EIT Digital is committed to fostering Digital Innovation as a lever to increasing European competitiveness and the quality of life of its citizens. EIT Digital has already mobilised €1 billion across the EU to drive Europe’s digital transformation and plans additional €1 billion investment. Of this, 150 million euros have already been invested in Italy and similar amount will be invested in the coming years.
EIT Digital’s portfolio of activities is split over four innovation areas that are crucial to increasing economic growth and are also opportunities for Europe to take a leadership position in the global digital economy: Digital Industry, Digital Cities, Digital Wellbeing and Digital Infrastructure. These areas are addressed in terms of education, enterprise scale up and technology go-to-market through innovation activities.
Since 2010, EIT Digital has been boosting digital innovation and developing entrepreneurial digital talent across Europe to increase economic growth and improve quality of life. Today, it mobilises a pan-European ecosystem of over 130 top European corporations, SMEs, startups, universities and research institutes, delivering over 300 innovation activities, totalling more than 50 products and services, 80 technology transfers and the creation of 35 startups and spinoffs. Over 1,500 students are studying in one of our three EIT-labelled blended digital education programmes: Master School, Doctoral School or Professional School.
Willem Jonker, CEO of EIT Digital
“The digital transformation is happening globally, and it is our role to ensure Europe is at the forefront so we have a competitive economy and an improved quality of life across our continent. For that, we need to mobilise our innovation strengths. In addition, we need to invest in people through education in digital skills to ensure we have a workforce ready to drive this digital transformation,” Willem Jonker, CEO EIT Digital, explains.
“The activities run within the EIT Digital are in line with the Italian Digital Agenda and contribute to its implementation,” adds Roberto Saracco, Node Director, EIT Digital Italy.
The innovation activities are coordinated an partly carried out at the EIT Digital Co-Location Centre in Trento and, from 2014, also at the Satellite in Milan through a cluster of 13 leading ICT players in Italy.
The innovation activities in Italy have strong focus on digital cities, Internet of Things and 5G. For example, 3Cixty, a powerful platform, data services and tools for rapid creation of mobile and web-based city apps, was deployed in Milan during Expo 2015, and is currently being used in London and Sophia Antipolis (France). ACTIVE, a generic connectivity and middle-ware platform, ensures the market uptake of Internet of Things applications in the transport and health sectors. International testbeds (OTC- Open Testbed Community), that sees strong involvement of Italian partners, aims at stimulating 5G innovation internationally and connects existing centres of expertise based in the USA and Europe. Technological solutions for Smart Cities are being applied in Trento in collaboration with IEEE and the Province of Trento.
Business and entrepreneurial mind-set acceleration activities in Italy have led to Zucchetti’s recent investment in FABtotum 3D printing technology. Horus, Milan based scaleup producing wearable assistant for blind people, is accelerating business not only in Europe, but also in the Silicon Valley.
Students from the EIT Digital Master and Doctoral schools are hired by large ICT players in Italy and in Europe or create their own company. Romand Chirikov works at Ericsson in Stockholm after finishing his Doctoral studies in Trento. Gianni Barlacchi from EIT Digital Doctoral School in Trento has created a startup Appetitoso. Julia Wache, coming from Germany and studying at the EIT Digital Doctoral School in Trento, has created a startup FeelSpace.