EUHubs4Data: Federating digital innovation hubs will bring windfall of data to SMEs

  • The new Horizon2020 project EUHubs4Data will help to unify the offer of data-driven services from Europe’s many Digital Innovation Hubs and connect them with businesses and organisations in need of data

  • Joining a consortium of top players in big data, DIGITAL SME will play a key role in SME outreach, organising an SME Roadshow as well as supporting the dissemination of open calls and trainings targeted at SMEs

  • The project is an important step towards the realisation of the EC’s plan to strengthen the European data economy within the Digital Europe Programme, weakening the dependence on external data providers and thereby strengthening the EU’s digital sovereignty

Brussels, 1 October (DIGITAL SME). There are almost 200 Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) specialised in big data in Europe. Individually, many of these hubs are highly successful: they provide different data-related services and serve as a bridge between digital SMEs and other businesses. On a European level, however, there is a decisive lack of interconnection among these hubs, making the idea of a unified network of big-data-DIHs very interesting.

A Europe-wide, federated network of big data hubs

The new EUHubs4Data project wants to address this need. Launched in September 2020, its goal is to federate services provided by Europe’s big data hubs to fully exploit the benefits enabled by the different actors in the network. The project will facilitate a more efficient collaboration among SMEs and other stakeholders and provide better access to a variety of data sets and data-related services for SMEs.

As such, EUHubs4Data will lay the foundation for a pan-European federation of DIHs. Fostering collaboration and exchange between existing hubs, it will provide a strong basis for a networked European data economy that satisfies the voracious appetite for data of digital SMEs and startups that work with emerging technologies like artificial intelligence. These efforts will be underpinned by a strong emphasis on interoperability and data sharing. Standing on the shoulders of giants, EUHubs4Data will leverage successful examples of data innovation enabled by data incubators, European projects, open data initiatives, and data skills and training offers.

The main outcome of the project will be a catalogue of federated data-driven services that will aggregate offers by individual DIHs. This catalogue will also include relevant European datasets from different sources and with different levels of information, depending on the availability and accessibility of the data.

DIGITAL SME among consortium of top players in big data

Led by the Spanish Instituto Tecnológico de Informática, the consortium includes some of Europe’s biggest players in big data, such as the Big Data Value Association. It is also supported by 12 data-DIHs from Italy represented by CINECA, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology from Germany, the Swedish RISE Research Institute and others. To support the uptake of emerging technologies like AI and robotics that necessitate large datasets, the project will invest significantly in expanding its stakeholder community and building close collaboration with SMEs, external DIHs, and other data-innovation players in Europe.

DIGITAL SME will play a key role in SME outreach, ensuring that businesses which need data to grow or could benefit from data-related services have access to them. In order to reach out and attract SMEs, the Alliance will organise an SME Roadshow, support the dissemination of the open calls and trainings, and coordinate external initiatives. DIGITAL SME will also contribute to community building, defining the training programme for SMEs, and to project communication and risk management.

You can follow EUHubs4Data on LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as on the project website. Stay tuned for more information!