DIVA (Digital Innovation Value Accelerator) is the Digital Innovation Hub for the Pays de la Loire region, which has just been chosen by the state to respond to the European Commission’s call for EDIH (European Digital Innovation Hub) proposals. Last July, the French government launched a final call for expressions of interest in order to select French projects, which can then apply as part of this European call for EDIH proposals initiated by the European Commission within the framework of the “Digital Europe” programme. DIVA thus becomes a one-stop shop, covering the entire Pays de la Loire region, for stimulating and helping regional companies become more competitive in designing and developing their products and services, as well as their business and production (manufacturing) processes, by using Artificial Intelligence and robotics.
The EDIH scheme is a multi-year programme covering an initial 3-year period. It is supported by Atlanpole, a recognised organisation providing support for innovative start-ups, SMEs and deep tech companies, and is coordinated jointly with the EMC2 competitiveness cluster – the European manufacturing technology cluster. The project is supported by the Pays de la Loire region and brings together the entire AI and Robotics ecosystem; technical centres and technology platforms, the Technocampus network, training and research bodies, competitiveness clusters, organisations involved in supporting innovation (Business Innovation Centres, technology hubs, incubators) and digital transformation.
A customised support pathway for digitisation
DIVA’s aim consists of organising a “tailor-made” support pathway, from raising awareness of AI to the commercial deployment of solutions using AI technologies and services.
“Traditional” SMEs and mid-caps are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of data, but there are still a number of obstacles to using AI technologies and services: the lack of data for testing, difficulties in assessing the contribution of AI, a shortage of skills, the lack of a clear view of maintenance and upgrade costs. To respond to these challenges, the range of services developed by DIVA will be aimed at companies of all sizes and all levels of maturity (micro-businesses, SMEs, mid-caps and start-ups). Assessments of the digital maturity and use of AI within companies will be carried out.
These will include addressing the issues and needs associated with manufacturing and uses (R&D, design, marketing, legal matters, sales, etc.) to provide solutions in the following sectors: aerospace, maritime, sailing, automotive, healthcare, food processing & agriculture, energy, the marine economy, mobility and tourism.
Stakeholders in the digital ecosystem working alongside Atlanpole and the EMC2 cluster
Solutions&Co (Regional development agency for Pays de la Loire), the Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Pays de la Loire (CCIR), the IMT-Atlantique engineering university, Atlanstic 2020 (Digital Sciences Research, Training and Innovation collective for Pays de la Loire) supported by the University of Nantes, the Institut de Recherche Technologique Jules Verne (IRTJV), ADN Ouest, the Images & Réseaux competitiveness cluster (I&R), the Technocampus network represented by the EMC2 cluster.