2nd EURADA Digitisation Working Group meeting organised by EURADA and FundingBox. The agenda can be found here and the list of participants in the event here.
Digital tools for regional authorities to design tailor-made complementary funding schemes for innovation companies in their regions - L4MS project.
This project has a scheme to reward the best regional companies that are looking to undertake a digital transformation project in their business. The basic conditions for eligibility are to achieve the required Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and to present a scalable business model. Recipients of this award will be able to obtain complementary funding, as well as other specific support services for their business. All this can be consulted through an app that evaluates the value propositions of the companies and offers information on the entities that make up each regional ecosystem, as well as on the potential beneficiaries of awards and funding, the conditions and requirements for obtaining such funding or the characteristics of the specific calls for projects. Through this system, the Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) can better understand the needs of innovation actors in their regions.
DIH˛ project and open calls for complementary funding opportunities
Smart logistics in manufacturing consists of the implementation of advanced robotics systems that use Artificial Intelligence to streamline production processes in factories. Robotics therefore has great potential to transform the manufacturing capabilities of SMEs and other businesses and drive economic growth at European level.
However, many manufacturing SMEs in Europe face a number of barriers to adopting such technologies, such as a shortage of skills and know-how within factories, the high complexity of the programming tools required for robots, the lack of a
programming tools required for the robots, etc. Therefore, the 25 DIHs of this project help these companies - typically manufacturing SMEs and mid-caps, but also advanced technology providers - to overcome these barriers by providing support in finding investment and funding opportunities to implement advanced robotics and digital systems. The support services offered by these IHLs are divided into two types: complementary public funding through S3 Platform programmes and other private funds or a one-stop-shop for access to automation services for production processes in factories that also includes technical advice, training and financial support.
Thus, this cooperation brings benefits for all three actors: for manufacturing SMEs, as they find the best solutions for the digitisation of their business and other online tools to reduce costs and time in their production, for industrial automation and advanced technology suppliers, who gain access to international markets and can communicate more easily with potential customers (usually those same manufacturing SMEs), and for IHLs, who gain complementary knowledge to provide more effective support to local companies.
As part of the event, two regional examples of complementary funding schemes were presented (the PRODUTECH Digital Innovation Hub Platform in Portugal and the Irish Manufacturing Research in Ireland, as well as the success story of PISMO, the business incubator in the Sisak-Moslavina region (Croatia).
Of all the SMEs and start-ups participating in the open calls for cascade funding (FSTP), only a few are successful in obtaining such funding, although the content of most applications is above the required quality threshold. Companies applying for funding that would have been left out of the process have the option to connect with entities in their regions (Regional Development Agencies and Digital Innovation Centres) to obtain complementary funding and other support services.