Events Events


EWRC 2020: The role of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) in the post-COVID19 era

General Information

In the middle of a new economic crisis due to the recent COVID19 pandemic SMEs in the EU are more than ever in need to apply advanced digital technologies in order to resume their business, benefit from remote working capabilities and apply new business models and innovations in an effort to stay operational and competitive.

The disruptions caused by the pandemic in every sector of the economy and society are the driving forces behind a faster than anticipated digital transition and the need for implementing digital transformation technologies is steadily increasing.

Against this backdrop the EC’s initiative to support the creation of a pan-European network of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) is more relevant than ever. DIHs having by definition the role of one-stop-shops that support SMEs in benefiting from advanced digital technologies (including Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity and digital skills) can be very powerful policy instruments for national/regional policy makers that search ways to support the recovery of their economies.

Agenda and Presentations

14 October 2020 - 09:30 - 11:00 - Online session and registration 

Main objectives:

The workshop’s main objective is to further increase awareness among regional / national policy makers on how DIHs can help SMEs in making the most of digital opportunities in their sector and becoming more resilient and competitive. Moreover, to present to policy makers current funding mechanisms and methodologies to help them reinforce DIHs and the uptake of digital transformation of SMEs in their regions/countries. The above-mentioned objectives will be achieved by:

  • Highlighting successful cases of how DIHs can help boosting digitalisation of SMEs including examples of DIHs active in areas related to the COVID19 crisis
  • Providing updates on the EC policy initiative of DIHs including information on funding for DIHs and SMEs with special focus on ERDF 2021-2027 and the REACT-EU mechanism
  • Introducing the new JRC Practical Handbook & Good Practices for regions on how to support DIHs using a step-by-step methodology
  • Discussing ideas on how to align RIS3 and DIHs in regions and highlight relevant good examples of DIHs


  • Gabriel Rissola, Senior Scientist, EC JRC Seville, Spain.


  • Laurent DE MERCEY, Policy Officer, EC DG REGIO, Belgium.
  • Annita Kalpaka, Policy Officer, EC JRC Seville, Spain.
  • Anne Marie Sassen, Deputy Head of Unit, EC DG CNECT, Belgium.



Moderator: Gabriel RISSOLA, JRC SEVILLE
1. Setting the scene
Anne-Marie SASSEN, DG CNECT - Unit A2 10’
2. Examples of DIHs supporting SMEs during/after COVID19 crisis
(Representatives from regional DIHs)
3. Funding opportunities for SMEs/DIHS from ERDF
Laurent DE MERCEY, DG REGIO – Unit G1 10’
4. How to setup/reinforce regional DIHs
Annita KALPAKA, JRC SEVILLE – Unit B3 10’
5. Q&A session 25’
6. Summarising and closing 5’

Registration information

Online event open to all.
To register, please complete the online form