The European Commission is looking for 30 Digital Innovation Hubs in the field of Artificial Intelligence, to offer them a training programme, establish a network, and provide evidence for the preparation of relevant European policies.

The project, called “Digital Innovation Hub Network”, is managed by PwC in cooperation with Carsa and Innovalia.

Objectives of the call

The European Commission is looking for 30 Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) from at least 8 different Member States to create a network with focus on Artificial Intelligence and a blueprint for cross border collaboration.

The selected DIHs will be involved in the definition and, possibly in the signature, of a Cooperation Agreement among (at least) 10 hubs.

The DIHs Network will support cooperation among DIHs, contributing to create a community that can increase European competitiveness. Being part of the network, each DIH could be able to enhance its capabilities to support business innovation, by strengthening its relationships with other DIHs and learning how to integrate cooperation schemes in its business model.  

Who can apply

The project is open to DIHs:

  • located in one of the 28 EU Members States or Horizon 2020 associated countries
  • included in the European catalogue of Digital Innovation Hubs (or that will be included by the call's deadline on 21 December)
  • having selected “Artificial Intelligence and cognitive systems” as technological focus on the European DIH catalogue. Other technologies that can prove a future interaction with AI, e.g. Robotics, Cyber-Physical-Systems (CPS), Internet of Things (IoT), Digital Art & Design, Modeling and Simulation, Medical Technologies, Digital Manufacturing, etc., will be considered as an asset.

The application should be presented by the coordinator of the DIH.

What are the evaluation criteria?

  • Vision, mission and value proposition

    • Mission oriented to support relevant industries and regions for the digitalisation of European industry
    • Sectoral focus on AI. Other technologies that can prove a future interaction with AI, e.g. Robotics, Cyber-Physical-Systems (CPS), Internet of Things (IoT), Digital Art & Design, Modeling and Simulation, Medical Technologies, Digital Manufacturing, etc., will be considered as an asset.
    • Motivation and value proposition for collaboration and involvement in the project
  • Business model and networking potential

    • Business model clearly outlined
    • Networking and collaboration plans included in the strategy plan
    • Participation in existing collaboration initiatives and/or efforts to establish collaboration with either other hubs or similar digital initiatives
  • Collaboration

    • Relevance of the collaboration models established by the DIHs for the implementation of specific technologies and issuing of services in the AI sector
    • Collaboration and networking agreements with key regional innovation partners 
    • Long-term sustainability of collaboration structures eventually in place will be highly considered as an asset
  • Ecosystem

    • Size of addressable SME market and engagement of SMEs
    • Quality of existing digital and physical infrastructure in the region for cooperation schemes

Why apply?

  • Be part of a DIH network providing companies, regardless their size and position, with access to added-value services at ‘working distance’;
  • Take part to a programme aimed to facilitate future collaboration projects, help the DIHs integrate cooperation schemes in their business models, and provide consultancy over legal and financial issues related to cooperation;
  • Discuss collaboration schemes and create a blueprint for future cross border cooperation initiatives;
  • Take part in networking regional workshops, key occasions for connecting and exchanging best practices.

Selected DIHs will be invited to a kick-off meeting in Brussels where they will sign a Letter of Commitment to take part in the programme and engage in future cooperation with other hubs. The travel expenses for this meeting will be covered by the project.

How to apply

Interested DIHs are invited to fill in the Application Form. The deadline is 21 December 2018.

By April 2019, successful applicants will be contacted to start the programme. 

For any further details, please send an email to the project coordinators