Digital technology has become an essential component in our society in terms of integration and development. Applications, tools and training have multiplied. But the digital divide (large or small) remains a major challenge. The skills to be mobilized in the field of database management, artificial intelligence and cyber security, as well as training in new technologies are essential in the labor market.

Since 2016, the FPS Policy and Support has been investing through the Digital Belgium Skills Fund (DBSF) in projects that strengthen the  digital skills of socially vulnerable young people and (young) adults. Thanks to the financial kickstart of the DBSF, a lot of great things have already been achieved, with a direct impact on society that cannot be underestimated.

Call for projects 2024

In 2024, the DBSF will support innovative projects that address these challenges. Projects that demonstrate that they can be continued socially and financially in a sustainable manner, without permanent support from the DBSF, have an advantage. In order to remain an important lever for the social and societal inclusion of vulnerable target groups, the DBSF has updated its approach based on the conclusions of the 2022 impact analysis, in particular:

  • the objective has been refined
  • the target groups have been specified
  • the types of projects were redefined
  • the methodology for the selection of the projects was reconsidered

For the 2024 call for projects, the DBSF aims to make digital excellence accessible to vulnerable target groups through innovative and sustainable projects to better meet the needs of the labor market. In addition, this year the emphasis is on projects aimed at socially vulnerable (young) adults aged 16 and older.

Budgets available for each type of project:

  • FOCUS projects (level 1 to 3): 100,000 to 350,000 euros;
  • HUBS projects: 350,000 to 750,000 euros, with the possibility to request an additional budget of 250,000 euros for specific investments.

Timeline of the open call

August – September: organizations can ask questions about the submission procedure of a candidate file via an online form. These questions will be answered weekly until September 18, 2023. The questions and answers asked will be made generally available.

September 18, 2023: an online information session will also be organized on Monday, September 18, 2023 at 4 p.m. Organizations can register for this via an online form.

September 25, 2023: organizations that actually want to submit a file, complete the candidate file and the financial plan completely and in time via the following online form, no later than September 25, 2023 – 11:59 PM.

December 2023: the jury selects the nominated projects and forwards the selection to the Secretary of State for Digitization.

Recent Funding opportunity

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Large AI Grand Challenge November 29, 2023
TrialsNet Open Call November 22, 2023
aerOS 1st open call November 15, 2023
Living-in.EU call for Smart Community Experts November 15, 2023