The Liechtenstein government aims to accelerate digital innovation by establishing an innovation hub that supports SMEs through various services. Applications are open until 31 October 2022.

The Liechtenstein government will establish a European Digital Innovation Hub (EDIH). According to a recent press release, all interested parties are invited to apply the form of an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the Staff Office for Financial Centre Innovation and Digitalization (SFID) by 31 October 2022.

What are EDIHs?

EDIHs are a central part of the DIGITAL Europe program, which aims at accelerating digital transformation. Explicitly, the goal is to facilitate the introduction, use, and distribution of digital technologies in the economy.

An EDIH is a non-profit organization or consortium with complementary competencies in the digital field. It supports SMEs and public administrations in their digital transformation by offering a wide range of services.

These services include, for example, access to technical expertise and experimentation and enabling companies to test technologies before committing to larger investments. EDIH helps companies improve digital processes, products, or services leveraging digital technologies.

They also provide financing advice, training, and skills development for a successful digital transformation. Environmental issues are also considered, such as energy consumption and carbon emissions.

In short: EDIHs function as one-stop shops that help companies dynamically respond to digital challenges and become more competitive.

Joint funding by the EU and Liechtenstein

The Liechtenstein Parliament decided to participate in the Digital Europe Programme at the end of 2020. The budget for the FL-EDIH will be supported 50% by the Digital Europe Programme of the European Commission and 50% by the State of Liechtenstein. The duration is set for three years.

According to an official press release, the funding for the FL-EDIH will be used entirely for the benefit of SMEs and the public administration. In addition, the FL-EDIH will enable access to 136 other European EDIHs.

European Digital Innovation Hubs will have both local and European functions. As the Digital Europe Programme partly funds them, the goal is to also focus on activities with a clear European added value.

Open for applications

The selection process of the EDIHs heavily depends on the Member States. They designate a list of hubs from which the initial network of EDIHs will be established.

The SFID recommends applying in advance with an informal Expression of Interest promptly by 15 August 2022. For more information, see www.sfid.llv.li.

The European Commission has developed a document (.pdf) that explains how the EDIH will be implemented in the Digital Europe Programme as well as a series of answers to Frequently Asked Questions. The JRC has also developed a practical handbook with good practices on investments in Digital Innovation Hubs.

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