On April 19th, 2016, the European Commission launched the very first industry-related initiative of the Digital Single Market Package. The initiative was build based on the rising numbers of many national initiatives for the digitizing industry. The aim is to trigger further investments in the digitization of the European Industry to support the creation of better framework conditions for the Digital Industrial Revolution. The development of the Digital Innovation Hubs network is one of the most important pillars of the Digitise European Industry.
What are Digital Innovation Hubs?
More and more companies nowadays, want to use digital technologies to advance the manufacturing process of their products and enhance their services. Digital Innovation Hubs are the way to do that. They act as one-stop-shops aiming ant providing access to all the latest knowledge, technology and expertise to provide support to their customers. That can be achieved through piloting, testing and of course, experimenting with everything that is digital innovation.
Another important role of the Digital Innovation Hub is to provide the customers with business and financing support in an effort to implement all these innovations across the entire expanse of a value chain.
Digital Innovation Hubs also provide a location solution. They are the first regional point of contact for every business. That way they are acting as a doorway to strengthen the local, national and international system. All DIH act as regional multi-partner cooperation. At the same, they have really strong linkages with multiple service providers, outside of their regions. These providers support companies with access to their services.
The Digital Innovation Hubs catalogue
One of the most innovative actions taken as part of the Digital Europe Industrial Strategy is the Digital Innovation Hubs Catalogue. When the catalogue was first set up it aimed to act as a comprehensive picture of all the Digital Innovation Hubs across the EU separated by competencies, structures and service offerings. The catalogue contains more than 400 Digital Innovation Hubs, over 200 of which are fully operational.
The information provided on the DIH, in the catalogue is based on the following criteria:
- Be part of a regional, national or European policy initiative to digitise industry;
- Be a non-profit organisation;
- Have a physical presence in the region and present an updated website explaining the DIHs’ activities and services provided for the digital transformation of SMEs/Midcaps;
- Have at least 3 verifiable examples of how the DIH has helped a company with its digital transformation.
Digital Innovation Hubs in Greece
Located mainly in big city centres, there are 14 Digital Innovation Hubs located in Greece. 8 of them are fully operational and 6 of them are in preparation status. These hubs cover a large number of market domains, for example, agriculture, fishing, construction, transport and many more.
However, according to the proposed Regulation and the fact that Greece consists of a total of 13 Regional Units, at least 10 more Digital Innovation Hubs will need to be established in an effort to cover every Regional Unit. For Greece, the establishment of one Digital Innovation Hub per Regional Unit appears to be rather challenging, assuming that, that Hub will cover all aspects of the relevant operational objectives.
IED in Preparation Stage of Digital Innovation Hubs
Here, at IED, in order to achieve our goal and become a fully operational Digital Innovation Hub (DIH), we have participated, among others, in the planning, implementation and evaluation of more than 100 National and European Projects. Through those projects, we were given the opportunity to produce and collect a large number of innovative tools and products on different aspects of entrepreneurship and digital learning, available to be further processed and utilized!
IED’s activities are in line with the National Strategy for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) and Thessaly’s RIS3. IED develops and implements projects that respond to current & future economic and social challenges, promotes intra- and inter-regional networking disseminates knowledge and technological diversification.