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AI on-demand platform for regional interoperable Digital Innovation Hubs Network

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - DIH4AI (AI on-demand platform for regional interoperable Digital Innovation Hubs Network)

Reporting period: 2022-07-01 to 2023-12-31

The DIH4AI project aims at building and networking DIH-driven AI-on-demand regional platforms, linked to the pan-European AI4EU toolbox and experimental facility. The network of AI DIHs supports the development, engagement and provision of services for local SMEs and GovTech companies. This is particularly important since SMEs and start-ups in Europe face a great degree of difficulty into scaling their ideas and commercializing them, and in this context Digital Innovation Hubs offer useful support to overcome the challenges that these types of businesses face. More in detail, the work of this project is especially relevant due to importance that Artificial Intelligence will have in the next decade in Europe in solving today's major societal problems. AI will be a technology where a lot of investment will be allocated in the future, and where small businesses might have difficulty competing against big tech players. In this context, the contribution that AI-focused DIHs can provide in terms of AI innovation to small and medium-sized European companies, prevalent in our market, can be crucial.
The project moves along five specific directions:
• DIH Network innovation, collaboration and economical sustainability model
• Interoperability framework for regional-EU AI On-demand Platforms
• Intra- and Cross-DIH Experimentations, also through Open Calls
• AI Applications and Trustworthy AI Experiments
• Skills and new Professions for AI, Train the Trainers program
At the end of the project, all the 68 Six-Months Progress Reports and Deliverables as per DOA have been submitted, the RP1 and RP2 technical Reports have been uploaded on the portal and the six milestones have been met. The DIH4AI portal platform is available, including more than 30 DIH profiles, 650 DIH services, AI assets, training courses; interoperability with the AI4EU, then AIonDemand, has been established.
All the progress made on these activities was published on the official project website, both on the homepage and on the pages concerning experiments, open calls, events and news. In addition, all project updates were published and disseminated via the monthly newsletter and the official project social channels (LinkedIn and Twitter).
DIH4AI achieved the following key results in the two iterations of the project:
• definition and update of DIH4AI Platform requirements, including those coming the Open Call experiment winners.
• installation of the regional platforms and implementation of interoperability layers
• implementation of the experiments, both intra- and cross-DIH, and publication on the website, including those of the Open Calls
• analysis of the ethical and legal aspects of the experiments
• definition and update of the catalogue of L-BEST services offered by the 5 DIHs of the Consortium, with the addition of the services from the 21 DIHs involved in the Open Calls
• launch of the first and second Open Call and organisation of presentation webinars
• analysis of the 80/ 67 proposals of the first/second Open Call and selection of ten experiment winners each
• organisation of more than 20 dissemination events, reaching thousands of participants
• participation in more than 20 third-party events
• publication of about 200 updates on social media
• publication of more than 20 videos (including the project general video and some from the OCs)
• publication of three scientific articles on project updates
• publication of about 15 non-scientific articles on project updates
• participation in more than 20 collaboration initiatives with related projects
• creation and update of the project brochure and roll-up poster
• publication and update of the project profile and assets on the AIoD platform
• management of a collaboration initiative with all ICT49 projects on Trustworthy AI
• collection of feedback also from other ICT49 projects on services in the L(legal-ethical) category of L-BEST
• conduction of the first and second iterations surveys on the AI training needs of different types of stakeholders
The main expected impacts for the broader society are:
• spreading awareness on AI and Trustworthy AI in Europe and beyond
• creation and sustainability of an AI-focused DIH network
• enrichment of the AIoD platform and interoperability with regional platforms
• development of collaborations between DIHs from different European regions and with similar organisations outside Europe
• support for SMEs of different European regions on AI and collaborations between them
• development of knowledge and innovative tools related to AI and Trustworthy AI
• definition and dissemination of the L-BEST classification of services for DIHs
• development and dissemination of up-to-date and pioneering AI training programmes
• increasing the AI-related skills and knowhow of the DIHs and SMEs involved in the project and collaborating with them
• improving the positioning of European SMEs on the international AI market
• strengthening the role of DIHs for AI innovation
Among the main impacts of DIH4AI at the end of the project:
• an AI DIH network community has been created, accompanied by the development of the HUBS4AI post-project initiative, with more than 1500 users or Regional communities reached, 200 regional AI SMEs integrated and more than 30 regional development Agencies involved, thus strengthening the innovative role of EU AI DIHs.
• approximately 400 assets can be accessed via the DIH4AI platform, including DIH profiles, DIH services (also focused to DIH collaboration) Customer Journeys, AI assets, etc.
• the AIoD platform has been enriched with the upload of approx. 30 AI Assets, e.g. experiments, models, executables, datasets.
• seminars have been held to spread awareness on AI and Trustworthy AI in Europe and other areas, such as Africa and USA.
• a database of more than forty AI training courses has been made available on the DIH4AI Portal.
2nd page of the DIH4AI brochure
1st page of the DIH4AI brochure
DIH4AI Roll-up poster for events