Bottom-up innovation could be the competitive way forward for European advancement on the international stage across industrial sectors, and help to harmonise the current digitisation discrepancies across European industrial sectors. Digital innovation is necessary in order to keep up with the fast pace of digital technological change, but this fast pace can leave decision makers with difficult decisions regarding when to invest, to what level and in which technologies.
Currently around 60% of large industries and more than 90% of SMEs feel like they are lagging behind in digital innovation, which is why the European Commission (EC) has been actively developing Digital innovation hubs to ensure that every company, regardless of size and technological capabilities, can grasp digital opportunities.
There are already several initiatives and platforms from the EC that aim to shape the pan-European network of DIHs, with a focus on helping SMEs master their digital transformations:
- Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs (I4MS);
- Smart Anything Everywhere (SAE);
- Open Data Incubator Europe (ODINE);
- European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC);
- European Coordination Hub for Open Robotics Development (ECHORD++);
- Access Center for Photonics Innovation Solutions and Technology Support (ACTPHAST);
- Supercomputing Exercise for SMEs (SESAME NET);
- The call for tender EU13 DIHs;
- A thematic smart specialisation platform for industrial modernisation; and
With EU funding and the initiatives above, there has been not only an increase in competitiveness of existing industries, notably for SME and mid-caps, but also additional business creation in new digitised products and services. The EC aims to continue supporting these actions by channeling 500 million EUR over the next five years from Horizon 2020 budget.
For more information: https://ec.europa.eu