Enterprise Ireland launches a competitive process for National Designation of European Digital Innovation Hubs

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Enterprise Ireland and the European Commission to fund the establishment of a number of European Digital Innovation Hubs

On December 09th, 2020, Enterprise Ireland announced a call for expressions of interest, to complete a national designation process to identify up to three research performing organisations (RPOs) or Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) or other consortia with the intention of establishing European Digital Innovation Hubs. The successful applicants will then be invited to apply to a restricted call that the European Commission will issue.

Successful applicants under that restricted call, will then be jointly funded by the European Commission and Enterprise Ireland to establish their European Digital Innovation Hubs. While agreement has not yet been reached on the final budget, the Commission currently foresees funding in the form of a grant for a duration of three years with the possibility of reapplying at the end of the grant duration for an additional period of four years.

The EDIHs will be “one-stop-shops”, with a research and technology organisation (RPO) or Higher Education Institution (HEI) based lab at its core, that help companies (notably SMEs) and public sector organisations become more competitive in their business/production processes, products or services by providing access to research infrastructure, technical expertise and experimentation, so that these organisations can “test before invest”.

The Commission proposes to invest up to €1 million per year in each hub.

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, through Enterprise Ireland, will then provide matching support. The amount of grant funding will be contingent on the final agreed Commission budget for the programme and the number of hubs in the network. It is expected that two to three EDIHs will be designated from Ireland over the period of the Programme.

European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs) will support businesses and organisations in their digital transformation and will disseminate and support the adoption of technologies in cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and High-Performance Computing (HPC).

Source/Image Credit: Enterprise Ireland