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  • Writer's pictureadelabernad

Role of Digital Innovation Hubs for co-creation in the healthcare sector

Task Force 3 focuses on establishing effective governance structures to facilitate collaboration among Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) across regions. The overarching goal is to leverage the strengths of each DIH and foster cooperation to support the digital transformation of SMEs and public entities across Europe.


Role of Digital Innovation Hubs for co-creation in the healthcare sector



DIHs can improve collaboration among stakeholders in healthcare by providing access to  technology and expertise, encouraging co-creation and collaboration, supporting funding and  investment, offering testing and validation services and by supporting policy development. 


By working together through their national DIHs, healthcare stakeholders can develop and 

implement innovative solutions that improve health outcomes and patient experiences, while also driving economic growth and job creation. 


Existing initiatives for governance of inter-regional collaboration amongst DIHs 


The European Commission has been supporting the development of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) through various initiatives, including the European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs) network, which aims to have one hub in each NUTS-II region of the EU. Key initiatives include:

  • Digitizing European Industry Strategy: Launched in 2016 to ensure European companies, particularly SMEs, benefit from digital innovations. It includes the "Smart Anything Everywhere" (SAE) initiative to promote advanced digital technology uptake.

  • DIHNET.EU: A project that built a network of DIHs across Europe to support SMEs and midcaps by enhancing collaboration between stakeholders.

  • SmartAgriHubs: A consortium of DIHs focused on digital transformation in agriculture, fostering innovation through regional clusters and innovation hubs.

  • DIH2: A network of over 100 DIHs specialized in robotics, aiming for smart, sustainable economic growth in Europe through robotics adoption.

  • DIH-HERO: Connects DIHs across Europe in the healthcare robotics sector, facilitating collaboration and knowledge sharing.

  • BOWI (Boosting Widening Digital Innovation Hubs): A project supporting DIHs in widening EU regions, facilitating collaboration through corridor business plans and KPIs.

  • EUHubs4Data: A federation of data-driven innovation hubs aiming to consolidate as the European reference for data-driven innovation.

  • DIH-World: Supporting DIHs from underrepresented regions, offering access to tools, technologies, and investment sources for collaborative innovation.


These initiatives aim to foster collaboration among DIHs, promote innovation, and enhance the competitiveness of European SMEs.


EUHubs4Data Model


EUHubs4Data created a federation of Data Innovation Hubs to provide data-driven services and solutions to SMEs. A joint catalogue of services, cross-border data-sharing, and funding support enhance collaboration and innovation in the data-driven economy.


DTA Support


The Digital Transformation Accelerator (DTA) oversees the European Digital Innovation Hub (EDIH) network, aiming to accelerate digital transformation in the European economy. Services provided include training, connecting with relevant initiatives, impact assessment, and capacity building. Thematic Working Groups (WGs), like the one on digital health, foster collaboration among EDIHs. This WG focuses on topics such as cross-border health, data management, cybersecurity, and innovation procurement. Its goal is to define standards, share knowledge, and enhance interregional collaboration in digital health.


Instruments to be used for inter-regional collaboration governance 


  • Joint Catalogue of Services: Standardized service offerings across DIHs and identification of collaborative gaps.

  • Matching and Project Building: Structured matchmaking tools and cross-border project management support.

  • Networking Services: Facilitated events, matchmaking sessions, round tables, and joint testing services to promote collaboration.

  • Local Support for Internationalization: Tailored support for SMEs seeking international expansion, including market knowledge and partnership facilitation.

  • Front Desk/Interface: Designated contact persons at DIHs to facilitate communication and collaboration.


By implementing these governance measures, DIHs will enhance collaboration, share resources, and address the diverse needs of SMEs and public entities across regions. This collaborative approach will accelerate the digital transformation of the European economy and contribute to the achievement of EU's Digital Decade 2030 goals. Through coordinated efforts, DIHs will play a pivotal role in driving innovation and fostering competitiveness in the digital era.


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