Competence Centers as an Element of Digital Innovation Hubs

Competence Centers as an Element of Digital Innovation Hubs

What is Digital Innovation HUB

Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) is one-stop-shop that help companies to become more competitive with regard to their business/production processes, products or services using digital technologies.
DIH is based upon technology infrastructure (Competence Centre - CC) and provide access to the latest knowledge, expertise and technology to support their customers with piloting, testing and experimenting with digital innovations.
DIH also provide business and financing support to implement these innovations, if needed across the value chain. As proximity is considered crucial, they act as a first regional point of contact, a doorway, and strengthen the innovation ecosystem.
DIH is a regional multi-partner cooperation (including organizations like RTOs, universities, industry associations, chambers of commerce, incubator/accelerators, regional development agencies and even governments) and can also have strong linkages with service providers outside of their region supporting companies with access to their services.

Main activities of Digital Innovation Hub

  • Organize and provide services to industry
  • Access to competence centers
  • Development of innovation eco-system
  • Brokerage
  • Access to finance
  • Market intelligence
  • Training and education
  • Incubator/mentoring services

Main activities of Competence Centre

  • Competencies in digital technologies
  • Provide access to infrastructure and technology platforms
  • Provide digitization and application expertise
  • Support experimentation in real-life environments
  • Support fabrication of new products
  • Demonstrate best practices
  • Showcase technologies in pilot factories, fab-labs

A wide range of our services

Awareness Creation around Digital Technologies

We help people understand the opportunities brought about by digital technologies to overcome the business challenges, facilitate the adoption of those technologies and make the best from them in their application.

Innovation Scouting

We support companies in searching for information on recent available innovations and identifying and engaging innovation partners.

Visioning and Strategy Development for Businesses

We support companies shape their vision and strategy from a digital perspective and adjust their direction in response to a changing environment.

Collaborative Research on Issues of Common Interest

We strengthen collaborative mechanisms by bringing together professionals from different background and engaging them in a collective effort.

Access to Specialist Expertise and Infrastructure

We provide access to knowledge and facilities to deliver excellence in all our services and increase companies’ competitiveness in the global market.

Brokering / Matchmaking

We operate in a network and facilitate the innovation of organizations by connecting different actors of the ecosystem and with external entities.

Mentoring

We grow a community of experienced and committed professionals who build businesses together and support each other in unlocking performance improvements.

Training

We deliver training on digital skills to meet the needs and preferences of companies and enhance their digital transition in the innovation ecosystem.

Access to Funding and Investor Readiness Services

We identify funding opportunities for our members and bring in contact all the stakeholders that can contribute to the purpose in order to facilitate the implementation of a large-scale investments.

BOWI project - Boosting digital innovation in Europe

The H2020 project BOWI is aligned with the European Commission’s Smart Anything Everywhere (SAE) initiative. This initiative aims to support European companies through to advanced digitalisation solutions that should be available to any company regardless of its location.
Key elements of the SAE initiative are the digital innovation hubs (DIHs) – one-stop shops for companies seeking to improve their business or service with digital solutions. These hubs bring together companies that offer state-of-the-art solutions and take up the challenge of finding the answers to complex problems.

Welcome Camp for Selected BOWI Technology Transfer Experiments

22-12-2020: To present our vision and strategy building sustainable interregional corridors with the help of the experiments

  • Introduction to European collaboration and the EU DIH landscape
  • What are EU-corridors
  • What are benefits of EU-collaborations
  • Positioning the SME experiments
  • Connection to the European Digital Innovation Hubs
  • Activities to establish the collaborations
  • Next steps to support the creation of the corridors

BOWI Widening Call for Developing Hubs

BOWI second open call aims to select 9 developing hubs to activate cross-border technology transfer programmes together with mature DIHs.

More details

START: 15 December 2020 at 00:00 (Brussels time)
END: 01 March 2021 at 13:00 (Brussels time)

Call for Mature Hubs to become part of BOWI network

BOWI project will offer mature hubs (mature DIHs) media exposure and networking opportunities. Additionally, the mature hubs will be invited to become a long-term member of the BOWI Network, having the opportunity to join the activities planned beyond the project.

