Project description 

Master of Science in Smart, Secure and Interconnected Systems (MERIT) is a European Union co-funded project under the Digital Europe Programme, with participating universities from four countries, industrial partners, excellence and research centres, national technology transfer organisations and digital innovation hubs.  

Through its four-year programme, MERIT will develop a strong educational ecosystem that is innovative, inclusive and sustainable. The programme will create a knowledge base of society’s needs in the field of advanced digital skills and their proper utilization. It will also establish conversion courses for reskilling non-ICT specialists and mobility opportunities for teachers and learners between the six countries. Finally, the programme will provide industry-relevant courses, hackathons and employability skills so that students and graduates can be job-ready upon graduation. 

MERIT is a European program aiming to increase the number of digital specialists, reskill individuals and upskill MERIT partners. It will be implemented in six European countries: Spain, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Italy and Romania. The Master’s students will be able to address industry challenges at the EU level, with a special focus on countries with a low DESI (Digital Economy and Society) index, such as Romania. The program aims to provide students with excellent learning tools (such as e-learning resources and a blended learning approach), as well as to identify the market needs and trends that are going to emerge in the next years. MERIT contributes to the ICT domain by promoting the integration of research aspects to hands-on problems and by supporting sandboxes and real environments in companies and public organizations to test and adapt developed skills and solutions. 

The project includes a joint Master program that four European universities will offer: Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VILNIUS TECH), Riga Technical University (RTU) and Tallinn University of Technology (TAL TECH). To support the program and related activities, it leverages the expertise of additional industrial partners and stakeholders: Asoindel, Exacaster, Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), Sunrise Valley Science and Technology Park (SSMTP), UPC Technology Center (CIT UPC), and EDIH Digital Innovation Zone (DIZNE). 

Who can benefit from the program? 

A special focus will be on prioritising underrepresented communities and gender equality in STEM careers. The program will include mentoring and networking opportunities, as well as hands-on experience in labs, companies and public organisations. High attention will be dedicated to upskilling and retraining to support life-long learning with conversion and short-term courses. 

This is a unique program that consolidates Europe’s best minds in cutting-edge technologies to create a highly skilled workforce. It promotes the advanced learning and development of emerging technologies in Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and Cybersecurity. Students will be trained by leading researchers from top European universities and companies.



Source: European Digital Skills & Jobs Platform


Digital technology / specialisation

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cybersecurity
  • Internet of Things
  • Digital skills

Digital skill level

  • Basic
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Geographic Scope - Country

  • European Union
  • Estonia
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Spain
  • Romania

Type of initiative

International initiative

Target audience

  • Digital skills for the labour force.
  • Digital skills for ICT professionals and other digital experts.
  • Digital skills in education.
  • Digital skills for all