Digital Challenge Owners Open Call

DigiFed is designed to drive innovation across European industry via large scale adoption of Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) & Embedded Systems*.

DigiFed wants to help European medium to large companies digitally transform their operations, products and service offerings by collaborating with new age Startups and SMEs to prototype a potential solution. By offering match funding opportunities, DigiFed is looking to identify real market needs and accelerate the development and adoption of advanced digital technologies to solve industry challenges.

What is a Digital Challenge?

A Digital Challenge is a 9-12 months project where the selected innovator (a Startup or SME) develops a solution/product/service for which no Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) or embedded system solution has been identified in the market yet by a Digital Challenge Owner.

The expected outcome of our Digital Challenge is an innovative solution with a high technology readiness level (TRL) which may also be used as a first-generation product.

Who is a Digital Challenge Owner?

  • The Digital Challenge Owner is a medium to large European company** that has identified a specific business need for which no digital solution is currently available in the market
  • This company is open to collaborating with Startups and SMEs to prototype a potential solution in the field of Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) & Embedded Systems
  • This company might need this technology to rapidly access new competencies and resources it does not have internally
  • Will to co-fund (50% match funding) the experiment anywhere between €30,000 to €50,000 for 9-12 months

What are the benefits for the Digital Challenge Owner for participating?

  • Gain access to tech innovators, experts and develop a bespoke solution from Startups or SMEs that address your business challenge
  • Gain access and develop new partnerships with leading Digital Innovation Hubs across Europe
  • Minimise time and risks by obtaining an alternative way of procuring new suppliers
  • Accelerate your company’s innovation journey, learn about new technologies and uncover new markets
  • Benefit from a de-risked, cost-efficient and accelerated digital transformation of your operations, products and services
  • Inclusion in online marketing and communications with EU coverage

How will DigiFed support the Digital Challenge Owner?

  • Provide 50% of funding support to the Startup/SME to address the digitisation challenge within your business
  • Lead the search, identify and select the right Startups or SMEs for your challenge
  • Support in the identification and framing of a suitable challenge topic and make it understandable to the Startups or SMEs in the market
  • Project management support from DigiFed partners in the Digital Challenge development

What is the plan?

  • DigiFed is currently inviting Digital Challenge Owners to participate
  • DigiFed and the Digital Challenge Owners will jointly offer grants of up to € 100k as well as technical and business support for the development of smart applications in Europe
  • The Startups and SMEs will be selected through an open call application process which will  start in May/June 2021

What is the timeline?

  • Open call: 22nd  February – 31st  March 2021
  • Down-selection: 1st April – 15th  April 2021
  • Contract Signing and Digital Challenge requirements: 15th  April – 15th  May 2021
  • Open Call to select Digital Challenge solution provider: May – September 2021
  • Digital Challenge development start: October – November 2021

For more information:

What next:

If you are interested in being part of the DigiFed programme and proposing a Digital Challenge for European start-ups, please submit the form below and our team will contact you to learn more about your digital challenge needs.


Application: Digital Challenge Owner

Fields marked with an asterisk are required.

Company info


Applicant info

E.g. Mr. or Mrs.

Budget and resources info


Challenge Info

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*More information about the technology and challenge example is available in the attached info pack.

**UK companies remain eligible for grants and procurement procedures as if the UK was a member state for the entirety of the Horizon 2020 framework programme and previous framework programmes. This also applies to financial support to third parties according to Article 204 FR (cascading grants) and applies for the duration of H2020 projects.