After the Espaitec breakfast entitled Espaitec as a Digital Innovation Hub and European
subsidies, during a brief interview we spoke to Juan Antonio Bertolín, the Manager of
the General Universitat Jaume I Foundation and the Managing Director of Espaitec.

What is a DIH?

A Digital Innovation Hub is a not-for-profit organisation that helps companies access
European Commission aid for their digital transformation, especially SMEs. In Europe,
they are 287, with 47 fully running in Spain, of which five are located in the Valencian
Community. Espaitec is the only DIH in the province of Castellón.
DIHs play a key role in the Digital Europe Programme (DEP) to encourage the use of
Supercomputing, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity and Advanced Digital Skills all
organisations in the public sector and from industry in Europe.

What does forming part of the DIH on the European Commission’s smart
Specialisation Platform mean for Espaitec?

It means facilitating those companies linked to the Espaitec Park (and its DIH) access to
European aid so they can digitalise their processes, set up experiment innovation
projects within the new Horizon Europe framework (the European Commission’s new
view of H2020 for 2021-2027) and the European digitalisation strategy for European
The European Commission will invest 100 million euros for 5 years to promote the
network among the different European DIHs to help SMEs to be digitalised.

How can it benefit Espaitec companies?

It offers preferential access to information about calls to develop technological projects
in the digitalisation area of their value chain. It is also worth stressing the technological
assessment infrastructure, proof and validation, industrial project scale-up, training and
acceleration of new companies.

How can it benefit the UJI and the Castellón business fabric?
Access to European funding to design, implement and start business digitalisation
projects through collaborative processes between the Universitat Jaume I (UJI) and the
business fabric in the target areas of the Digital Europe Programme (DEP),
Supercomputing, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity and Advanced Digital Skills.

What type of calls is currently open?

There are different calls currently open in the areas that can be subsidised, but this type
of calls is expected to become constant in forthcoming years. For example, we can find
calls about robotics, I4MS, technological development programmes for SMEs, etc.

What type of companies can benefit from them?

Any small- or medium-sized company connected to a DIH whose value chain is
undergoing a digitalisation process.

The EU opting for DIHs is evident, but what type of actions and specific
plans does the EU have with DIHs?

On the one hand, to promote connectivity among all European DIHs through aid
packages (100 million euros every year for 5 years).
On the other hand, with the new Horizon Europe (the new programme for 2021-2027
that follows Horizon 2020) it intends to support highly innovative digital transformation
experiments in the business sector.
To provide equipment, software, tools, qualified human resources and travel expenses
for companies that wish to work with other hubs.