More details

START: 15 December 2020 at 00:00 (Brussels time)
END: 01 September 2021 at 13:00 (Brussels time)

BOWI project distributes 1,44M€ between 24 companies to support their digital solution refinement

In Czech Republic’s Jihozápad region, the following 4 applicants and experiment topics were chosen:

  • JALUD Embedded - Sound event detector for outdoor real-time sound recognition.

  • InnoConnect - Analytical map of the traffic flows in the Pilsen region.

  • LaserTherm - Robot seam tracking module for industrial robotics.

  • BestTalk - Development of BestTalk analytics & database for business, research and development evaluation.

BOWI 1st Open Call for experiments

1st call for technology transfer experiments
Deadline: 15.09.2020
Opportunity for SMEs and mid-caps to receive research and business support, and EU funding…

More details

1st call CLOSED!

About BOWI project

BOWI stands for Boosting Widening Digital Innovation Hubs. BOWI aims to build a digital innovation hub (DIH) network based on experience and practice sharing. A network that will support companies in turning their most innovative projects to life, aid investors in discovering the leaders of digital revolution and help development agencies understand the needs of industry.

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Chain Reactions - Virtual demonstration centre for advanced manufacturing processes

The CHAIN REACTIONS project aims to increase the capacity of industrial businesses to innovate. The idea is to absorb new knowledge and turn it into competitiveness edge and business value, growth and profits. There is especially a need to help SMEs to overcome operational stress and a capacity shortage with respect to innovation as well as a stronger integration into emerging transnational and global value chains.
The project focuses on a few key sectors based on their embedding in regional smart specialisation strategies. The Regional Development Agency of Pilsen region is responsible for Advanced manufacturing sector. In this sector we are realising together with other partners the Virtual Demonstration Centre pilot activity, which is a place where innovative technologies or methods are displayed, with the aim to enable potential users (e.g. SMEs) to get familiar with them and evaluate a potential transfer in their own context.

Virtual prototyping

Virtual prototyping is a method in the process of product development. It involves using computer-aided design (CAD), computer-automated design (CAutoD) and computer-aided engineering (CAE) software to validate a design before committing to making a physical prototype.
Topics: 3D scanning, product digital twin

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Additive technologies

Additive manufacturing (AM) is a process where a three-dimensional object is created from a CAD model with the use of 3D printer. By this printing process the core material is deposited, joined or solidified under computer control typically layer by layer.
Topics: composite printing and steel printing

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Robotics and automation

Automation or automatic control is the use of various control systems for operating different equipment with minimal or reduced human intervention.
Topics: collaborative robotic, industrial robots, digital twins

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Virtual and augmented reality

Virtual reality (VR) is a technology that simulates virtual environment similar to or completely different from the real world with which the user can interact.
Topics: virtual reality, augmented reality

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Objects digitisation

Digitisation of products of buildings is crucial for further utilisation in advanced manufacturing processes. Most common technology for digitisation in these days is laser scanning.
Topics: laser scanning, photogrammetry

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Demonstration centre

Virtual prototyping

Prototype development
The main aim of the project was to technically develop an adaptor that can be fixed to the aerosol bottle and to develop a suitable ergonomic mask in line with the ideas of our partner. The developed product consists of several components (adapter, ergonomic mask and silicone padding for comfort). The design of these components had to consider the manufacturing technology and dimensions of the cylinders. A functional adaptor was created where the used material and its mechanical properties (e.g. flexibility) were crucial. The mask and silicone part attached to it had different material properties, which have been tested and implemented in different versions.
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Additive technologies

