"Smart anything everywhere" stands for the next wave of products that integrate digital technology. The challenge is to accelerate the design, development and uptake of advanced digital technologies by European industry - especially SMEs and mid-caps - in products that include innovative electronic components, software and systems, and especially in sectors where digital technologies are underexploited.
a. Innovation Actions SAE
As Phase 3 of Smart Anything Everywhere, this sub-topic calls for Digital Innovation Hubs that strengthen European SMEs and mid-caps by experimenting and testing with one or more of the following technologies, or by supporting them to manufacture these products. Projects should also support eco-system building for promising platforms developed in earlier R&I products.
- Area 1: Cyber-physical and embedded systems: the goal is to help businesses from any sector uplift the quality and performance of their products and services by including (semi)-autonomy, paying special attention to security and privacy and to the collaboration between humans and machines.
- Area 2: Customised low energy computing powering CPS and the IoT: the goal is to help businesses who are developing products for situations where high computing capacity and low energy would be a competitive advantage.
- Area 3: Flexible and Wearable Electronics: the goal is to help businesses in further maturing, innovating and validating their products with thin, organic and large area electronics technologies, including wearable, portable and embedded objects. Focus is on i) access to design, technology and prototyping which are ready to use, and ii) application experiments driven by concrete user requirements and business cases.
Area 4: Widening Digital Innovation Hubs: it addresses all three technology areas mentioned above and the technologies addressed in I4MS. It calls for Digital Innovation Hubs in industrial regions which are so far underrepresented in Smart Anything Everywhere and I4MS, and builds upon a mentoring programme developed by I4MS. These hubs should strongly collaborate with other Innovation Actions funded under SAE and I4MS, e.g. through joint highly innovative cross-border experiments.
All proposed innovation actions may involve financial support to third parties (typically in the order of EUR 20 000 – 100 000 per third party).
For this topic, the four requirements described in the introductory section 'Support to Hubs' have to be applied.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to 8 million would allow all areas to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. At least one innovation action is supported for each area.
b. Coordination and Support Activities SAE
The action will support the SAE network and help achieve broad coverage in technological, application, innovation, and geographic terms, and to link up with regional/national innovation initiatives, and other Digital Innovation Hubs. Its tasks and services shall include maintaining a single innovation portal, sharing of best practices, dissemination, brokering, leveraging further investment and training. For these support actions, close cooperation with ECSEL, and other CSAs funded under the Digitising European Industry focus area is looked for.
Proposals should address all of the following impact criteria, providing metrics to measure success when appropriate.
- Attract a significant number of new users of advanced ICT in the manufacturing sector, and more innovative technology suppliers, in particular SMEs and mid-caps.
- Creation of a sustainable network of Digital Innovation Hubs, providing European added value to investments done at national and regional level in Digital Innovation Hubs.
- Availability of Digital Innovation Hub services across Europe and its regions with strong industrial capacities
 For an overview of already existing projects in this initiative see www.smartanythingeverywhere.eu/
 www.i4ms.eu. Technology areas addressed are: Robotics, Analytics, simulation and artificial intelligence, Additive Manufacturing, Laser based manufacturing equipment
 see https://ec.europa.eu/futurium/en/content/digital-innovation-hubs-catalogue-project-0
 In line with Article 23 (7) of the Rules for Participation the amounts referred to in Article 137 of the Financial Regulation may be exceeded when this is necessary to achieve the objectives of the action.
Illustration Photo: Wearable (credits: Tinh tế Photo / Public domain)