The official presentation of the European Digital Innovation Centre DIGIS3, one of the twelve recognised in Spain by the European Commission, took place on Monday 13 March 2023, in the Casino of Salamanca. The hub will provide the business network of Castile and León with access to EU funds for digitization. DIGIS3 is formed by six regional entities (AIR Institute, the Institute for Business Competitiveness (ICE), the University of León, the Supercomputing Center Foundation of Castilla y León (SCAYLE), DIH-LEAF and DIHBU that will work over the coming years to increase the competitiveness of the participating companies and improve their production processes through the application of disruptive technologies.
The Ministers of Economy and Finance, Carlos Javier Fernández Carriedo, and of Mobility and Digital Transformation, María González Corral, as well as the Mayor of Salamanca, Carlos Manuel García Carbayo, and the coordinator of DIGIS3 and president of the AIR Institute, Juan Manuel Corchado, were present at the opening of the event.
During the event, the project was presented by the DIGIS3 coordinator, followed by a round table discussion with the consortium members.
The DIGIS3 program will have 3.45 million euros at its disposal to offer a portfolio of coordinated services to meet the needs of the business fabric and the regional public administration, boosting their digitization. The services proposed within the consortium for the next three years are divided into four categories: Training, Testing and Experimentation, Support for the search for Sources of Financing and Innovation Ecosystem and Networks. Each of these services is specialized according to the technologies and the main application areas considered by the consortium partners.The Digital Innovation Hubs are one of the main tools of the European Commission to achieve the objectives set out in its Digitalization Strategy.
Objective and composition of DIGIS3
The overall objective of DIGIS3 is to ensure the smart, sustainable and cohesive digital transformation of SMEs and public administration entities in the region, covering urban and rural areas with a cohesive approach. Thus, its activity will benefit the business network of the nine provinces of Castilla y León in terms of technological support and ease of access to information, services and facilities.
The main goal of the program is to provide comprehensive support to clients, facilitating their access to specialized technical knowledge and experimentation environments. This program is organized as a one-stop service whose central core of knowledge and training focuses on Artificial Intelligence and Supercomputing, complemented by other supporting technologies in digitization, such as IoT, Big Data, Blockchain and Robotics, among others. In addition, the importance of cybersecurity is highlighted as an essential layer in any digitization process.
DIGIS3 is specialized in:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- High Performance Computing (HPC)
- Industry 4.0
- Demographic Challenge
- Smart Renewable Energies
- Smart Agriculture
- Circular Economy
- Smart Cities and Territories
- e-Government and Data Spaces
During the intervention of the Mayor of Salamanca, Carlos García Carbayo, it was highlighted that this project is perfectly aligned with the city strategy, whose objective is to turn Salamanca into a development hub connected to innovation and the knowledge industry. This objective seeks to complement the current productive model and generate new niches providing opportunities and skilled employment. For his part, Carlos Fernández Carriedo highlighted the need to promote digital transformation in the community to make the business network and SMEs even more competitive. In addition, the aim is to achieve greater efficiency and productivity among companies, which would result in a more resilient economy and greater territorial cohesion. Finally, María González Corral emphasized the importance of Castilla y León having the Caléndula supercomputer and an entity such as SCAYLE in charge of its management. This advanced technological tool is a fundamental lever for strengthening the business network by improving its competitiveness, promoting high-level research and attracting European funding.
Juan Manuel Corchado then presented the services and the work plan of DIGIS3 to the public, academic and private authorities of Castile and Leon. He pointed out that most of the services will be offered at no cost to the clients and that the objective is to carry out digitization in the short term. Corchado explained that DIGIS3 will carry out the digital and green transformation of more than 1,400 SMEs and public entities in the region over the next three years, organizing the services into four phases or groups.
Round table and closing
After the presentation of DIGIS3, a round table was organized to discuss the services and support available to companies in Castile and Leon. The round table was attended by representatives from each of the consortium entities, including Augusto Cobos, general director of the Institute for Business Competitiveness (ICE); Nuria González Rabanal, director of the Business Relations Area of the University of León; Vicente Matellán, director of the Supercomputing Center of Castilla y León (SCAYLE); Álvaro Herrero, president of DIH-LEAF; Belén Lanuza, manager of DIHBU; and Javier Prieto, co-founder and secretary of the AIR Institute.
The event concluded with a question and answer session to clarify any doubts about the role of DIGIS3 and the services it offers. These services include advice on the implementation of technologies and financing, as well as support in accessing innovation networks and ecosystems, among others.