The European Commission launched a strategy aimed at supporting European industry in its digital transformation, specifically, in adopting the Smart factory concept and its relevant digital technologies such as Cyber-Physical-Systems (CPS), Internet of Things (IoT), industrial robotics, 3D printing, etc. Digital technologies are increasingly used by the high tech industry but a majority of industry and SMEs are lagging behind. To bring benefits of digital innovation to every industry, the Commission will invest €500 million in Digital Innovation hubs (DIHs). The core of a DIH is a competence centre (CC) based in a technical university or research organisation, which will provide companies, in particular SMEs, with access to facilities for experimenting and testing digital innovations. Furthermore, DIHs provide advice on sources of financing or training of staff.
The goal of the call for tender is to have clear policy recommendations on how to establish DIHs in EU13 Members States. Therefore, the tasks of the contractor will be to carry out a series of activities aimed at establishment of at least 30 regional DIHs in European regions in at least 8 different new EU Member States and to prepare policy recommendations to improve competitiveness in the selected regions. The deadline is 14 October 2016.