EDIH EXPAND – Extended Piedmont and Aosta valley Network for Digitalization – is one of the 13 Italian EDIHs 50% funded by Europe and 50% by Italy with the aim of ensuring the digital transition of SMEs and Public Administration, through the adoption of advanced digital technologies, Artificial Intelligence and Computer Security.
The EDIH (European Digital Innovation Hub) – are a network of over 200 digital innovation poles, which in the vision of the European Commission, operate as “counters” available to companies, to make them more dynamic and competitive, providing them with access to technical skills and experimental innovations. The European Digital Innovation Hubs will also be a reference point through which the EU will be able to make additional resources available to support the digitization of Italian small and medium-sized enterprises.
The project – with about 6 million euros of activity – is characterized by a varied partnership that aims to respond to the multiplicity of stakeholders in the area: companies, public administration, academia: it is coordinated by CIM4.0, and chaired by CSI Piemonte, Turin Chamber of Commerce, Intesa Sanpaolo, DIH Piemonte, API Torino Fondazione Piemonte Innova, Mesap Innovation Cluster and Links. Affiliated entities are Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, API Formazione e Politecnico di Torino.
The project activities focus on two priorities, Smart Factory & Made In (smart factory and smart processes) and Smart & Clean (green transition and smart communities), on which the following types of services (assets) are articulated.
- TEST BEFORE INVEST: access to know-how and laboratories for experimentation and test-bed;
- SKILLS AND TRAINING: professional training on digital skills, AI and Cyber security;
- SUPPORT TO FIND INVESTMENTS: support and direction towards financing;
- INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM AND NETWORKING: support and acceleration of contacts and relationships between innovation actors and stakeholders to promote innovation projects between companies located in different regions and between companies in different sectors.
EXPAND is also part of EDIH4MANU, the network of European Digital Innovation Hubs with a focus on manufacturing, which brings together 25 European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs) from the most competitive manufacturing regions in Europe and which alone represent over 30% of European industrial added value. EXPAND is unique in the EDIH panorama: In fact, it has a partnership with cross-sectoral and complementary characteristics and skills, to respond to the needs of the territory and the challenges of digital transformation. The focus on two facing regions will strengthen synergies and collaborations between different entrepreneurial ecosystems for the realization of a “digital innovation corridor”. The activities focused on the two targets (companies and public administration) will allow a full and harmonized digitization also between these two subjects, favoring entrepreneurship and the competitiveness of ecosystems.
The strength of EXPAND and EDIH lies in the two-dimensionality of the project: shaping Europe’s digital future by combining regional presence with the opportunities of a pan-European network. The European coverage of the network also facilitates the exchange of best practices between different hubs in different countries, as well as the provision of specialised services between regions when the necessary expertise is not available locally.