Daniela Copaci | Helsinki
The Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform organised a workshop on digital innovation hubs in Espoo (Greater Helsinki metropolitan area), Finland, on the 22nd of November. Why Espoo? Espoo is the place where many of Finland's largest corporations and two of the most relevant innovation players — Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland are located.
The event put the spotlight on digital innovation hubs as drivers of digital transformation and competitiveness of European SMEs.
Insights into one of the most vibrant ecosystems in Europe – the Finnish digital innovation ecosystem has been provided by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (Finland), the Helsinki-Uusima Regional Council, the City of Helsinki Aalto University, both on the policy and operational levels. Newly established digital innovation hubs in Latvia and Lithuania also presented their business models and plans for the next 3 years.
Through the ERNACT led DEVISE project, their network presented Innovation as a Service (IaaS) as a practice improving the uptake of digital technologies by SMEs leading to increased innovation capacities and competitiveness. The IaaS can provide a model for the EU’s Digital Innovation Hub initiative, which aims to better connect local innovation hubs to European level competence centres (or centres of excellence) across Europe.