technologies (KDT) have been identified as one of the main drivers towards Europe’s digital sovereignty and its capacity to produce high-quality microelectronics. They make up electronic and photonic components, as well as the software that defines how they work, thus underpinning all digital systems including AI and the IoTs.

The KDT partnership will support the digital transformation of all economic and societal sectors, make the transformation work for Europe and support the Green Deal by contributing towards the EU’s target of becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

Builds on ECSEL JU experience and achievements

The KDT joint undertaking builds on its predecessor ECSEL JU, which had a total of €4.9 billion investment in 2014-2020, and included 10 calls, 64 projects, and more than 2 100 participants.

Today Europe accounts for roughly 9-10% of global production – up from 6% five years ago thanks to the EU ECSEL initiative, which has been instrumental to reverse this trend.


The KDT partnership aims to:

  • Provide innovative electronic components and systems, software and smart integration to digital value chains, providing secure and trusted technologies tailored to the needs of user industries and citizens. This will help reinforce Europe’s potential to innovate.
  • Develop and apply these technologies to address major global challenges in mobility, health, energy, security, manufacturing and digital communications. This will contribute to and strengthen Europe’s scientific and technological bases.
  • Better align R&I and industrial policies for a joint approach in mastering these drivers of innovation.


KDT extends the scope and includes integrated photonics and higher layers of software. KDT also expands the value-chain coverage with stronger involvement of users.


The Commission proposed a financial contribution of €1.8 billion between 2021-2027 for the KDT partnership. At the same time, participating Member States make a similar contribution, while industry, research organisations, academia etc. contribute rougly €2.5 billion via the 3 industry associations AENEAS, Inside and EPoSS. 


The European Commission shared the candidates for European Partnerships in digital, industry and space. Together with Inside and EPoSS, AENEAS, as lead entities along with DG Connect and DG RTD, have been strongly involved to co-create this proposal, also endorsed by the Members States and Norway. This document is a stable draft of the KDT partnership proposal.

Provisional Call dates

The ECSEL JU Office, has developed some provisional planning for the first two calls 2021 and 2022. The ECSEL JU Office will become the KDT JU Office once the KDT JU is launched.

  • Call-2021 expected to be launched in December 2021 with a deadline in April 2022, and selected projects to be launched before end 2022
  • Call-2022 expected to be launched mid 2022 with a deadline after the summer break 2022 and selected projects to be launched in 2023

Such calls can only be launched under some specific conditions. More about the conditions here.

Strategic areas


The first calls publications are expected by December 2021

More here

KDT JU Contacts

Still to come

Public authority contact

Still to come