Igniting DIHs collaboration with DIHNET was a success!

May 31, 2023

The Igniting DIHs Collaboration with DIHNET event, held on 11th May in Brussels, witnessed a vibrant gathering of nearly 100 participants representing key stakeholders from the European digital innovation ecosystem reaching far beyond members of DIHNET’s network. Organized by FundingBox in collaboration with CIVITTA, the event aimed to present project results and foster interregional collaboration between Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) as part of the Boosting Widening Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHNET), an EC funded project.

The event commenced with a warm welcome from Maria Roca, the Senior Project Manager at FundingBox, who acknowledged the enthusiastic participation of the diverse audience. Maria emphasized the importance of collaboration and exchange of ideas among the attendees, including experts, policymakers, DIH representatives, and innovation enthusiasts.

The keynote speech was delivered by Gosia Nikowska, the Head of Unit for Digital Transformation of Industrial Ecosystem in DG CONNECT of the European Commission. After her inspiring address, Gosia took questions from the audience, sparking engaging discussions and providing further insights into the digital transformation landscape in Europe and policy changes.

Sander van der Molen, a renowned expert in innovation, represented CIVITTA, the coordinator of the DIHNET project. In his presentation on project achievements, Sander shed light on the main purpose of DIHNET, its contribution to bridging the digital divide, and the successful initiatives undertaken to connect DIHs within the project.

Maurits Butter, an expert in connecting technology developments with policymaking from TNO, another consortium member of DIHNET, provided valuable insights into the tools developed within the project. Maurits discussed the methodology for DIHNET corridor creation, including the Heatmap, Corridor Maturity assessment tool, the training and coaching program. These tools aimed to facilitate collaboration between DIHs and enhance their service delivery to local SMEs.

A panel discussion moderated by Mayte Carracedo, the Chief Business Developer & Co-Founder at FundingBox, featured representatives from various DIHs who shared their success stories on DIHs collaboration. Marius Apostu from FIT DIH, Maria Rossetti from Made Competence Centre 4.0, Miroslav Janak from DIH Technicom, and Charlotte Edzard from Digital Hub Logistics Dortmund presented their experiences, lessons learned, and tips to establish fruitful and long-lasting collaborations with other DIHs. All participants agreed that the collaboration brought additional opportunities to their SMEs and how these joint support has opened new avenues for supporting SMEs in the entry into new markets.

During the networking coffee break, the buzzing atmosphere was palpable as participants engaged in lively conversations, exchanging business cards, and forging new connections. The event fostered a vibrant networking environment, facilitating the exploration of potential collaborations and synergies among the DIH community.

The interactive workshop on corridor building further showcased the active participation of the attendees. Divided into groups, led by facilitators from DIHNET DIHs, participants engaged in productive discussions, pooling their expertise and perspectives. The workshop generated diverse and innovative ideas for fostering collaboration and strengthening the digital innovation landscape across Europe.

As the event concluded, the closing remarks delivered by David Guedj, the Head of Sector at the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA), resonated with the audience. Guedj acknowledged the remarkable turnout and expressed his optimism for the future of DIHs in driving the digital revolution.

The Igniting DIHs Collaboration with DIHNET event created an environment conducive to knowledge sharing, networking, and collaboration. The organisers hope that the event’s impact extends beyond its duration, as the connections and ideas generated during the event will continue to drive digital innovation and cooperation among DIHs in Europe.