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The EUHubs4Data final stage: lessons learned




With year 2023 coming to its end, we likewise celebrate the grand finale of the EUHubs4Data project. It has been a great experience in participating in the FSTP open call management, as well as overseeing the progress of the experiment WashAI, implemented by the company flex.bi. It’s time to build on our lessons learned and search for new ventures.


The importance of experimenting

In our cluster’s work, we’ve seen situations when the technology upgrade is put aside because it’s too expensive, because there are more urgent business needs to attend to or because there is not enough time and knowledge resources to play with the selected tech. The lack of “test before invest” mechanism demands the companies to make tough decisions, in most cases not in the favour of digitalisation. With the EU cascade funds that are available in the form of a lump sum and are often directed at tech experimentation change the business dynamic and guide the growth back to the foreground.


The EUHubs4Data project, that followed the cascade funding pattern, has been a valuable example on the importance of experimenting. During the 9 months’ period, our mentee had a chance to dive deep into the machine learning technology, see all the tricks and tips behind it and apply the new-found knowledge to a real client data to build a new product. All of that, while maintaining an opportunity to test what works best. The results are therefore twofold: the traditional company gets a solution that reflects its business needs and increase their digitalisation level and the IT company gets a satisfied customer and a boost in its business competitiveness. For the European businesses, it means a faster and more effective growth that could otherwise be harder to achieve.


With this mindset, we now offer a new service to our members – a compiled information on the active EU FSTP open calls for the companies to see what activities are supported and where to look for further proposal submission guidance. We believe it’s our mandate to encourage and inspire companies to step out of their comfort zone and look for additional ways to grow.


The continuation of knowledge and network

Sustainability and project inheritance have been crucial aspects of success in the EU projects. No longer the project is just about completing the activities, it is about the longevity of both the knowledge gained and connections established.


The EUHubs4Data project plays an important role in strengthening our know-how on how the FSTP open calls and therefore open call beneficiaries are managed. The methodology implemented serves as a guidance in our other projects and builds a heavy impact on how we see current and future acceleration and scale-up training programmes.


In addition, the connections form a network that, when effectively used, can produce benefits for all parties long after the original project is over. This is where we value the EUHubs4Data project as it has let us explore the BDVA family and obtain the BDVA i-Space Silver label – a network that was completely new to us but proved to be extremely insightful. Such recognition gives visibility, puts us alongside the like-minded organisations and adds us to the necessary communication loop.

 



The EUHUBS4DATA project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 951771. This article reflects only the author's views and the EC is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained in it.


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