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Establishing the Federation of Data Driven Innovation Hubs in Europe


Data driven innovation and the role of Digital Innovation Hubs in Europe

Data driven innovation is an engine for growth, prosperity and societal development in Europe. In order to bring this data driven innovation closer to the industry, and more specifically, to small and medium companies as well as entrepreneurs and start-ups, the role of competence centers and digital innovation hubs (DIHs) in particular, offering support around big data services, products and applications, is crucial. Today, there are more than 190 DIHs in Europe specialised in Data Mining, Big Data and Database Management. They constitute a key strength for Europe moving towards a more developed Data Economy.

Going a step further: the EUHubs4Data project

To go a step further in the promotion of data driven innovation in Europe, existing initiatives need to collaborate and DIHs need to connect, exchange knowledge and best practices and work together. In this context, the newly launched EUHub4Data project will constitute the key stepping stone enabling collaboration and networking between recognized data driven DIHs. The vision of this project is to create the European federation of Data Driven Innovation Hubs which, based on the premise “global catalogue, local offer”, will ensure access to SMEs and start-ups in their respective regional ecosystems to a global catalogue of data sources and federated data driven services, making accessible the latest developments on Data Analytics and advanced assets on Big Data to companies all across Europe, and establishing as the reference on innovation and experimentation on Big Data. To achieve this vision, EUHubs4Data relies on DIHs deeply rooted in their regional ecosystems and with an advanced level of maturity and sustainability, and other existing relevant European initiatives in Big Data, to create a complete ecosystem that will contribute to the creation of a common European data space, by breaking data silos, fostering collaborations among members, federating services in a cross-border basis, and supporting local and regional industry in the data driven innovation

Kick off and next steps

A 3 days kick off meeting of this project took place during the last week of September (online). Each partner was given the opportunity to present how they would contribute to the overall objective of the project and the set up of the Federation. Furthermore, a series of short workshops was organised to brainstorm about key deliverables and outcomes of the project such as the structure of the Federation or the service and data catalogue. While this project is only at the beginning, a number of important milestones are expected for the coming months and notably:

  • The launch of the first version of the data and service catalogue of the DIHs members of the federation
  • The publish in December of the first round of open calls for SMEs and startups willing to participate in cross-border data experimentation projects (by leveraging the data and service catalogue of the EUHubs4Data project)
  • The participation in the European Big Data Value Forum 2020, as sponsor of the event, organizing a dedicated session and participating on several others

According to the project coordinator, Daniel Alonso, “EUHubs4Data is a project of great importance, not only for the involved DIHs and their respective ecosystems, but also for the Big Data Value PPP, the BDVA and the European Commission. The project starts in this transition period between the previous H2020 programme and the new Horizon Europe and Digital Europe programmes. It aims to act as a bridge between the existing instruments defined to foster data driven innovation (Digital Innovation Hubs), and the new instruments, specially the Common European Data Spaces and the network of European DIHs. Our idea is to bring together different initiatives around data in Europe, and to leverage the efforts and results coming from other actions, specially the projects of the Big Data Value PPP. For this reason, the value that the EUHubs4Data project brings to the data ecosystem is extremely important”

For more information on this project and on how it will help to build a European Data Space, please consult regularly our website or follow us on social media.