The EU funded project “Digital Innovation Hubs Federation For Large Scale adoption of digital technologies by European SMEs“ (DigiFed) has opened its second call for applications.
Operating within the framework of the Smart Anything Everywhere Initiative, DigiFed seeks to boost the adoption of advanced digital technologies, or cyber-physical systems (CPS), by EU SMEs with a focus on non-digital businesses.
It will help applicants implement business plans for the sustainability of the federation of Digital Innovation Hubs designated by the European Commission while providing key support mechanisms for both individual companies and groups of SMEs to foster the introduction of digital technologies in their products and services.
DigiFed offers grants of up to € 55k as well as technical and business support to start-ups, SMEs or Mid-Caps for the development of smart applications in Europe.
The second open call is divided into two main strands:
Open call for Application Experiments
Application Experiments (AEs) are the core activity of DigiFed. This pathway directly supports SMEs and Midcaps with different levels of digital maturity:
- For SMEs with low digital maturity it offers the capacity for SMEs to catch up and upgrade their skills and existing products with dedicated services, tools and solutions.
- For SMEs with higher digital maturity it offers further innovative technology integration as well as access to potential customers including larger industrial stakeholders.
Application Experiments have been proven to be successful by several projects especially in I4MS and SAE initiatives (on which DigiFed is built). DigiFed will continue its successful practices and amplify their potential by supporting direct collaboration between SMEs.
2. Open call for Digital Challenges
The Digital Challenge is a match funding opportunity where advanced digital technology SMEs are selected through an open call to solve industry challenges set by corporate businesses. 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 is working with large European organisations, the Digital Challenge Owners, who will serve as early adopters of the accelerated innovations and provide additional support to the programme in the form of co-funding, access to innovation support and pilot sites.
Results from the 1st open call
DigiFed first open call results announced 14 projects that will receive a total of over 1.1 million euro for their digital innovation ambitions. Out of the over 72 eligible proposals which involved 94 European companies including start-ups, SMEs and mid-caps from across Europe, 22 European companies have been selected to receive financial, technical and innovation management support for the creation of smart applications to help digitise European Industry.