Unveiling the power of Data & Digital Innovation Hubs for business growth: Insights from REACH Incubator Webinar

Feb 2, 2024

On 26 January, Reach Incubator held a webinar on the topic “Unveiling the power of Data & Digital Innovation Hubs for business growth”. The goal of the webinar was to demonstrate how Data Incubators and Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) can propel the European Data Economy forward.

Below you will find a general summary of each presentation:


REACH Incubator: Nurturing Data Value Chains for Business Growth

REACH Incubator, through its Data Incubation Programme, highlighted the pivotal role of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) in fostering open innovation around data. The 11-month journey involved breaking data silos, addressing big data challenges, and exposing startups in relevant events. The program’s success, validated through three annual incubation rounds, has led to the establishment of 40 new data value chains, 30 MVPs, 24 data products launched, and 19 startups securing private investment. Key lessons include the necessity of guidance, with coaching, mentoring, and data provider advising being crucial.

EUHubs4Data: Driving Cross-Border Experimentation

EUHubs4Data positions itself as a reference federation in Europe, facilitating Big Data cross-border experimentation and innovation. The project has supported 42 experiments with SMEs, providing €2.5M in financial support and €3.3M in support from DIHs. Success factors include advanced data services, effective coaching, meticulous project management, fostering Data Management Plans, and active contribution to communication, dissemination, and result sustainability.

Digital SME Alliance: Empowering SMEs Through Roadshows

The EUH4D project emphasized the role of roadshows in empowering SMEs. A multifaceted approach engaged SMEs effectively, with roadshows addressing critical topics like the impact of the Data Act and machine learning quality assurance. Key efforts included decentralized events, specialized local workshops, community building, and impactful Open Calls, resulting in 32 experiments across vital sectors. The engagement strategy has cultivated a thriving ecosystem where SMEs actively contribute to data-driven innovation.

CartGuard: A Success Story in AI Big Data Startup Journey

CartGuard, an AI big data startup, shared its journey of growth and success. With support from REACH Incubator, CartGuard developed from a simple MVP to a full-fledged product. Their AI solution, reducing fraud in grocery store self-checkouts, has proven effective in testing with major retail chains. The success of CartGuard underscores the importance of a robust acceleration program tailored to early-stage startups, backed by credible institutions like CEA and the University of Deusto, providing essential non-equity funding.


In conclusion, the webinar emphasized the crucial role of Data Incubators and Digital Innovation Hubs in propelling the European Data Economy forward, creating a collaborative ecosystem for startups and SMEs to thrive in the realm of data-driven innovation.

If you have not been able to join us on the 26 January, you can watch the video recording below:

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