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International Cooperation

Key Digital Technologies (KDT)

The KDT (Key Digital Technologies) Partnership is a continuation of the Joint Technological Initiative ECSEL (Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership) for the period 2021-2027.


KDT Partnership includes the participation of the European Commission, Member States and Countries Associated to Horizon Europe framework programme, and three industrial associations: AENEAS, Inside (formerly ARTEMIS-IA) and EPoSS. This is one of nine Horizon Europe institutionalised partnerships, implemented under article 187 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, governed by Regulation 2021/2085 of the EU Council of 19 November. The Partnership is implemented through the KDT Joint Undertaking (KDT JU).

ECSEL and its predecessors (ENIAC and ARTEMIS) followed what was in essence a “bottom-up” approach, which proved to have a very positive impact for Europe in several strategic areas, such as power electronics, industrial systems, and electronic components in the biomedical and automotive sectors, among others. KDT will operate through a different approach and in a different context, responding to the urgency of bridging weak links in Europe's innovation value chains. For this reason, KDT work programmes will introduce focus topics, aligning with the strategic axes of the Union and the Participating States. Private members, represented through the three industry associations mentioned above, will continue to contribute to the Partnership, mainly through the definition of the ECS SRIA (electronic components and systems Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda), which will be one of the bases for the definition of the KDT work programmes.

KDT's calls for proposals should also be seen in conjunction with funding opportunities made available through the Eureka Xecs Cluster, in support to the European ECS community, whose programmatic content is also associated with the ECS SRIA.

The KDT Partnership should align itself in a synergetic way with Horizon Europe “Cluster 4 – Digital”, with the EuroHPC Partnership in the area of high-performance computing and also with other European Commission initiatives, such as “Industrial Alliance for Processors and Semiconductor Technologies”.

According to the communication of the European Commission of 8 February 2022 dedicated to the European Chips Act, the KDT Joint Undertaking may be expanded into the “Chips JU”, thus becoming instrumental in the Implementation of measures to strengthen Europe’s leadership in terms of R&I resulting in integrated circuits that are smaller and faster; to reinforce the design, production and packaging capabilities of advanced chips; and to build the necessary technical skills and retain talent in the domain of microelectronics.

In order to ensure alignment with the various components of Horizon Europe, including other Horizon Europe Partnerships, as well as with EU programmes and initiatives in the area of digital technologies, the Portuguese delegation is composed of the following elements:


2021 Calls for proposals of KDT JU

The KDT Partnership calls for proposals are defined in the work programmes approved by the respective “Governing Board”, in which the Participating States (including Portugal) and private members (represented by the three industry associations) have a seat.

On 16 December 2021, KDT launched three calls for proposals, having the respective calls texts been published in the “Funding and tender opportunities” platform of the EU:


How to apply

  • Proposals must be submitted electronically, through the EU proposal submission platform – “Funding and tender opportunities” (as of 18 January 2022 — the date scheduled for the opening of the calls).
  • The submitted proposals are subject to two levels of eligibility validation: at international level, according to the Horizon Europe’s criteria published on the EU proposal submission platform; and at national level, in accordance with the national eligibility rules indicated in annex 3 of the 2021 Work Programme.
  • Please note that, in order to take part in KDT calls for proposals, it is not necessary to be a member of one of the AENEAS, Inside or EPoSS associations.
  • FCT financial commitment and financing conditions

    Call eligibility rules are published in Annex 3 of the 2021 Work Programme (under “Country specific eligibility rules”):

    • FCT will provide for the three calls €2.000.000 from national funds through the FCT budget.
    • The total national co-funding for each national beneficiary entity is limited to €250.000 per entity, per proposal (i.e. several entities involved in the same proposal may request up to €250.000 each).
    • All proposals with national applicants must include at least one Portuguese company. Applications that include only non-entrepreneurial entities of the national research and innovation system (ENESII) will not be considered eligible for funding.
    • The applicable Regulation will be the Horizon Europe Regulation, according to which national beneficiaries must report project execution (including financial execution) to KDT JU, in accordance with the conditions defined in the Model Grant Agreement to be signed between the beneficiaries and KDT JU.
    • National participants in proposals selected for funding must also sign a national grant agreement (“Termos de Aceitação”), in which the conditions for national funding will be established, to be made available by FCT once the results of call selection are known. The national grant agreement must be signed by the participants and returned within 30 days from the date of communication of the results of the selection of proposals for the corresponding call. The national grant agreement contains the conditions for the financial execution of the national co-funding through FCT, and foresees the submission of declarations proving the non-existence of outstanding payments to the national fiscal and social security system.

    Funding rates

    The co-funding rates adopted will be as follows, according to the 2021 Work Programme:

    Funding Rates

    * Focus Topic 1 (IA) Development of open-source RISC-V building blocks, will be co-funded as a RIA.

    Note: Regardless of the information contained on this webpage, you should refer to the 2021 Work Programme for a detailed description of the programmatic content of the calls for proposals, the types of action supported and the respective maximum public co-funding rates.

    Information contained on this webpage does not replace or supersede what is defined in the Regulation of Horizon Europe Institutionalised Partnerships, in the Horizon Europe Regulation and in the call texts (published in the “Funding and tender opportunities” platform).

    Tel: (+351) 213 924 450