EUH4D Roadshow: Unveiling Success Stories of European Digital Innovation Hubs
Amidst rapid technological advancements, European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs) stand as linchpins in propelling Europe toward its Digital Decade goals. At the recent EUH4D Roadshow during the DIGITAL SME Alliance Summit on November 13th, 2023, these hubs’ pivotal roles took centre stage.
The European Commission opened the session with a first public screening of a new video, likening EDIHs to “superheroes” driving innovation and digital transformation across Europe. This portrayal set the stage for an engaging discussion led by five distinguished speakers:
- Malgorzata Nikowska, Head of Unit ‘Digital Transformation of Industrial Ecosystems, DG CNECT, European Commission.
- Andrei Kelemen, CEO, Cluj IT Cluster.
- Carlos Matilla Codesal, Co-founder, FuVeX.
- Periklis Terlixidis, Operating Officer, Attica Hub for the Economy of Data and Devices.
- Gábor Vicze, CEO, Innomine DIH Nonprofit Ltd.
Their narratives illuminated the collaborative synergy between public institutions, SMEs, and digital innovation hubs, highlighting their contributions and achievements in driving Europe’s digital aspirations forward.
Representatives from various EDIHs, including ahedd – one of the EUH4D Federation members, underscored their diverse activities while addressing challenges arising from insufficient support and lack of uniformity across European Member States. Carlos Matilla Codesal of FuVeX emphasized the EDIHs’ role in directing SMEs towards European projects and opportunities, citing the EUH4D’s crucial support in securing a grant for the DronCAS experiment, aimed at developing drone software for collision avoidance.
Besides the story of FuVeX, participating EDIHs shared the success stories from their side – Mr. Andrei Kelemen presented Cluj IT’s experience digitising business services of local administration, which served as a role model for businesses around; Mr. Vicze shared Innomine’s experience in DIGITBrain project, whereby traditional brewing processes in a local brewery were digitised offering a change of its entire business model, while ahedd presented the case of twin transition and SME support in Athens region. Beyond showcasing success stories and challenges, the dialogue revealed strategies and collaborative efforts vital in establishing and nurturing these hubs. It emphasized EDIHs’ pivotal role as catalysts for innovation, bridging the gap between service providers and the demands of the digital era.
Malgorzata Nikowska’s vision for EDIHs resonated, expressing a hope for a robust European network akin to the transformative influence of the Erasmus program. Her vision, resonating with the room full of representatives of SMEs, evoked enthusiastic responses. Ms. Nikowska expressed a desire to witness a more developed and robust network of EDIHs across Europe and subsequent impact akin to the transformative influence of the Erasmus program. The Head of Unit hoped for a future where a network of EDIHs and their “children” – the entities spawned from their expertise and guidance – would proliferate, catalysing innovation and fostering digital transformation across the continent.
In conclusion, these narratives underscored the transformative potential of EDIHs, shaping Europe’s digital landscape toward innovation and resilience. The room buzzed with anticipation, echoing Nikowska’s sentiments and highlighting the indispensable role of EDIHs in Europe’s digital future.