The presentation ceremony of DIGIS3, a consortium recognized as European Digital Innovation Hub (EDIH) by the European Commission, was held this morning in the Casino of Salamanca. This consortium will leverage its abilities to help SMEs and public entities of Castilla y León to access EU funds for their digitization.

The official presentation of the European Digital Innovation Hub DIGIS3 was attended by the Mayor of Salamanca, Carlos García Carbayo, and the Ministers of Economy and Finance, Carlos Fernández Carriedo, and of Mobility and Digital Transformation, María González Corral. These authorities presided over the opening table of the meeting together with Juan Manuel Corchado, coordinator of DIGIS3 and president of the AIR Institute.

The DIGIS3 program will have a budget of 3.45 million euros to provide a range of services that will address the needs of the business community and the regional public administration in a coordinated manner and will promote their digitalization. The services proposed within the consortium for the next three years are organized around four categories: training, testing and experimentation, support for the search for sources of funding and innovation ecosystem and networks, capabilities for which the partners are duly specialized, in accordance with the technologies considered and their main areas of application.

Objective and composition of DIGIS3

Following its appointment as a European Digital Innovation Hub in 2022, the overall objective of DIGIS3 is to ensure the smart and sustainable digital transformation of mainly SMEs and the public sector in Castilla y León, with an urban and rural territorial outreach focused on cohesion. Thus, DIGIS3 will benefit the business network of the nine provinces of Castile and Leon in terms of technological support and ease of access to information, services and facilities.

The focus is on providing comprehensive support to the clients, facilitating their access to specialized technical knowledge and experimentation environments. DIGIS3 is structured as a one-stop service whose central core of knowledge and training is structured around Artificial Intelligence and Supercomputing, complemented by other support technologies in digitization such as IoT, Big Data, Blockchain and Robotics, among others, without forgetting cybersecurity as an essential layer in any digitization process.

DIGIS3 is formed by the collaboration of six regional entities: AIR Institute, the Institute for Business Competitiveness (ICE), the University of León, the Supercomputing Center Foundation of Castilla y León (SCAYLE), DIH-LEAF and DIHBU.

Participation of the authorities and project partners

During his speech, Carlos García Carbayo pointed out that this project is perfectly aligned with the town’s strategy, whose objective is to turn Salamanca into a development hub for innovation and the knowledge industry, complementing the current production model and generating new niches offering opportunities and qualified employment. For his part, Carlos Fernández Carriedo stressed the need to promote digital transformation in the community to make the business network and SMEs even more competitive, achieve greater efficiency and productivity among companies and, consequently, a more resilient economy and greater territorial cohesion. Finally, María González Corral wanted to stress the importance of Castile and Leon having the Caléndula supercomputer and an entity such as SCAYLE in charge of its management, since the calculation and storage capacity of this advanced technological tool is an essential lever to strengthen the business network by improving its competitiveness, boosting high-level research and attracting European funding.

Juan Manuel Corchado then informed those present, including authorities from public, academic and private institutions in Castile and Leon, about the services offered by DIGIS3 and clarified its work plan: “Most of the services, whose objective is to carry out digitization in the short term, will be offered free of charge to customers”. Corchado assured that this process will be carried out in four phases or groups of services and provided some numbers: “DIGIS3 will drive the digital and green transformation of more than 1,400 SMEs and public entities in the region in the next three years”.

Round table and closing

Afterwards, there was a round table discussion about the services and aid for companies in Castile and León, made up of representatives from each of the consortium’s entities: Augusto Cobos, general director of the Institute for Business Competitiveness (ICE); Nuria González Rabanal, Director of the Business Relations Area of the University of León; Vicente Matellán, Director of the Supercomputing Center of Castilla y León (SCAYLE); Álvaro Herrero, President of DIH-LEAF; Belén Lanuza, Manager of DIHBU, and Javier Prieto, co-founder and Secretary of the AIR Institute.

Posted by Juan M. Corchado

Juan Manuel Corchado (15 May 1971, Salamanca, Spain) is Professor at the University of Salamanca. He has been Vice-Rector for Research from 2013 to 2017 and Director of the Science Park of the University of Salamanca. Elected as Dean of the Faculty of Science twice, he holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Salamanca and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the University of the West of Scotland. He leads the renowned BISITE (Bioinformatics, Intelligent Systems and Educational Technology) Research Group, created in 2000. Director of the IoT Digital Innovation Hub and President of the AIR Institute, J. M. Corchado is also Visiting Professor at the Osaka Institute of Technology since January 2015, Visiting Professor at the Universiti Malaysia Kelantan and Member of the Advisory Group on Online Terrorist Propaganda of the European Counter Terrorism Centre (EUROPOL). J. M. Corchado has been president of the IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society, and academic coordinator of the University Institute for Research in Art and Animation Technology at the University of Salamanca, as well as researcher at the Universities of Paisley (UK), Vigo (Spain) and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK). He currently combines all his activity with the direction of Master programmes in Security, Digital Animation, Mobile Telephony, Information Systems Management, Internet of Things, Social Media, 3D Design and Printing, Blockchain, Z System, Industry 4.0, Agile Project Management, and Smart Cities & Intelligent Buildings, at the University of Salamanca and his work as editor-in-chief of the journals ADCAIJ (Advances in Distributed Computing and Artificial Intelligence Journal), OJCST (Oriental Journal of Computer Science and Technology) or Electronics MDPI (Computer Science & Engineering section). J. M. Corchado mainly works on projects related to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, IoT, Fog Computing, Edge Computing, Smart Cities, Smart Grids and Sentiment Analysis. He has recently been included in the board of trustees of the AstraZeneca Foundation, along with other health professionals and researchers recognised for bringing scientific knowledge closer to society.