In 2016, the Czech Republic and Europe-wide started setting up a network of Digital Innovation Hubs. Since then, the Digital Europe Programme has come into force and introduced the new term European Digital Innovation Hubs. What can DIHs and EDIHs offer? Which are the relevant contacts in Czechia? This article will bring the answers.
In the Czech Republic, the initial network of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) in 2016 was very small – it included only two pioneer hubs raised from Horizon 2020 European projects focused on support of digital manufacturing (DIGIMAT located in Kuřim was the first one) and high-performance computing (the National Supercomputing Centre IT4Innovations located in Ostrava was the first DIH registered in CZ). Since then, the Czech network has enlarged up to twelve DIHs and their specialisation varies from manufacturing, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, robotics, high-performance computing up to sectoral focus such as agriculture and food industry, health or smart cities and smart regions development.
Nowadays you can find at least one DIH in each region of the Czech Republic:
How are the Czech DIHs built and structured? They are based often on a leading competence centre, research organisation, technical university, science park, technology centre or the most active innovations-supporting NGOs who have created an efficient consortium of other partners around them, always following the selected field of specialisation. The DIHs in Czechia, as well as all over the Europe, have not been built “on a green meadow” – as we say in Czech, but based on a record of projects, activities and common references that have created the optimal mixture of the DIH`s expertise and capacities. The scheme developed by TNO in 2015 illustrates the typical position of a DIH as an “orchestrator” and cross-point of the regional activities focused on development and implementation of digital innovation:
In 2021, based on the Digital Europe Programme, there will be – among the existing DIHs and other players – a selection of an initial network of European Digital Innovation Hubs – DIHs with European relevance, serving not only clients coming from their region and/or country, but providing also cross-border services in the field of their specialisation.
The basic services of DIHs and European DIHs do not differ too much, their principal difference lies in the European and cross-border nature of their services. Therefore, when it comes to the arrangement of services of a standard DIH, you can imagine the mixture of different ingredients that together make a Digital Innovation Hub as a “satellite” published in 2019 by the European Commission:
Among relevant projects of the Czech DIHs focused on robotics and agro-robotics, there could be pointed out the following: