Support programme for development of Digital Innovation Hubs in the Western Balkans
Support programme for development of Digital Innovation Hubs in the Western Balkans is designed by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC). Digital innovation hubs (DIHs) act as one-stop-shops, serving companies within their region to digitalise their businesses.
As a precursor to this activity, the RCC mapped the region's DIHs to identify their needs and propose regional cooperation actions. The overview portrays the current landscape related to DIHs and similar organisations operating in the Western Balkans.
The current programme aims to assist capacity building of and networking among DIHs in the region in two ways.
Capacity building for digital innovation hubs
First, the programme will create a comprehensive resource of existing EU and other funding and capacity-building opportunities. These include grants, investment and mentorship programmes suitable for DIHs in the region.
Some examples are Horizon Europe programmes (e.x. Hop on Facility, Excellence Hubs, etc.) and similar programmes accessible to the Western Balkans.
Capacity building will assist selected DIHs to understand the benefits of cascade funding (Financial Support for Third Parties) and other types of available opportunities (e.x. capacity building, networking, etc.) for the development of digital innovation.
It will build a pipeline of project concepts that fit within the parameters of the funding and/or capacity-building opportunities and match DIHs’ strengths and areas of expertise.
Project concepts will aim to ensure the regional scope by including as many DIHs as possible.
In addition, the programme will identify suitable partners from the EU interested to join forces with WB DIHs on specific project proposals.
As a concluding activity, the consulting company will provide a set of recommendations for new regional initiatives. This will assist the RCC to encourage development of DIHs in the region by leveraging lessons learned from other parts of Europe.