The EDIH GEARING UP conference is a public event organised as the first yearly European Digital Innovation Hubs conference. In coordination with the Luxembourg Ministry of Economy this first year’s phygital edition officially kick-started the European Digital Innovation Hubs initiative all across Europe.

In 2021, the European Commission, with the Member States, is gearing up to support the digitalisation of Europe’s economy and society. The EDIHs are the new piece of the puzzle of our industry’s landscapes and our economy. Most importantly, the phygital conference addressed the future call for the EDIH under the Digital Europe Programme (DEP) initiative with more than 20 parallel sessions providing an opportunity for the different EDIH candidates around Europe and their respective public authority. Between keynote speeches and participatory discussions, it was a great opportunity for the MediaFutures team to represent their project and to sharpen the view to the right and left in a competitive but also innovative and inclusive environment where many potential partnerships can arise. 

Fostering Innovation at the Nexus of Science Technology and Art

The need for collaboration between companies, organisations and institutions all over Europe to foster innovation was reflected in the speeches as well. A prominent example was the keynote speech by Franceca Bria highlighting the role of DIHs to promote mutually beneficial collaborations and partnerships. She furthermore pointed out the need to work at the intersection of science, technology and art:

DIHs provide a strong added-value guiding EU Innovation Action to a systematic inclusion of the arts. […] There are new ways of technology transfer, new models of co-creation, new capabilities where boundaries are blurred: science and arts collaborations have the power to help Europe, linking digital science and arts to meet the EU green deal objectives” – Francesca Bria

Especially in times of the COVID crisis it becomes evident that problems as well as their solutions are interlinked and grounded in many different disciplines. New ways of thinking, breaking silos and integrating different disciplines is therefore more important than ever. With the goal to reshape the value chain by supporting startups, artists and SMEs, innovation at the nexus of science, technology, business and art is at the heart of MediaFutures. The conference therefore proved valuable to exchange ideas, best practises and expand each other’s network.

Another interesting speech was given by Thomas Kallstenius (CEO, Luxembourg Institute of Science). He presented Luxembourg’s digital strategy. A central part of it is the digital twin (a digital replication/map) of Luxembourg and each sector of the economy, science and society. Some sectors include for example the mobility, energy, health, education and industry sector. A particular interesting thing is that the digital twin is designed to learn from challenges to the system. Such challenges can be as pointed out in the speech, a Tornado, as it occurred in 2019 in Luxembourg, or as presently relevant, the COVID19 crisis. The digital twin then allows to simulate the impact of policy decisions on different sectors to make informed decisions supported and based on data.

MediaFutures represented in Participatory Discussions and Networking Sessions

Alina Brockob and Gerrit Rosam represented MediaFutures in dedicated networking sessions and interesting discussions such as “Championing SMEs to digitalise, innovate and grow”, “Digitizing SMEs, the European Way” or “The Digital Transformation Acceleration driving the European EDIH network”, taking place in virtual rooms with many interesting and innovative DIHs and presentations that inspired us. 

Digitalisation seems to open up a new world of possibilities that allows us to innovate in completely different ways. While confronting us with entirely new challenges, it also enables us to inform our decisions by data and facts. In the media sector it is part of MediaFutures vision to enable others to form beliefs and make decisions based on facts as well. Thus the conference provided a great format to engage with leading experts in the field.

More about MediaFutures

MediaFutures will bring together data-savvy entrepreneurs, artists and other stakeholders in the media value chain to come up with novel, unconventional ways for people to engage with quality journalism, science education and democratic processes. 

We just closed our first open call! We received more than 130 completed applications. The winners will be announced in March. Stay tuned!

Did you miss the chance to participate in our Open Call? Don’t worry! We will open a second one between October and December 2021. In the meantime, we keep you posted via our social media channels LinkedIn and Twitter. Make sure to visit our website for regular project updates!