The industrial tissue of the Brussels-Capital Region (BCR) consists of 99.7% of SMEs and has a high concentration of digital and service-oriented companies. Digital technology is the major driver of their innovations. Nevertheless, these companies perform slightly below the European average on the uptake of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and finish third last in using ICT for environmental sustainability. This specific context justifies the launch of a European Digital Innovation Hub (EDIH) in Brussels. It will act as single point of access for companies to sustainable digital innovation, enabled by AI and other emerging technologies. Based on the local industrial needs and in line with the policies of the Brussels-Capital Region, the following strategic objectives have been defined for the EDIH: - Encourage and facilitate digital innovation for economic, social and environmental transition - Contribute to the post-Covid recovery - Strengthen Brussels’ leadership in artificial intelligence - Be a gateway to Europe, promoting and enriching Brussels’ expertise and industry - Facilitate digitization of the Brussels’ industry This proposal brings together all necessary elements to implement a successful EDIH in Brussels: - A thematic focus that translates into a balanced and flexible service portfolio to support the regional SMEs to improve their (future) competitiveness. - A strong support from the Brussels-Capital Region that aspires to be frontrunner in Belgium and Europe. It will co-finance the EDIH for 50% during the next 7 years with an amount of 2.1M€ for the first 3 years. - A lean and experienced consortium that can deliver the services in 3 different languages (French, Dutch & English) and set up European corridors and reach out to other EDIHs. The EDIH will be implemented by 5 complementary innovation actors in Brussels being Agoria, Sirris, BeCentral, ULB and VUB. It will reach 1500 companies.
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August Reyerslaan 80