A joint effort by Northern Finland for the development of digitalization of SMEs is getting a chance to apply for EU funding - A joint effort by Northern Finland for the development of digitalization of SMEs is getting a chance to apply for EU funding
The EU's new € 7.5 billion Digital Europe program supports the development of digitalization in Europe. The European Digital Innovation Hub (EDIH), a new kind of networking model, is seen as its engine, and it is hoped that it will respond dynamically to the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises, while utilizing top technologies and operating like a network. Finland would like to have 2–4 EDIH networks to spur digitalization. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for the application process at the national level and supports the operation of the hubs as part of the national Artificial Intelligence 4.0 program.
The need for digital development has been underscored during the pandemic, which is posing special challenges for sparsely populated areas. Arctic-EDIH is a new kind of service structure jointly developed by ten organizations operating in the north of Finland, with the aim of getting easier access for small and medium-sized enterprises as well as actors in the public and third sectors wishing to apply top-level technologies. Arctic-EDIH assembles, develops, and offers services in the implementation of remote activities, automation, and the development and deployment of digital and virtual services, with an emphasis on the utilization of breakthrough technologies in the business of health and well-being.
- In Northern Finland we have top-level know-how in high performance computing, artificial intelligence, cyber security, and 5G/6G networks. For example, Kajaani is getting Lumi, one of the fastest supercomputers in the world, observes Arto Manninen, Vice President for Co-operation at the University of Oulu.
- Success in applying for funding from the Commission will make it possible for us to operate throughout Northern Finland with links to European networks, he continues.
In its activities, Arctic-EDIH emphasizes dialog and peer learning among different actors, different sectors, and different technologies. A good foundation for the development of Arctic-EDIH is created by both the existing services and customer relationships, as well as the OuluHealth ecosystem, which has won recognition in Europe, new service channels such as BusinessAsema, digital maturity tools developed by VTT, and the University of Lapland's service design that emphasizes a focus on customer needs.
The ambitious consortium includes the University of Oulu, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Business Oulu, the City of Kajaani, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, the University of Lapland, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Centria University of Applied Sciences, as well as VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. and CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd.
Pekka Lehtovuori, Director, Services for Computational Research email email@example.com , phone +358 50 381 9723