The issue of better access to digital goods and knocking down barriers to the development of digitalisation and innovative services has long been discussed by European experts. Europe has a potential to specialise in digital solutions on a global scale, however, everyone agrees that it is not fully exploited. The main barrier is the fragmentation of markets, and lack of uniform regulations and procedures. A new EU initiative supporting the digitalisation of industry: Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) is there to remedy. 

The DIH centres are hubs of complex services, where businesses, and especially SMEs and start-ups, can improve their competences connected to streamlining production processes, products, and services by implementing digital technologies.

The goal of S3HubsinCE project was to build competences of regional DIHs in Central and Eastern Europe by exchanging experience and good practices between project partners. The competences are built in the following technology areas: 

  1. Data analytics, complex simulation and modelling
  2. Machine vision
  3. Predictive maintenance
  4. Factory and process automation
  5. DI&I Machinery
  6. Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
  7. Advanced and smart materials 
  8. Digital marketing
  9. Innovation in a circular economy
  10. Design & engineering for additive manufacturing


RIS3 (Regional Innovation Strategy) are national or regional innovation strategies which set priorities in order to build competitive advantage by developing and matching research and innovation strength to business and market needs. This is synonymous with the term Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3).

DIHs (Digital Innovation Hubs) are ecosystems that consist of SMEs, large industries, start-ups, researchers, accelerators, and investors. They aim to create the best conditions for long-term business success for all involved.

The CERIS Navigation Crews are strategic task forces, made up of relevant stakeholders & experts aligned with EU working groups, based around the CE RIS3 Technology Priority Areas (TPAs), which generate a transnationally integrated network of innovative actors who will strengthen regional innovation ecosystems through enhanced knowledge exchange and joint-planning of concrete, market-focused, bottom-up RIS3 actions.

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Project Partners


CUAS is one of the leading educational institutions in the Alpine-Adriatic region.The department for Industrial Engineering and Management at CUAS provides a bachelor course and master course in the respective domain of expertise. Entrepreneurial education, economics and management as well as mechanical engineering and smart production are central elements of both courses. 


Forschung Burgenland GmbH works as a non-profit & non-university research organisation for application-oriented R&D in Burgenland. As a 100 percent subsidiary of the University of Applied Sciences Burgenland the research carried out in the Forschung Burgenland GmbH complements the respective course programs and departments of the UAS.

bwcon gmbh

Bwcon is a leading facilitator for innovation in the technology sector.  Within the global innovation & scouting process (so called Venture Gate), bwcon is regularly in charge for the IR assessment of local and international start-ups to identify the ones ready to cooperation (with investors and VCs) and the ones needing an intensive coaching support. 


Fraunhofer is the largest organization in Europe in the field of applied and industrial research. The Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU is one of the most renowned research institutes for industrially-led production technology in Germany, working mainly with the automotive and mechanical engineering sectors. 


Intellimech is a member association of high-tech enterprises dedicated to the interdisciplinary research in the mechatronics field, which comprises advanced electronics, computer and ICT systems and mechanical design for application in a wide range of industrial sectors. 


ECIPA SCARL is the Service and Training Agency of CNA Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Bozen, the regional representations of the National Confederation of Craftsmen and SMEs – CNA associating more than 30.000 SMEs. ECIPA deals mainly with vocational, cultural, technical and economic training of entrepreneurs and employees as well as with regional, national and transnational projects and studies in order to foster innovation and business competitiveness of SMEs at local and international level.


KPT was established in 1997 with the mission to develop modern economy and innovative academy-based enterprises in the region. The focus of parks' activities is on incentives for business investments projects and technology park which are supporting manufacturing sector and regional development. Currently KPT is supporting over 150 companies from the ICT sector.


TECOS was established in 1994 on the initiative of Slovenian toolmakers as a non-profit organisation by the Government of Slovenia, Municipality of Celje and Slovenian Chamber of Commerce. Its vision is to become the long-term strategic development partner to production companies in Slovenia and the wider region. Furthermore, to become a renowned European technological centre in the areas of the development of new products, moulds and technologies.

Pannon Business network

PBN was founded in 2006, with the participation of the regional Clusters & Industrial Parks. PBN as a regional business development organization aims at strengthening the economic performance of small and medium sized businesses in the Western Hungarian Region. As a leading public economic development organization in the region, the network contributes to the quality of employment and the improvement of the competitiveness of enterprises with the cooperation and networking of the regional stakeholders. 

the croatian chamber of economy

The Croatian Chamber of Economy – Varaždin County Chamber represents all legal entities engaged in business in Varaždin County. Its main goal is to promote and enhance the business environment, stimulate a vibrant regional economy and produce a cooperative efforts to improve competitiveness and productive capacity of the companies. 

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