DIGITAL SME provides recommendations on Digital Innovation Hubs

As the world around us is becoming more and more digitalised, the need for small and medium-sized business to use new technologies is growing. Digital Innovation Hubs are an initiative to promote the digital transformation of the EU industry. The goal is to connect businesses across Europe and provide B2B access to digital skills and technologies. DIGITAL SME strongly encourages putting SME “digital enablers” at the centre of this process. Digital Innovation Hubs are a good tool to raise awareness about existing solutions and capabilities of SMEs, which are front and centre in Europe’s digital transformation. As representatives of digital SMEs, European DIGITAL SME Alliance would like to contribute to shaping the discussion on the role of the DIHs by providing our members’ feedback as to what type of infrastructure, training, awareness-raising or other support SMEs in the ICT sector would find useful.

Digital Innovation Hubs are a good tool to raise awareness about existing solutions and capabilities of SMEs, which are front and centre in Europe’s digital transformation.

To feed into the discussion about the role of DIHs and the services they should offer, DIGITAL SME has issued a position paper with several priorities outlining what services would benefit SMEs in the ICT-sector. According to a consultation with our members, a function such as a market radar or a single repository for SMEs with companies active in a specific sector could provide a better picture of the size of market and the available solutions and products. Other points included testing facilities for new technologies, and certified training offers, and market and business intelligence.

“In many cases, the services mentioned above are already in the portfolio of IT cluster organizations”Andrei Kelemen, Executive Director of Cluj IT Cluster

At the same time, it needs to be clear that the existing business or industry structures are not artificially duplicated. For instance, Andrei Kelemen, head of the Cluj IT Cluster, made the following statement: “In many cases, the services mentioned above are already in the portfolio of IT cluster organizations or local organisations and hubs. Better coordination is needed to make sure to build on existing structures and to use synergies between IT clusters and Digital Innovation Hubs.”