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Minister Coveney announces the establishment of two of Ireland’s new European Digital Innovation Hubs

Data2Sustain and FactoryxChange sign contracts to confirm establishment

Today Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney TD, with Enterprise Ireland, announced the establishment of the Data2Sustain and FactoryxChange European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH). These two are the first of four hubs which will make up Ireland’s membership of the pan-European network of EDIHs.

Data2Sustain is a consortium led by the Atlantic Technological University, Sligo, which will deliver a comprehensive digital services programme to increase the capacity and speed of SME transformation, with a focus on the circular economy and sustainability areas.

FactoryxChange is a consortium led by the EI/IDA Technology Centre Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) in Mullingar, which will accelerate factories to become ‘Factories of the Future’ integrating ecological, digital, and societal solutions into their core business models.

Commenting on the Hubs’ establishment, Minister Coveney said:

“I am delighted to establish Data2Sustain and FactoryxChange, the first of a coming network of European Digital Innovation Hubs. 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. Data2Sustain’s focus on the green and digital transformation of our economy will be an important step towards contributing to those vital areas, while FactoryxChange will focus on driving resilience and competitiveness for industry and our manufacturing sector.”

The Minister added:

“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.”

“I’d like to congratulate Data2Sustain and FactoryxChange on their success and the start of their really important work.”

CEO of Enterprise Ireland Leo Clancy also welcomed the commencement of the EDIHs

“The European Digital Innovation Hub initiative is designed to improve digital adoption among our SME sector and ensure they have access to transformative technology.  Four hubs in Ireland will be part of this initiative and I’m delighted to see two of these hubs now up and running.  Data2Sustain will focus on the circular economy and sustainability and FactoryxChange will shape the factories of the future.  Both these areas are important for the productivity and competitiveness of Irish enterprise and I look forward to the additional capacity and innovation that both projects can bring to these vital policy areas.”

Each Irish hub is set to receive annual funding of €1.9 million. In total, the European Union is investing over €700 million to co-fund a Europe-wide network of hubs.

It is expected the remaining two EDIHs led by Tyndall National Institute in Cork and by University College Dublin, will be formally established in the coming weeks.

The new EDIHs can be contacted at: 



Notes for Editors

About European Digital Innovation Hubs

As part of the Digital Europe Programme the European Commission, together with EU Member States, are establishing a network of European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs) to support businesses and organisations in their digital transformation and to disseminate the latest advances in digital technologies, cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and High-Performance Computing (HPC).

The EDIHs will be “one-stop-shops” with a research performing organisation (RPO) or higher education institution (HEI) based lab at the core, to help companies (notably SMEs) and public sector organisations become more competitive in their business/production processes, products or services by providing access to research infrastructure, technical expertise and experimentation in order that these organisations can “test before invest”.

As well as research/testing facilities, EDIHs will also provide other innovation services, such as financing advice, and the training and skills development necessary for a successful digital transformation. Environmental issues will be championed, in particular with regard to energy consumption and low-carbon emissions. The EDIHs will be co-funded by Member States and the European Commission.


The European Commission’s Digital Europe Programme (DIGITAL) will provide strategic funding to support projects in five key capacity areas: 

  • Supercomputing
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Cybersecurity
  • Advanced digital skills
  • Digital Innovation Hubs 

The Programme has a planned overall budgetary allocation of €7.5 billion and aims to shape the digital transformation of Europe’s society and economy, bringing benefits to everyone, in particular, to small and medium-sized enterprises.

National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP)

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) has been developed by the Government so that Ireland can access funding under the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility. Ireland is expected to receive more than €900 million in grants over the lifetime of the Facility.

The Recovery and Resilience Facility is the largest component of NextGenerationEU, the European Union’s response to the global pandemic. The aim is to help repair the immediate economic and social damage brought about by the pandemic and to prepare for a post-Covid Europe that is greener, more digital, more resilient and fit to face the future. Ireland’s allocation under the facility will contribute part-funding to the EDIH programme in Ireland.

Funded by the European Union