East Netherlands


Gelderland and Overijssel to help SMEs with digital innovation

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) need to take steps in the process of digitalization in order to be able to sustainably compete at both European and global levels. On the 16th of January Deputes of the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel (respectively Helga Witjes and Eddy Hijum) presented the European Digital Innovation Hub (EDIH). Throughout the European Union a network of such digital innovation hubs has been set up as part of the Digital Europe Program. The hubs provide entrepreneurs with test facilities, expert knowledge from partners as well as financial opportunities and access to international scaling options. The main goal of the program is to speed up the process of digitalization in the industrial-, healthcare-, agriculture- and food industries.

 The Netherlands will add five industrial EDIH’s to its already existing regional Smart Industry Hubs. As of the first of January 2023, the existing HUB BOOST Smart Industry has become part of EDIH BOOST Robotics. This EDIH focuses on SMEs within the industrial-, food and agricultural sectors as well as MedTech. At the EDIH BOOST Robotics facilities, entrepreneurs have access to knowledge and expertise, test-facilities (test-before-invest) as well as financing and international scaling and breakthrough opportunities. Special ‘innovation brokers’ advise and assist entrepreneurs. The brokers are connected to institutions such as Kennispoort Regio Zwolle, RCT Gelderland and Novel-T. They make the process of gaining access to the field- and skills labs efficient and provide direct links to the required experts and partners within the network (please click here for additional information).

Collaboration to allow for necessary digitalization

Together with fifteen consortium partners, the provinces Overijssel and Gelderland have submitted a grant application to the European Commission and the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO). Over the next three years six million Euros have been granted by the EU (35%), the Ministry of Economic Affairs (35%) and the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel (30%) all together.

Deputes Witjes and Van Hijum emphasize the pride felt towards the manufacturing companies in both their provinces. They predict a rewarding future in which these businesses become part of the solution to current economic and social issues such as the sustainable production of food and healthy lifestyles. Investing in digitalization in The Netherlands is highly necessary as it will bring productivity to competitive levels on the European and global markets around us.


For EDIH BOOST Robotics the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel collaborate with entrepreneurial organizations, centers of knowledge and expertise and intermediaries. These are Oost NL, FME, Koninklijke Metaalunie, Universiteit Twente, Wageningen University & Research, RCT Gelderland, Novel-T, Kennispoort Regio Zwolle, Hogeschool Windesheim, Hogeschool Saxion, HAN University of Applied Sciences, Centrum voor Innovatief Vakmanschap Oost-Nederland (CIVON), Health Valley Netherlands, LAC Smart Welding Factory en Perron038 Zwolle.

 For additional information please click here


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