Making European Digital Innovation Hubs work for SMEs

Our next episode of DIGITAL SME Live captures the discussion on European Digital Innovation Hubs. It will try to answer two fundamental questions for the success of European DIHs: What makes a Digital Innovation Hub truly European? And what should the role of existing industry ecosystems be within EDIHs? Tune in on Monday, October 26, 09:00 CEST to find out!

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Within the next long-term EU budget, a brand-new Digital Europe Programme was created by the European Commission. The Programme aims to build up the EU’s strategic digital capacities and to facilitate the wide deployment of digital technologies. Through the Digital Europe Programme, the European Commission, together with the Member States, will co-invest in the development of European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs). EDIHs are expected to be the main tool to foster the digital transformation of SMEs and public administration.

In order to succeed, EDIHs need to be market-driven and build on existing business and industry structures. They should function as brokers between traditional SMEs and technology frontrunners and foster the digitalisation of the European economy through business partnerships while infusing them with expertise and knowledge. In addition, cooperation between numerous successful hubs throughout Europe is crucial for the proliferation of successful #specialised services: best practices from individual hubs can be used to support SME ecosystems Europe-wide!

Just ahead of the first restricted call for EDIHs through the Digital Europe Programme, this online discussion will focus on two fundamental questions for the success of European DIHs: What makes a Digital Innovation Hub truly European? And what should the role of existing industry ecosystems be within EDIHs?

Join us live on 26 October to be part of the discussion! There are two ways in which you can participate:

1) Register below and join the webinar to get a chance to ask your questions in person and interact with the experts!

2) Follow the live-stream via YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook.


Part one: European DIHs which serve the needs of SMEs

9.00 – 9.10 Signing in participants and speakers
9.10 – 9.20 Welcome and introduction by DIGITAL SME Secretary-General Sebastiano Toffaletti
9.20 – 9.30 Keynote speech (video) by Prof. Dr. Kristina Sinemus, Minister of Digital Strategy and Development, State of Hessen
9.30 – 10.30 Panel: How do DIHs serve the needs of SMEs?
In order to support the digitalisation of SMEs and the wider economy, it is important to build on existing business ecosystems and to allow non-digital and digital SMEs to work together. Against this background, this panel will address the following questions: How can DIHs meet the needs of both digital SMEs and more traditional SMEs that are on their way to digital transformation? What are good practices that developed bottom-up out of a pre-existing ecosystem?

• Ms. Anne-Marie Sassen, Deputy Head of the Technologies and Systems for Digitising Industry Unit, DG CONNECT, European Commission
• Han Gerrits, Head of Innovation & Strategy, Capgemini Invent
• Mr. Udo Glaser, Member of the Management Board, digitalHUB Aachen
• Mr. José Lucio González Jiménez, CONETIC & AEI, Cybersecurity Innovation HUB, Spain
• Mr. Nicola Bianchi, Service, Project and Partnership Manager, EDI DIH (Ecosistema Digitale per l’Innovazione)

10:30-10:40 10-minute coffee break

Part two: From national to European Digital Innovation Hubs

10:40-11:40 Panel: From national to European Digital Innovation Hubs
This session will focus on defining key elements to support the development of European Digital Innovation Hubs. Having a European network of DIHs will allow individual DIHs to specialize in particular sectors or technologies. This could contribute to a European network of DIHs that can ensure specialised services to SMEs and thus overall increase the quality of services. The panel will present existing good practice examples of European cooperation between the Hubs and discuss how to facilitate a European DIH network that exchanges best practices and expertise.

• Mr. Gabriel Rissola, Expert in territorial innovation ecosystems and ICT, Joint Research Centre
• Dr. Stelian Brad, DIH4Society Hub, Professor at Technical University of Cluj-Napoca
• Mr. Manuel Krieg, Digital Innovation Hub Ost- und Nord-Hessen (EDIH-ON)
• Mr. Dimos Ioannidis, Information Technologies Institute, The Hellenic Association of Mobile Applications Companies
• Ms. Cristina Oyón, Head of Strategic Initiatives, Basque Digital Innovation Hub

11:40-11:45 Closing Remarks

Mr. Peter Statev, Chairman of the Bulgarian ICT Cluster, DigiTech DIH


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