Innovation agencies throughout Europe met in Mondorf-les-Bains to discuss their role and opportunities in the Digital Europe Programme as part of the closing event of the 2019 Chairmanship of TAFTIE, the European Network of Innovation Agencies, hosted by Luxinnovation. Innovation agencies’ members met for three expert sessions that resulted in a White Paper on State Aid considerations when developing innovation ecosystems. The June Annual Conference covered the role of innovation agencies in mission-oriented innovation.
The end-of-year Policy Forum was organised in partnership with the European Commission DG CNECT. Different innovation agencies exchanged their views with DG CNECT representatives on the role of innovation agencies in the implementation of the Digital Europe Programme.
“The objective of the European Commission with the 2021-2027 Multi-annual Financial Framework is to ensure Europe will drive the digital transformation of society and the economy, bringing its benefits to all citizens and businesses” explains Vesa Terävä, Head of Unit, Research Strategy and Programme Coordination at the DG CNECT.
The Digital Europe Programme is part of this long-term strategy, with €9.2 billion to be divided among the different areas of the programme, which aims at capacity building in these interconnected fields. The areas are:
- The development of digital capacities in supercomputing, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity
- The deployment of digital capacities, such as High-Performance Computing, Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity, and the support for the digital transformation of public services
- The support for advanced digital skills
- The deployment of European Digital Innovation Hubs to support the digital transformation of local business and society.
In anticipation, Luxembourg has demonstrated political foresight and acquired digital tools that will make it possible to build the digital capacities of the future. In fact, in April this year, the Ministry of the Economy published the data-driven economy strategy. This strategy “is about experimenting, innovating and up-take of advanced digital technologies into the industry” explains Sasha Baillie, CEO of Luxinnovation, who presented to the audience the Luxembourg Digital Innovation Strategy for the Development of a Trusted and Sustainable Data-Driven Economy. With the launch of the Luxembourg Digital Innovation Hub in September, Luxembourg has equipped itself with an essential tool to implement the data-driven economy strategy.
Digital innovation hubs will be key platforms in the implementation of the Digital Europe Programme. “Digital innovation hubs will diffuse the capacities between different competence centres and businesses” clarifies Silvia Merisio, Policy Officer, in the Digital Economy and Skills Unit of the DG CNECT. Hosted by Luxinnovation, the Luxembourg Digital Innovation Hub will provide a portfolio of services to national companies while specialising itself. “The Luxembourg Digital Innovation Hub will be part of European Digital Innovation Hub programme, contributing not only at national level, but also at European level to enhance Europe’s capacity to support the digital transformation of companies and public institutions”, concludes Marina Guérin-Jabbour, Head of Digital Innovation Hub at Luxinnovation.
Finally, Anett Numa from e-Estonia gave an inspiring closing session on how Estonia turned into a digital society. “In Estonia, 99% of services are online and the internet is a social right” comments Anett Numa.
Photos: Marie de Decker