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Conference Programme

Digital innovation hubs

Session 7I - Auditorium 6, 21/10/2015 (16:40-18:10)

This session is part of the Innovate track.

In this session we want to explore how several different Digital Innovation Hubs contribute to the success of their members, in particular SMEs and startups, and how these hubs can become sustainable.

Five ecosystems are explored in detail. First, the I4MS /ECHORD++/Smart Anything Everywhere initiatives provide access facilities where SMEs can experiment with new technologies, try them in their processes, and work together with the suppliers of the technology to adapt them to their specific needs. The core of these initiatives are networks of competence centres. Specific focus is on manufacturing processes, robotics and embedded software.

The Actphast ecosystem works along the same principles as I4MS and provides access to photonics technologies to SMEs that do not have this expertise. Small feasiblity studies are carried out by photonics experts together with the SMEs.

Third, the FIWARE ecosystem provides support to 1000+ SMEs and startups, via 16 accelerator projects, to develop applications and services using the FIWARE technologies. These SMEs and startups are supported by mentoring sessions, a sandbox technology environment, education and training sessions and materials, contacts with investors, a press office, joint events, etc.

Fourth, EIT Digital is set up as an Innovation Hub that aims to foster innovative technology and entrepreneurial talent for economic growth and quality of life in Europe. Besides being a hub itself, EIT Digital is involved in FIWARE and the Smart Anything Everywhere initiatives, and contributes to the success and sustainability of these hubs.

The final ecosystem explored is the one of eSPap Lab in Portugal. Through public procurement of innovative eGov services private and public stakeholders, such as central and local public entities, universities, innovation centers and leading innovation private companies, are working together to raise Government efficiency.

Links and Documents


  • Peter DOYLE (ACTPHAST, Brussels Photonics Team (B-PHOT) Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium), Speaker
  • Alois KNOLL (Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Robotics and Embedded Systems, Germany), Speaker
  • Jaime QUESADO (ESPAP, Government - Ministry of Finance, Portugal), Speaker
  • Susanna VARHO (EIT Digital, I3H, France), Speaker
  • Ingrid WILLEMS (iMinds, Entrepreneurship & Venturing, Belgium), Speaker
ID: 15132
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