The DIGI-B-CUBE project, funded under Program Horizon 2020 by the European Union (EU), aims to establish a cross-border and cross-sectoral ecosystem that combines digital innovations from the IT sector with three key important industries (Bioimaging, Biosensing and Biobanking) within the health sector.
DIGI-B-CUBE has constructed a multi-disciplinary consortium composed of 9 partners spanning Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Norway, Portugal and Spain. The consortium is composed of a cluster network (DNT), five clusters (OCC, Ci3, INFOPOLE, SECPhO and BIZ-UP), and three SME partners (NMD, MOT and SPI). The first six partners will be actively involved in the implementation of DIGI-B-CUBE activities and the open call. The three SME partners will be involved in the development of DIGI-B-CUBE's online portal, semantic matchmaking platform and smart contract concept implementation.
This project brings together clusters from various sectors & focus areas such as Biopharma, IT, Biotech, Personalised Medicine & Digital Health, ICT, IoT & Cyber-security, Analytical Instruments & Medical Devices, Medical Materials, Optics & Automation, Micro & Nanotechnology, Automotive, Cleantech, Construction, Plastics, Food and Medical Technology, with active members from research institutes, hospitals and economic development support agencies from a range of European countries, DIGI-B-CUBE has the resources and network needed to reach a wider number of relevant SMEs from all ranges of size and applications.
FUNDING FOR SMEs
DIGI-B-CUBE will foster the development of customized solutions and prototypes for the healthcare sectors by providing innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the EU and Associated Countries with access to vouchers of up to € 60,000. The voucher scheme call will be launched in April 2020, but SMEs can start engaging in the project’s activities in the coming months by participating in the project´s sectoral and cross-sectoral workshops as well as matchmaking sessions. For more information, please follow us on social media.
The project will create cross-border and cross-sectoral collaborations between SMEs to address innovation barriers in health and Medical Diagnostics via implementing cutting-edge IT solutions. This will be achieved through an open collaboration space consisting of workshops, a semantic online matchmaking portal complemented by matchmaking events.
DIGI-B-CUBE consortium will coordinate the designing and implementation of the cascade funding program, including the rules, legal framework and the OPEN CALL FOR FUNDING. The purpose of the open call is to stimulate digitalisation of B-CUBE industries by the SMEs and to fund pilot projects to achieve a success story or solve automation and digital innovation barriers in the medical diagnostics value chain. The maximum budget for each third-party SME is set to EUR 60,000. The project proposes a continues open call (with appropriate deadlines for various kinds of vouchers offered by the project) to allow third parties to contribute to this vision in terms of new or enhanced abilities as well as by proposing new applications for implementation of digital innovation across the Bioimaging, Biosensing and Biobanking industries.
INNOVATION SUPPORT TO SMEs
To maintain the competitive advantage, SMEs should be able to embrace the new digital era by embarking on a digital transformation path. SMEs find it difficult to navigate disruption and even when they embrace the shift, it is often difficult to change due to financial or knowledge limitations. They often align with their status quo of existing processes, organisational structures or investment pressures. DIGI-B-CUBE enables the successful digital transformation of SMEs through Innovation Services that ingest the often-disparate information that enterprises hold regarding their architecture and level of digital implementation across their value chains. Service benefits are quickly realised, giving SMEs the confidence to undertake digital transformation activities at an increased scale and tempo. DIGI-B-CUBE will provide thought leadership and guidance to SMEs through the development and implementation of several Digital Innovation Services.
A large number of SMEs across various sectors will be presented with relevant references on a semantic online matchmaking platform (“DIGI-B-CUBE platform”). The SMEs facing the challenges and innovation barriers can use the platform to identify suitable partners. A central feature will be business matching (challenge ↔ solution) between the SMEs from the several sectors. Semantic networks have proven to be the most effective and flexible source for business matching recommendations. SMEs can share project ideas and their needs for a solution to a specific innovation problem. Enterprises capable of delivering a solution may be identified via the platform using search algorithms among registered profiles. Similarly, registered potential partners can use the profiles in order to identify novel opportunities for collaboration.
Complementing the DIGI-B-CUBE online platform, matchmaking events and face-to-face meetings will be organised by the project. The matchmaking events will bring together SMEs at various levels of digitalisation to identify ideal matches from various sectors to obtain multi-fold benefits via different formats, e.g. speed-dating.
SMEs that have finished their voucher projects supported by this program will be coached by the cluster organisations regarding further existing support measures and linked with additional sources of funding from European, national/ regional funds (e.g. those offered by the managing authorities of the regional ESIF funded programmes), foundations, private investors and business angels, to maximise the effect. In addition, selected successful innovation projects will be presented via cluster workshops, international meetings and expos to other SMEs that face similar innovation barriers, thereby transferring key learnings to the clusters at large.
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