Operating in different socioeconomic contexts, Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) present a concrete regional dimension and hold a critical role in supporting local SMEs deploy advanced digital technologies. In this way, SMEs benefit from not only adapting their business processes to the rising challenges of the new digital era but by also being in position to mitigate the negative consequences incited by the recent Covid19 crisis. Innovative digital technologies are powerful tools that can guarantee the evolution of EU’s industry starting from the SMEs which being deeply rooted in the regions are the cornerstone of European economy. Therefore, the need for urgent and solid support from regional and national policy makers is of strategic importance and the role of synergies between DIHs and national/regional Research and Innovation Strategies (RIS3) is more critical than ever.
To ensure a seamless and efficient support process, European Commission (JRC) has already published (2020) a Handbook on Digital Innovation Hubs as policy instruments to boost digitalisation of SMEs. It aims to provide national/regional policy makers and/or DIH managers useful and structured information on how to setup a new DIH or reinforce existing ones while benefiting from available funds (with a special focus on the European Regional Development Fund 2021-2027).