What a Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) is
The DIH concept was proposed by the European Commission in 2016 as an instrument for digital transformation. It is conceived as a “one-stop shop” where enterprises, technicians and institutions may access to knowledge, technology, services and facilities they need to successfully tackle their digital transformation processes. It is an institution with full legal entity, founded to offer (with non-profit ambition) supporting services to promote the digital transformation in companies, mainly SMEs, and with the main goal to boost their development, create employment and open new business models and innovation opportunities. The DIHs also support the Public Sector in their digitalisation. Each DIH is settled in a specific geographic area and is organised around a market or a market segment aligned with the Smart Specialization Strategies (RIS3) of the region they are settled in.
“The DIHs are non-profit organizations conceived as support networks, capable of catalysing digital innovation in different sectors and territories”
This Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) is focused on the Livestock, Environment, Agriculture and Forest Sectors (DIH-LEAF). It brings together different actors connected with the production sector and from different technology initiatives. Universities, technological centres, companies, producer associations, non-profit associations, all of them take part in DIH-LEAF with the objective to face the wager of digitalisation and technological innovation in this broad productive sector. DIH-LEAF is established as an independent and unique digitalisation ecosystem with the final objective to digitalise these entities improving their efficiency, competitiveness and sustainability throughout the application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). This way, it also contributes to the sustainable development of both rural and urban areas.
Identifying and defining the great opportunity that digitalisation offers to a crucial sector in Castilla y León
The primary sector in Castilla y León is facing new challenges deriving not only from climate change, emerging environmental demands, lack of resources or the emergency of new geopolitical actors, but also from technological challenges coming from the introduction of new digitalisation processes, an efficient sensoring to achieve proper and relevant data, the management of big and complex information volumes or the application of systems of artificial intelligence for decision making related to the management of small and medium size organizations. All of this happens in a production sector characterised by its fragmentation and its dispersion in an extraordinary wide territory.
DIH-LEAF aligns with the European Strategy
DIH-LEAF is an initiative perfectly aligned with the new European guidelines that highlight the need to transfer well-consolidated digital technologies from other sectors to Agriculture (Agriculture 4.0 or Precision Farming), Livestock, Forestry and Environment. It is also stated in the European Strategy “From farm to fork” or the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), that aims to facilitate the use of data and analysis to the producers, increasing their interest in digital technologies investment and their implementation to boost the digital transformation of the sector.
Acting local for a global impact
This initiative is also aligned with the new reality in the Spanish agricultural field, tightly coupled with the national strategy: “Estrategia de Digitalización del Sector Agroalimentario y Forestal y del Medio Rural” (Strategy for the Digitalization of the Agro-food, Forestry an Rural areas Sector) from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. In the regional scope, the Counselling of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development, depending from the Junta de Castilla y León Government, has proposed a new “Estrategia de fomento del desarrollo tecnológico y digitalización en el ámbito agrario y agroalimentario” (Strategy for technological development and digitalization in the agricultural and agro-alimentary field).
Networking to enhance the initiative and share experiences
DIH-LEAF has a national scope (Spain) DIH-LEAF has a national scope (Spain) but is mainly for companies and institutions located in Castilla y León, cooperating and developing joint projects with organizations from any other Spanish and foreign regions. One of the final goals of DIH-LEAF is to encourage international cooperation, mainly with European countries as well as developing countries..
Generation of links among stakeholders, technological suppliers and digital enablers all through the value chain, with direct contact with specialized entities in training, investment and fundraising for the digital transformation.
Access to the latest information about the possibilities that digital transformation may offer to all the members..
Deep auditing and definition of individual conversion plans, with specific objectives and results with the support of experts in different disciplines.
Acquisition of the latest digital competences through training services, seminars, practices and workshops, all of them focused in improving managers and workers skills. .
Access to infrastructures for experimentation in order to test high level digital innovations for products, processes or models of business.