Ireland establishes two European hubs to digitise SMEs and factories

24 Feb 2023

Image: © Oleksandr/

A total of four hubs are planned in Ireland, which are designed to assist companies and the public sector in adopting new digital technologies.

The Irish Government has established two European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs) to boost Ireland’s digital transformation efforts.

These two hubs are the first of Ireland’s membership into the pan-European network of digital hubs, designed to assist companies and public sector organisations in their adoption of new digital technologies.

A total of four hubs are planned in Ireland, with the other two expected to be established in the coming weeks. Each hub will have a research-performing organisation or higher education institute at its core.

Each Irish hub is set to receive annual funding of €1.9m, co-funded by the EU, which has set aside €700m to support the international network.

The first of the newly established hubs is Data2Sustain, a consortium led by the Atlantic Technological University in Sligo.

This hub will deliver a programme to increase the capacity and speed of SME digital transformation, with a focus on the circular economy and sustainability.

The second hub – FactoryxChange – is a consortium led by the Irish Manufacturing Research technology centre in Mullingar.

This innovation hub aims to boost Irish factories and SMEs by extending digital competencies to these companies. These competencies include AI, cybersecurity and high performance computing.

The establishment of these hubs was announced today (24 February) by Enterprise Ireland and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney, TD.

Coveney said Data2Sustain will help contribute to “the green and digital transformation of our economy”, while FactoryxChance will help boost “resilience and competitiveness” for our manufacturing sector.

“With formidable partners right across the country, these new European Digital Innovation Hubs will represent valuable opportunities for SMEs to digitalise and advance in the technology areas of the future,” Coveney said.

“The establishment of Ireland’s EDIHs is a key deliverable under the National Digital Strategy and the National Development Plan and represents an important step in the Government’s objective to drive digitalisation across our economy and society.”

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic