Digital transformation in the different sectors of economy and society depends on the level of introduction and take up by industry and public sector of breakthrough digital technologies and digital innovations as well as the acquisition of digital skills from labour force. European industry's level and pace of digitalisation varies considerably depending on size of company, sector and country while SMEs present the lowest level of digitalisation (~20%). The need to accelerate the process of digitalisation of SMEs was the driving force for new policy initiatives with Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) playing a key role in Digitising European Industry (DEI). DIHs goal is to support companies in different sectors of the economy in their digital transformation by providing testing facilities (experimentation with new digital technologies), skills and training, support for investments and networking within a digital innovation ecosystem.
Currently the Catalogue of DIHs hosted by the JRC and the S3P serves as "yellow pages" of Digital Innovation Hubs of the EC and monitors the development of DIHs across Europe. This repository of more than 200 fully operational DIHs (Nov. 2018) has served as source for a first estimation of the contribution they could provide to digital transformation of three key economic sectors -transport, construction and energy- and public administration.
Based on these early indications we can argue that even with a presence that varies across European countries and regions, DIHs seem to possess the right technical competences and offer a portfolio of services that could contribute to the digital transformation of businesses of the above mentioned sectors and in particular SMEs. Included good examples showcase ways successful technology transfer between DIHs and businesses in the four areas.
DIHs policy initiative is ongoing and in full development. Based on positive results there is an increased territorial focus and plans to have at least one DIH per region. It will further contribute to diffuse digital capacities across every regional economy enabling digital innovation with a focus on priorities of the smart specialisation strategies (RIS3) of the regions.
More information on DIHs contribution in these sector are found in the respective documents below:
- Digital Innovation Hubs contribution to digital transfromation in Construction sector
- Digital Innovation Hubs contribution to digital transformation in Energy sector
- Digital Innovation Hubs contribution to digital transfromation in Transport sector
- Digital Innovation Hubs contribution to digital transfromation in Public Administration