Digitalization, Big Data, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) are only some of the trending topics everybody is supposed to know and many companies are using in their pitches in tech environments to go with the flow.
But the truth is that, according to the Integration of Digital Technology report published by the European Commission in 2019, the adoption of the digital technologies shows numbers to bring us back down to Earth: 26.2% of enterprises invest in cloud computing services, with only 17.8% investing in cloud computing services with medium-high sophistication, whereas the average adoption of Big Data analytics in the European space is around 12% (33% in large companies). The adoption of digital technologies is uneven between countries and sectors, with some of the traditional manufacturing subsectors (i.e. furniture, textile, metals) in the tail of digitalization.
In 2016, the European Commission launched an initiative to create Digital Innovation Hubs, a new concept of partnerships based on competence centres to help companies in their process of digitization and adoption of the latest technologies (e.g. cloud computing, 3D printing, robotics, artificial intelligence) to improve their performance. The objective? To boost the European economy by providing advanced knowledge to the SMEs.
With the main goal of centralizing and exploiting different industrial experiences of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) ecosystem, the EOSC Digital Innovation Hub (EOSC DIH) was launched with the initial support of the EOSC-hub project in January 2018. We could define the EOSC DIH as a one-stop-shop to help companies in digitisation by easily accessing both digital technologies and human expertise offered through the EOSC.
The EGI Federation is playing a key role in both coordinating the overall EOSC DIH as well as offering technical and human services thanks to the established EGI community. Overall, the EOSC DIH supports companies to test applications or running experiments (e.g. proofs of concepts), leverage the wealth of knowledge within the public sector for specialized consultancy services and training on the adoption of digital skills, as well as join an international community for wider visibility and networking opportunities. These are just some of the services that the EOSC DIH shares with the companies involved and is growing as new partnerships are established.
At the moment, the DIH has launched 10 business pilots covering different sectors and technologies: