Approach and implementation
DigiFed proposes 3 main Innovation pathways which are all interrelated:
- Application Experiments (AEs)
- Generic Experiments
- Digital Challenges
Application Experiments (AEs) are the core activity of DigiFed. This pathway directly supports SMEs and Midcaps with different levels of digital maturity:
- For SMEs with low digital maturity it offers the capacity for SMEs to catch up and upgrade their skills and existing products with dedicated services, tools and solutions.
- For SMEs with higher digital maturity it offers further innovative technology integration as well as access to potential customers including larger industrial stakeholders.
Application Experiments have been proven to be successful by several projects especially in I4MS and SAE initiatives (on which DigiFed is built). DigiFed continues such successful practices and amplifies their potential by also supporting direct collaboration between SMEs.
Digital Challenge is a match funding opportunity where advanced digital technology SMEs are selected through an open call to solve industry challenges set by corporate businesses. The purpose of the Digital Challenge is to highlight attractive market needs to be addressed through CPS and embedded systems and for which new solutions are required. The Digital Challenge Owners serve as early adopters of the accelerated innovations and provide additional support to the programme in the form of co-funding, access to innovation support and pilot sites.
Generic Experiments aim at trialling new co-funding mechanisms with regions through targeted SMEs to implement advanced technology demonstrators with co-funding from regional authorities.
Digital Innovation Hubs play a key role in this pathway which focuses on de-risking the innovation and technology integration process at an early phase for a need shared by a group of SMEs in Europe. Once completed, the result of such Generic Experiment can be taken over by one of those SMEs and further develop within an AE or other funding tool (e.g. Regional, H2020 or private investment).