The Navarrese Digital Innovation Hub, IRIS, approved to be part of the European Network EDIH

The European Commission has approved the application of the Digital Innovation Hub-IRIS to be part of the European Network of Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH) under the programme “Digital Europe”.

The Navarrese Digital Innovation Hub, IRIS, approved to be part of the European Network EDIH

The European Commission has approved the application of the Digital Innovation Hub-IRIS to be part of the European Network of Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH) under the programme “Digital Europe”. The project stands out for the public-private collaboration and the alliances with other European poles, which has been key for the approval of the project

The European Commission has highly valued the collaboration and public-private alliances with other EDIHs (European Digital Innovation Hubs), which have supported the Navarrese proposal and thus recognize the work that has been carried out in recent years between the different agents, promoted by the Department of Economic and Business Development, to promote the digital transformation of businesses, administration and society.

The Digital Innovation Pole was born with the aim of becoming the one-stop shop for digitization in Navarre and offering companies services and equipment to move to Industry 4.0. In addition, it incorporates personalized precision medicine as one of its specialties and promotes the strategy developed by the Government of Navarre in this area. This fact will enable progress towards better patient-centered healthcare and the digitization and use of data in clinical processes and treatments.

With a continuous history of collaborations and a perfect ecosystem to address challenges around Artificial Intelligence (AI), Advanced Supercomputing (HPC) and Genome Sequencing (NGS) as key technologies, IRIS is clearly focused on leading economic sectors in the region: electric and connected mobility, healthy and sustainable food, green energy industry and personalized medicine, among others, fully aligned with the regional smart specialization strategy (S4). These sectors and activities are critical for Navarre in terms of economic relevance and potential benefits for its society.

The IRIS proposal to the European Commission has been coordinated by ADItech, the corporation of the Technological Center of Navarre, which also coordinates the Digital Innovation Pole, and the collaboration of the European Projects Office of the Directorate General for Foreign Affairs.

The European Commission plans to build a network of almost 200 hubs, approximately one per region, with specialization in the main digital technologies (AI, robotics, cybersecurity, Big data, etc.) and some of the enabling technologies (IoT, blockchain, twins digital, etc). In Spain the forecast was to approve between 9 and 17 EDIH.

Finally, 283 applications were submitted and, more specifically from Spain, 26 applications. IRIS intends to address and achieve six objectives:

  1. Accelerate the digital transformation of SMEs in Navarre, as well as increase the industrial competitiveness of the region through digitalization. 
  2. Promote the development of the public administrations of Navarre towards a greater degree of digitization, positioning Navarre as a European leader in personalized medicine in 2030, as evidenced by the Digital Strategy 2030 and the Global Strategy for Personalized Medicine of Navarre (Customize Navarre). 
  3. Promote better knowledge of the technologies that enable an advanced digital society. 
  4. Driving technological progress by generating research and innovation of excellence based on digital technologies. 
  5. Contribute to the development of entrepreneurship in all its stages. 
  6. Facilitate and develop collaborations with other European regions and other leading hubs.

The European IRIS EDIH proposal is structured in seven work modules (WP):

  • Three of them transversal, managed by ADItech: global project management (WP1), internationalization (WP6) and communication (WP8)
  • Four techniques and common to all EDIH: Test Before Invest (WP2) managed by AIN; Access to Finance (WP3) led by Navarra Chamber; Building Ecosystems and Networking (WP4) led by CEIN; and Skills & Training (WP5) managed by the UPNA

There is a last, vertical work package, of technological specialization, which is that of personalized precision medicine by digitalization (WP7) managed by the UNAV. 

Navarre's candidacy for this European call has had several agreements of understanding, signed with regions linked to Navarre in industrial development policies and complementary in terms of providing services to end users, with the Provincial Executive establishing links collaboration with Emilia-Romagna (Italy), Brandenburg (Germany), Maribor (Slovenia), Noord Brabant (Netherlands), Szombathely (Hungary), Nouvelle-Aquitaine (France) and Tampere (Finland). With the Basque Autonomous Community and New Aquitaine, the agreements are framed in the Euroregion made up of the three regions. In June 2018, the EU presented the first Digital Europe programme, which reinforces the importance of digital innovation hubs as catalysts for the digital transformation of European industry, prioritizing artificial intelligence and supercomputing, two disciplines which are specializations of which IRIS, the digital innovation center of Navarre, is a part.

In 2019, the Interministerial Commission for the Digital Innovation Pole was set up, and in 2020 the agreement setting the operating and management rules was validated. With the approval of IRIS as EDIH will be offered a set of infrastructures, capabilities, advice, training, attraction of talent, spaces and services to facilitate the innovation and digitization of SMEs, the administration and society.

Thus it will be possible to improve the competitiveness of industry, services to citizens and, ultimately, contribute to improving the well-being of society.

IRIS Consortium

The IRIS consortium is chaired by the Government of Navarre and coordinated by ADItech. The most relevant players in the region's innovation ecosystem participate in the project, including universities, technology and research centers, suppliers of ICT, professional associations and sectoral business associations and clusters.

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