DigiFed | Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) federation for large scale adoption of digital technologies by European SMEs


DigiFed's main objective is to encourage the adoption of advanced digital technologies by EU SMEs with a focus on non-digital businesses. DigiFed implements a business plan for the sustainability of the federation of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs), while providing significant support mechanisms for individual and groups of SMEs to foster the introduction of digital technologies in their product and service offerings. DigiFed aims to engage at least 200 SMEs and midcaps from all across Europe in its innovation programme. At least 80 of these will receive also funding support and benefits from one of Digifed's innovation pathways- half of these will be businesses with low digital maturity.

DigiFed's business model is based on collaborative investments with fair return for contributing parties, realised by our ability to reduce innovation risks and generate new business opportunities. DigiFed leverage both funding from private sector and public co-funding from regions of DIHs, in order to maximise value from EU investments. These will be used for the development of truly differentiated and impactful digitization solutions targeting the needs of different markets, penetrating the value chain down to non-technology companies.

DigiFed focuses on Cyber Physical and Embedded Systems with a particular attention on security and privacy, autonomy and human-machine interaction. Its innovation pathways offer two main instruments: Generic Experiments target a group of mainly non-tech SMEs to implement advanced technology demonstrators with co-funding from regional authorities; Application Experiments allow individual SMEs to define an R&I project to disrupt, upgrade or manufacture an innovative digital product or service.

DigiFed gathers 6 DIHs from different countries with established ecosystems and will continue expanding and linking with other DIHs and DIH networks through its lifetime to create a truly EU-wide offering of sustainable cross-border DIH services.

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Web resources: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/872088
Start date: 01-01-2020
End date: 31-03-2023
Total budget - Public funding: 8 436 622,00 Euro - 7 995 488,00 Euro
Twitter: @digifed
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Original description

DigiFed, part of SAE initiative, is dedicated to supporting EU industries to digitalise their product & services and reaching new markets enabled by Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) & Embedded Systems.
DigiFed gathers twelve partners with expertise in digital technologies and/or innovation management from nine EU countries.
The main aim of DigiFed is to accelerate and promote the digitalisation of European companies by providing significant support mechanisms for individual and groups of SMEs and Midcaps to foster the introduction of digital technologies in their product and service offerings.
DigiFed partnerships are designed to strengthen the European digital ecosystem through the adoption of advanced digital technologies (CPS & embedded systems) and a combination of regional, national and European funding instruments so that SMEs and midcaps can benefit from knowledge sharing regardless of their location. Three main innovation pathways are proposed to EU companies.
· Applications Experiment (AE) with an innovative model of “TWIN AE” involving two cross-border SMEs/midcaps, one of which is of a low digital maturity level”
Two explorative services for DIH will be trialled involving the following co-funding schemes:
· Generic Experiments (GE) are designed to test new collaborations between research centres and a group of SMEs and midcaps as well as evaluate new co-financing mechanisms between European and regional funding to foster European industry digitalization. DigiFed targets to launch 3 GE Communities.
· Digital Challenge (DC) will experiment with new co-funding mechanisms with large European organisations -the Digital Challenge Owners (DCOs). Advanced digital technology SMEs will be selected through an open call to solve the challenge proposed by the DCOs. The purpose of the Digital Challenge is to highlight attractive market needs to be addressed through CPS and embedded systems and for which new solutions are required. DigiFed aims to launch 3 Digital Challenges.
Altogether, DigiFed aims to involve at least 200 EU SMEs and midcaps with different Digital maturity levels and from all markets including sectors with low digital penetration. A minimum of 80 EU companies will receive Cascade Funding support through one of DigiFed’s innovation pathways.
Finally, DigiFed aims to foster interaction between European Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs). The DigiFed consortium already involves six well-established DIHs from different countries and will expand its network through collaboration with other DIHs aiming at fostering cross-border sustainable collaboration and improving the services given by the European DIH network.



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