Additive manufacturing commonly known as 3D printing is a term to describe a set of technologies that create 3D objects by adding layer-upon-layer of material. Materials can be different from technology to technology. The development in this area in the last 10 years is so rapid that slowly it is being hard to orient in many kinds of additive technologies. That’s why we have prepared this overview Additive manufacturing document, where you will find on twelve pages currently mostly used 3D printing technologies, properties of utilised materials and also prices for materials and printers.
Prototype development
The main aim of the project was to technically develop an adaptor that can be fixed to the aerosol bottle and to develop a suitable ergonomic mask in line with the ideas of our partner. The developed product consists of several components (adapter, ergonomic mask and silicone padding for comfort). The design of these components had to consider the manufacturing technology and dimensions of the cylinders. A functional adaptor was created where the used material and its mechanical properties (e.g. flexibility) were crucial. The mask and silicone part attached to it had different material properties, which have been tested and implemented in different versions.
Video :
Additive manufacturing by Trovus Tech GmbH
Additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, offers completely new possibilities for design. Trovus Tech GmbH, based in Bavaria Germany, specializes in 3-D printing with metal. "We make the diverse possibilities of 3-D printing accessible to companies," says CEO Patrick Wilden. The young company offers everything from a single source. Starting with the development/design up to the finished component. The biggest advantage of additive manufacturing is a maximum in design freedom. The start-up recently began producing parts for a Swiss bicycle manufacturer. Each component individually adapted to the customer's needs and in better quality than in the die-casting process, as Wilden points out. "Our next goal is to produce small series for mechanical products and plant engineering equipment."
Video :
Sample Cube by thinkTEC 3D GmbH
The thinkTEC 3D sample cube was designed to make the possibilities and advantages of additive manufacturing available to every potential user in a simple and clear manner. Discover the freedom of form, the ability to display complex geometries and the diversity of additive manufacturing for yourself and let yourself be convinced and inspired by this new technology. All components and the housing of our sample cube come directly from the 3D printer. Be inspired and get ideas for your own developments.
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Robotics and automation

Robotization is a process involving robots in manufacturing and other industrial areas. Recently, the number of robots being used by companies to boost the productivity has rapidly increased. More and more human jobs are being replaced by robots. Where human creativity is crucial and can’t be simply replaced by a robot, collaborative robots step in and ease the hard or monotonous work. The following document Robotics will help you with orientation in collaborative robotics area. European mostly used cobots manufacturers are listed, with robot properties and also possible end-effectors.
Collaborative robot implementation in production
The client was a manufacturing company located in the Karlovy Vary region. The company is a manufacturer of electro technical components, mainly contacts and connectors for automobiles. The customer wanted to explore the possibility of implementing collaborative robots on several workplaces characterized by heavy monotonous work. Specific technologies (robots, grippers, vibration buffers, etc.) were selected for specific needs of the workplaces based on technological suitability and compliance of process parameters with workplace requirements. For each conceptual design of the workplace a digital twin was created in Siemens Tecnomatix Process Simulate programme. This digital twin model was used to elaborate performance, safety or special requirements. The performed simulations provided the possible operation times. The costs for the new workplace concepts and ROI were also given.
Video :
Communication among different machines
The goal of this project was the managing of two robotic arms (UR3, Franca Emica Panda) and an autonomous truck (MIR100) by a program that allows integrated and automated work. The devices cannot be controlled directly, there is only a limited possibility to send the data, so each device had to execute a state-of-the-art program that processes the command received and performs the task associated with that command. Programs should be carefully designed, in particular to deal with errors. The program had to be written in parallel on the control computer and on the devices. Elements were UR3 – MIR100 – Panda communication, MODBUS programming and encoding, automated processes.
Video :
Bin picking with vision system
The main goal of the project is to automate picking up parts for machining and placing them in CNC machines. The solution was based on a FANUC robot with a double gripper and a Fanuc 3D Vision system. This integration allows parts randomly placed in the box to be picked up and placed in the machine fixture (fixture without machine in the video). Due to the fact that the detail in the machine must be properly oriented, an additional gripper and a vision sensor are used to check the correct orientation of the detail before inserting it into the fixture. The process ends with taking the finished part from the machine and putting it on the feeder. All integration requires choosing the right robot, designing the right gripper and communicating with the CNC machine. Of course, it is essential to comply with all safety requirements.
Video :
Palletizing station
For several years, the logistics, food and beverage industry has been more and more willing to use the opportunities offered by collaborative robots (cobots). In the presented case of the palletizing station, IO-Link system solutions were implemented - communication, signalling columns, masters and concentrators, as well as sensors connected via IO-Link with the controller. Additionally, a handheld scanner has been used, which allows for automatic tuning of station. By reading the label code with a handheld scanner, we are able to change the way of packing. If there is a new product, item or package saved in the system, the palletizing station will automatically tune to the change after reading the logistic label. The station is fully automatic, easily configurable and mobile. If the company intends to change production and thus relocate and run the station on a different line - it can be done in a simple and quick way. Another benefit is relieving employees from monotonous and unhealthy work and the possibility of redirecting them to other, more interesting activities. Such action translates into increased efficiency of the company and savings. * Article (PL)
Video :
Automation identifying by RFID tags
In an automated production processes an industrial identification systems ensure the right parts arrive at the right place at the right time and in the right quantity. The data is transferred between the data carrier and the read/write head, via the processor unit to the controller. In the dairy industry we implemented RFID UHF for vehicle detection. The milk transport vehicles are equipped with RFID tags. This allows every transport step to be tracked: from the laboratory test to the quality inspection, to the pumps, moving milk from the vehicle tank to the storage containers, to the cleaning of the vehicle tank. This optimizes transport and ensures reliability. Due to the data being transmitted directly, the time for the laboratory to confirm the inspection is shortened. Information from the laboratory about the milk quality, transport time for the milk as well as the tank cleaning process can be retrieved at any time. * Article (PL)
Video :

