|May 9, 2023

Gaia-X and funding programs

Bild mit einem Pfeil, der nach oben zeigt

Gaia-X is an initiative to establish a high-performance, competitive, secure, and trustworthy data infrastructure for Europe, which is supported by representatives from business, science, and administration in many EU member states.

The Gaia-X initiative develops rules and mechanisms to support a trusted and secure exchange of data between business partners, to support the development of data-driven business models in different market domains. In addition to the necessary technical services to support flexible and trusted data exchange between different stakeholders, the formation of specific business models in specific application areas (use cases) and the associated development of data spaces is a necessary objective.

Companies, service providers, SMEs, and demanders from administration are faced with the major challenge of developing necessary technical, strategic, and business know-how, establishing networks in new market areas, and ensuring experience through early information exchange with market competitors to achieve sustainable competitiveness in this emerging business area.

This new technology and market dynamics are also reflected in the various national and EU-wide innovation and funding programs to support the development of competencies and skills in Europe. The following overview is intended to provide an initial overview of relevant funding programs, networks, and contacts.

Gaia-X relevant funding programs

Gaia-X relevant funding programs essentially aim to promote the development of data spaces, data sharing platforms, and data exchange methods as well as data processing methods in the data science and AI fields.

EU funding programs

At the European level, there are ongoing calls for proposals in various programs to promote Gaia-X relevant projects accordingly. In particular, the calls for proposals from the Horizon Europe and Digital Europe programs should be noted.

Likewise, the communities of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) are important stakeholders with corresponding objectives to promote emerging data economies.

All calls for proposals from the European Commission can be found under Single Electronic Data Interchange Area (SEDIA).

For the various EU programs such as Horizon Europe and Digital Europe, the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) has technical experts who have detailed information about the programs and are happy to help.

Austrian funding programs

In Austria, projects with a Gaia-X reference can potentially be supported by thematically appropriate calls for proposals from the FFG or the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (aws). These include, in particular

  • the FFG programs with a focus on digitization and broadband or funding in the area of digital key technologies as well as
  • the aws programs for testing and using artificial intelligence, such as the AI Adoption program.

FFG and aws offer the Förderpilot as an information platform for searching for appropriate national funding programs.

Regional Austrian funding

Similar to Austrian funding programs, regional research and development programs can be targeted for Gaia-X related projects. These include, for example

  • Upper Austria: the program for stimulating cooperation for the implementation of cooperative research, development, or organizational projects for Upper Austrian companies
  • Carinthia: the promotion of innovative products, processes, or services in Carinthia, or
  • Vienna: funding for innovation, research, or new products and manufacturing processes in Vienna.

At the regional level, the fact sheets of the Platform Industry 4.0 can also provide a helpful overview of federal-state-specific funding opportunities in the field of digitization.

Current calls for proposals: Data Space funding in the Digital Europe Program

In the Digital Europe Programme (DEP), 50% of funding is provided by the EU Commission. At the national level, these EU funds can be increased through national co-financing.

The following topics were advertised in the last DEP call:

  • Mobility
  • Media
  • Manufacturing

For example, the focus in the Q1 2023 DEP call (deadline 01.2023) was on “Cloud, Data and AI”.

In the Q2 DEP call (opening on 11.5.2023), the following Data Space priorities are defined:

  • Green Deal Data Space
  • Data Space for Cultural Heritage
  • Data Space for Skills
  • Data Space for Tourism
  • Federated European Infrastructure for Intensive Care Units’ data
  • Genome of Europe: Data Generation
  • Digital Product Passport

The following Data Space priorities are planned for the Q4 2023 DEP call:

  • Energy Data Space
  • Data Space for Manufacturing (deployment)
  • Agricultural Data Space
  • Data Space for Public Administration (grants)
  • Supporting Patients’ Access to their Health Data for Primary Use Based on MyHealth@EU

Event tip

FFG webinar: “DIGITAL – GET SET GO Call 1 2023”. Important information on the tender topics in the new work program 2023-24 of the DIGITAL Europe Program will be presented.

When: May 10, 2023



  • FFG: Max Arends
  • +43577554206