Hopero is part of the European Network of Digital Innovation Hubs
EDIH (European Digital Innovation Hubs) is a contact point that helps companies to respond to the digital challenges created by the European Commission. Their aim is to support the efforts of SMEs to achieve high and sustainable competitiveness.
EDIH is governed by a de minimis scheme.
The de minimis aid scheme of the Slovak Recovery and Resilience Plan to support the digitalization of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, small companies with medium market capitalization, and public sector organizations regulates the provision of de minimis aid to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, small companies with medium market capitalization and public sector organizations through the European Digital Innovation Centres.
The object of this scheme is to provide de minimis aid in the form of indirect non-financial support through access to technical expertise and experimentation, consultancy, including financial consultancy, provision of participation in national and international professional events, consultation, professional training, skills development, rental of premises and technology and services necessary for the competitiveness enhancement and digital transformation of SMEs, small and medium-sized enterprises and VPOs.
EDIHs are one-stop contact points that help companies become more competitive with their business or production processes, products or services using digital technologies. They will focus on the application of technologies such as artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, enhancing cyber security or other basic and advanced digital technologies. For SMEs, small and mid-market capitalisation companies and VPOs, they will provide a space for testing and experimentation, access to technology, help to obtain additional financial support or to enhance the digital skills of their employees.
Hopero is part of a pan-European network established in accordance with Article 16 of Regulation (EU) 2021/694 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2021 establishing the Digital Europe Programme.
The implementation of the activities and the provision of the Hopero services under paragraph 2 of this Article shall be funded by the Mechanism (50 %) and by the directly managed Digital Europe Programme (50 %) and, in the case of EDIH projects that have been awarded the ‘Seal of Excellence’ (without financial support from the Digital Europe Programme), by the Mechanism (100 %) only, so that the services provided shall be provided free of charge to the beneficiaries of the assistance. At the same time, it is ensured that no aid is provided at the EDIH level – any benefit will be passed on to the level of the beneficiaries.
The aim of the assistance is to support reforms and investments aimed at raising living standards.
The provision of de minimis aid is implemented in the context of the Recovery and Resilience Plan of the Slovak Republic, the main objective of which is to support reforms and investments aimed at raising the standard of living. One of the priorities is efficient public administration and digitalization, increasing the productivity and competitiveness of Slovak enterprises. Reforms and investments aimed at the digital transformation of public administration, industrial production and service provision are a prerequisite for the transition to a digital economy.
Projects supported under this scheme will focus on the application of technologies such as artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, strengthening cybersecurity or other basic and advanced digital technologies, depending on the needs of service users. Hopero will provide a space for businesses to test and experiment, access technology, support and help them to get additional financial support or increase the digital skills of their employees.
The main areas of support are mainly focused on:
- raising awareness and providing or ensuring access to expertise, know-how and services in the field of digital transformation, including the provision of testing and experimentation facilities;
- providing support in the area of advanced digital skills (e.g. by coordinating with training providers in the provision of short-term training for staff and internships for students);
- supporting SMEs, small mid-market companies and VPOs to become more competitive and improve their business, organizational or operational models through new technologies;
- support for linking industry, businesses and administrations in need of new technological solutions with companies that have solutions ready for practical application.
According to the scheme, there is an obligation to maintain a list of companies that have received aid.
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