At the European Robotics Forum in Málaga, the ESMERA consortium partnered with DIHs to bring a vivid discussion on stage. In the workshop „Supporting SMEs via FSTP under Horizon 2020“ representatives of European DIHs shared their experiences in developing and supporting SMEs. After introducing the genereal idea behind Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs), representatives from Agrobofood, DIH2, HERO, RIMA and TRINITY presented their unique approach on stage. Also, the audience was interactively included and could share their questions, experiences and comments live.
Around 20 participants from 12 different countries visited the interactive session, that turned out to give mutual benefits to both sides: the DIHs received relevant feedback, for example in terms of streamlining processes and support to unexperienced entities. Also, the interactive online tool showed clear pictures and opinions of expectations for a DIH. Questions were asked in different areas, for example about the background of the attendees, about their experiences with DIHs so far and also what of the offers that local DIHs provide is considered unnecessary. Also it was discussed how the development of technologies should be initiated. The clear result: application-driven. One further essential result was finding out where the workshop attendees would mostly like to get support from a DIH: in funding and technical support.
On the other hand, the audience received concrete information about how they can make use of DIHs, and it was stated what DIHs need to do and deliver to stay sustainable and valuable to their customers. For DIHs, for example, it is essential that they know and understand their local companies. They need to know their customers with their needs well, only then can they help in speeding innovation.
What has turned out to be successful in former DIH projects is a continuous and ongoing collaboration, beyond the project´s runtime. SMEs and Startups can still stay in touch and be fed with relevant information and news.