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 Experiements have been proven to be successful by a number of projects especially in I4MS and SAE initiatives (on which DigiFed is built). DigiFed will continue such successful practices and amplify their potential by also supporting direct collaboration between SMEs.
Generic Experiments aim at trialling new co-funding mechanisms with regions to target a group of mainly non-tech SMEs to implement advanced technology demonstrators with co-funding from regional authorities.
Digital Innovation Hubs play a key role 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. H2020 or private investment).
Digital Challenge focuses on aim at trialling new co-funding mechanisms with companies involving directly the demand side (i.e. potential future clients) by advertising issues from Digital challenge owners (most likely mid-caps and large companies). Such issues are selected based on the lack of current market solutions and their relevance with DigiFed objective in CPS and embedded system integration.
At the submission stage of an AE, applicants may choose to apply to the Digital challenge if their proposed solution can answer the express needs of the Digital Challenge owners. This Digital scheme challenge also involve complementary funding from the Digital Challenge owners. The Digital Challenge owners will be companies (SMEs, mid-caps, large enterprise) that have identified a need for which no digital solution is currently available on the market. The Digital Challenge targets SMEs with a higher digital maturity and on the demand side companies (SMEs, midcaps, large enterprise) with medium to high level of digital maturity. It fosters the creation of new services towards DIH sustainability.