Virtual and augmented reality

Car door virtual assembly training
This is a practical example of virtual reality application for work instructions training. The subject of the training is the assembly of car door padding. The work instruction contains several steps. For the purpose of testing the work instructions have been created with the help of augmented reality (AR) as well as virtual reality (VR). The AR instructions can be visualised by tablet, smartphone or by webcam with LCD display. The VR instructions are designed for head mounted displays such as HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.
Video :
Scanning and virtual tour though the production hall
Laser scanning is a suitable technique for digitisation of either small objects (products and reverse engineering) as well as large objects and buildings. In this particular project a Leica ScanStation C10 was used for digitisation of production hall. The resulting point cloud was after the cleaning and processing used as an underlay for the creation of the building 3D model. The final visualisation was prepared in virtual reality (by the head mounted display HTC Vive) where interactive elements e.g. doors, machines or additional video instructions have been added to the whole model.
Video :
Digitisation of archaeological dig site
The main goal of this project was a digitisation of archaeological dig site in order to capture and preserve the discovery. Many of the archaeological excavations that are discovered in the field survey cannot be protected from destruction by other means than through digitisation. A Leica ScanStation C10 was used for laser scanning in this particular project. Further postprocessing of the point clouds was necessary in order to transform the data in final 3D model. The final model was inserted in suitable virtual environment that can be viewed by head mounted display, allowing the visitor to view the virtual tour at any time.
Video :

Objects digitisation

Scanning and virtual tour though the production hall
Laser scanning is a suitable technique for digitisation of either small objects (products and reverse engineering) as well as large objects and buildings. In this particular project a Leica ScanStation C10 was used for digitisation of production hall. The resulting point cloud was after the cleaning and processing used as an underlay for the creation of the building 3D model. The final visualisation was prepared in virtual reality (by the head mounted display HTC Vive) where interactive elements e.g. doors, machines or additional video instructions have been added to the whole model.
Video :
Digitisation of archaeological dig site
The main goal of this project was a digitisation of archaeological dig site in order to capture and preserve the discovery. Many of the archaeological excavations that are discovered in the field survey cannot be protected from destruction by other means than through digitisation. A Leica ScanStation C10 was used for laser scanning in this particular project. Further postprocessing of the point clouds was necessary in order to transform the data in final 3D model. The final model was inserted in suitable virtual environment that can be viewed by head mounted display, allowing the visitor to view the virtual tour at any time.
Video :

Get in touch with us

Scientific director Technical director
doc. Ing. Milan EDL, Ph.D.Ing. Michal Zemko PhD.
edl@pilsen-dih.orgzemko@pilsen-dih.org



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Our consortium network
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CZ49777513Západočeská univerzita v Plzni
CZ26316919COMTES FHT a.s.
CZ22890629Klastr mechatronika, z.s.
CZ06100198Klastr Chytrý Plzeňský kraj, z.s.
CZ66362717Správa informačních technologií města Plzně, p.o.
CZ25245091Regionální rozvojová agentura Plzeňského kraje, o.p.s.
CZ45354774BIC Plzeň, společnost s ručením omezeným
CZ72053666Karlovarská agentura rozvoje podnikání, p. o.
CZ22689982Česká technologická platforma STROJÍRENSTVÍ, z.s.
DE260608659Cluster Mechatronik & Automation Management gGmbH