The DIHNET.EU, supported by EU institutions, enables the coordination of European, national and regional initiatives that directly support digital transformation and digital innovation centers (DIH). The project aims to create a sustainable pan-European network of networks, with a focus on regional DIH.

So basically, DIHNET.EU seeks to connect, support, and promote the creation of new centers, and to help define common strategies for the different DIH.

As part of that, the associated centers have set up the DIHs Champions Challenge, with the aim to:

  • identify best practices for advanced/mature DIH so that others can learn,
  • identify the DIH challenge champions,
  • promote future pairing opportunities between DIH to find those who have the experience others need,
  • help regularly fine-tune the information in the DIH catalog.

In October 2020, the period to present candidates for the second edition closed, and we now know who the four finalists of this years DIH Champions Challenge are.

Among the four finalists is the Basque Digital Innovation Hub (BDIH), a non-profit initiative for Basque SMEs whose goal is to offer easy and profitable access to the excellent and innovative science and technology skills necessary to face the challenges presented by Industry 4.0 in the Advanced Manufacturing sector.  The BDIH is made up of a digital R&D&I infrastructure network, pilot factories, and specialized know-how in six different fields: Additive Manufacturing, Flexible and Collaborative Robotics, Cyber-security, Big Data Analytics, Smart and Connected Machines, and New Materials.

In just a few days, the winner will be announced, as the awards are to be handed out at the EDIH conference: “Gearing up towards European Digital Innovation Hubs”, to be held virtually on January 26-27, 2021.

There’s no doubt this is huge news, though there are two things that caught our attention.

The first is that in the information given to us by DIHNET.EU about this Basque center, no information is ever given about where it’s from, even in the very generic description that its headquarters are somewhere in Spain.  We’re not sure if this was just forgotten, because in other finalists’ descriptions (like the one from Valencia), their origin is stated, or if it’s stated that it’s in Spain to remove doubt about it not being from the Northern Basque Country.

This brings us back to our nightmare about the “Basque Countries” competing with each other on culture, economic, and tourism matters.

And that brings us to the second thing: in the English version of the Basque Digital Innovation Hub website, the following is stated:

We are going to direct SME digitization in the Basque Country toward more knowledge-intensive and higher value manufacturing activities.

After reading this, we’re left with the doubt about whether any Basque company can tur to it, or only those within the scope of the SPRI Group, which is where this information is to be found.  If it’s the former, then no worries, but if it’s the latter, then the fact that it is limited to companies in the Basque Autonomous Community should have been stated, especially to avoid confusing the part with the whole.

In any case, we are eagerly looking forward to next week’s announcement of the winner, hoping that this Basque center has been chosen as the winner of the DIHs Champions Challenge 2020.


DIHNET.eu – 6/1/2021 – Europe

DIHNET announces the finalists of the DIH Champions Challenge 2020

The DIHNET.EU project created the innovative DIH Champions Challenge for evaluating the maturity level of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) according to specific parameters selected by the consortium in collaboration with the European Commission. Fourteen fully operative DIHs from all around Europe have submitted their applications to participate in this second edition.

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