Designation of Finnish candidates for European Digital Innovation Hubs
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has now designated eight potential candidates for the next stage of the EU-wide selection process for European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs). The role of EDIHs is to support businesses and the public sector in the utilisation and deployment of digital solutions.
Finland’s candidates for European Digital Innovation Hubs are:
- FAIR – Finnish AI Region (responsible organisation VTT Technical Research of Finland Ltd)
- SIX Manufacturing EDIH (Tamlink Ltd)
- Location Innovation Hub (LIH) (National Land Survey of Finland/Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (NLS FGI)
- 5STAR eCorridors (DIMECC Ltd)
- WellLake EDIH (Business Jyväskylä)
- HealthHub Finland (Turku Science Park Ltd)
- Robocoast EDIH Consortium (Prizztech Ltd)
- Arctic-EDIH (University of Oulu)
Finland boasts expertise on how to capitalise on digitalisation
European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs) are part of the EU’s new Digital Europe Programme. They function as service points that boost digital investment and, in particular, the digitalisation of SMEs. The activities of the hubs must be non-profit making.
“The idea behind the selected cooperation projects that involve different kinds of organisations is to make the digital transformation generate sustainable growth to a higher degree than before. European networking will support the development of better digitalisation services, and Finnish operators have a lot to contribute to this effort. The chosen set of diverse and capable candidates ensures that, in different contexts, there will be a sufficient number of high-quality Finnish hubs meeting the requirements in terms of geographic location, technological orientation and field of application and they can be drawn to the EU-wide network,” says Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.
Member States were asked to select their candidates for innovation hubs through an open procedure. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment received 10 applications in the open call for applications it organised between 18 November 2020 and 15 January 2021. The candidates were evaluated by an independent eight-person panel with a wide range of expertise in the renewal of business and industry, including digitalisation, innovation and science. The applications were ranked on the basis on the scores given by the panel of experts, and the Ministry then determined the number of candidates for the second round.
Hubs for EU-wide network to be selected from among the national candidates
The nationally pre-selected candidate organisations will be invited to participate in a restricted call for proposals by the European Commission to select European Digital Innovation Hubs. The chosen national candidates still have an opportunity to fine-tune their applications and look for new partners.
According to current information, the EU-wide call for proposals will be launched in March. It will be open for at least 10 weeks, and the results will be announced in the fourth quarter of 2021.
There will be a maximum of four hubs from Finland. The available EU funding has been divided between the Member States to allow for the creation of an EU-wide network of up to 200 Hubs. Approximately EUR 14.8 million have been tentatively allocated from the Digital Europe Programme to fund the Finnish hubs in 2021–2027. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment will continue its preparations for the national funding and support of these hubs as part of the Artificial Intelligence 4.0 programme, destined to speed up the digitalisation of business and industry.
In the spring, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment will also start to design activities for the support and coordination of the future EDIHs and other similar operators.
Jenny Hasu, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, tel. +358 29 504 7213
Lasse Laitinen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. + 358 29 504 7162
Petri Räsänen, Development Director, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29504 7287