EU EDIH DInO project: digital transformation and promotion of innovation in rural regions of Eastern Bavaria

As part of the EU’s Digital Innovation Ostbayern (DInO) project, a team of networkers, researchers and start-up advisers are supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and public sector entities with the introduction of new digital concepts. The project is coordinated by the Deggendorf Institute of Technology, also involving the OTH Regensburg, R-Tech GmbH, which manages the Cluster Mobility & Logistics and the “Digitale Gründerinitiative Oberpfalz” (Upper Palatinate Digital Founder’s Initiative – DGO) in Regensburg, as well as the Bavarian AI Agency. The Bavarian Research Alliance (BayFOR) played a lead advisory role in the application for funding and is currently contributing now contributes as an associated partner.

The project provides facilities to “test before invest”, where companies have the opportunity to try out ideas, strategies or even just initial considerations with experts in a laboratory environment.

This extensive test infrastructure covers a wide range of topics: cyber security, eye tracking, artificial intelligence and machine learning, high-performance computing, the internet of things, 5G test networks and drone technology.

This will provide opportunities for new digital technologies to be evaluated before any major investment is made, and to be tailored to meet the particular requirements of the various companies.

In addition, the project offers specialised advisory services, short workshops and extended seminars on developing business models for SMEs or public sector entities, developing digital processes for existing companies and integrating them into their operations, start-up developments and technical expertise. Dedicated seminars on digitalisation of cultural and creative industries, as well as opportunities to receive individual advice sessions on introducing digital processes and products or to find a test group or environment for new digital products currently under development, are provided. Besides organising international matchmaking and major networking events, DInO also works with BayFOR to provide advice specifically on regional, national and European funding and on how to apply for it, and offers networking services such as international brokerage and matchmaking events to identify prospective partners.

The consortium devised the project idea for the DInO hub in close consultation with the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, the Bavarian Ministry of Science and the Arts and the District Government of Lower Bavaria.

What are European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs)?

European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs) are central regional points of contact that help companies and public sector organisations to meet the challenges of digitalisation and boost their competitiveness. One overarching objective of the EDIH network is to support the achievement of the EU’s Digital Decade 2030 targets.

EDIHs combine the advantages of a regional presence with those of a Europe-wide network. Due to their regional focus, the EDIHs have first-hand knowledge of the needs of local companies and are able to offer services in the local language, tailored to the particular innovation ecosystem. The Europe-wide coverage provided by the EDIH network also makes it easier to share tried-and-tested procedures among centres in different countries and to offer specialised services spanning multiple regions if the requisite expertise is not available in a specific location

Support from EDIHs enables companies to improve their business and production processes, products or services with the aid of digital technologies. SMEs gain access to specialist technical expertise and can take advantage of the “test before invest” model. EDIHs also offer innovation services such as financial guidance, training courses and skills development, which are essential for successful digital transformation. EDIHs pursue an environmentally responsible approach, especially with regard to the use of digital technologies for sustainability and the circular economy.

The EDIHs offer services in the following areas:

  • Test before invest
  • Building in-depth digitalisation skills
  • Supporting access to finance
  • Innovation ecosystems and networking

Within these areas, the following topics are addressed:

  • High-performance computing
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Cyber security
  • Digitalisation or other existing innovative technologies

If an individual EDIH does not cover one of more of these topics, enquirers are referred to other EDIHs in the network.

The overall objectives of the EDIHs are:

  • Accelerating the digital transformation of the private and public sectors throughout the European Union by promoting the adoption of advanced digital technologies; the target is that 75% of businesses in the EU should be using cloud/AI/big data solutions;
  • Ensuring that 90% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the EU attain at least a basic level of digitalisation;
  • Creating new European value chains.

The European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs) are part of the EU’s Digital Europe Programme. As part of this programme, a comprehensive network of 226 EDIHs in the European Union has been established between autumn 2022 and mid-2023. Since mid-2023 a total of 17 EDIHs have been active in Germany, three of them in Bavaria.

Three EDIHs in Bavaria

Three EDIHs are active in Bavaria: the DInO (Digital Innovation Ostbayern) EDIH in eastern Bavaria, the DIBI (Bayern Innovativ) EDIH in Nuremberg and the DigiCare Medical Valley EDIH in Erlangen. The focus of these EDIHs is clearly directed at SMEs and public administrations in rural regions, therefore operating in a very different environment from that usually encountered in the digital transformation. BayFOR has supported all three EDIHs in applying for funding.

Project goals and areas of work

The project aims to increase the competitiveness of companies in Eastern Bavaria and further expand the region’s status as a high-tech location. The joint efforts are intended to create a vibrant technology landscape that promotes excellence, cooperation and the exchange of knowledge and establishes Bavaria as a leading innovation region.

Target groups

The DInO network offers comprehensive support, free of charge, for companies, start-ups and public sector entities in order to work in partnerships towards pioneering solutions.

BayFOR as a partner

As an associated partner in DInO, BayFOR offers consultancy services advising on successful participation in EU-funded programmes, through workshops, seminars and events on EU funding for research and innovation projects. In addition, BayFOR provides assistance on preparing funding applications as well as “customised” services on developing and submitting EU applications, including partner searches, conceptual advice and proofreading.

Funding period

Duration: 06/2023 to 05/2026. The total project volume amounts to around EUR 5 million. About EUR 2.5 million of this comes from the EU Digital Europe funding programme, a further EUR 1.25 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and EUR 1.25 million from contributions from the Deggendorf Institute of Technology, OTH Regensburg, R-Tech GmbH and the Bavarian AI Agency themselves.


Koordinator des Projekts ist die Technische Hochschule Deggendorf.

Weitere Partner sind:
R-Tech GmbH („Digitale Gründerinitiative Oberpfalz“ und „Cluster Mobility & Logistics“)
OTH Regensburg
Bayerische KI Agentur „baiosphere“
Bayerische Forschungsallianz (BayFOR)

Further information


Project Coordinator

Dr Jane Wuth
European Digital Innovation Hub - Digital Innovation Ostbayern Regional Future Centre South Digital Start-ups in Rural Regions Digital Regional Development
Deggendorf Institute of Technology
Faculty of Applied Computer Science
Phone: 08551/91764-42
E-mail: jane.wuth@no-spam-pleaseth-deg.de


Contact at BayFOR

Dipl.-Ing. Dan Gutu

Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. Dan Gutu
Scientific Officer Information & Communication Technologies |
Engineering & Natural Sciences
Phone: +49 89 9901888-136
Email: gutu@no-spam-pleasebayfor.org

Dr. Panteleimon Panagiotou

Dr. rer. nat. Panteleïmon Panagiotou
Head of Unit Information & Communication Technologies |
Engineering & Natural Sciences
Phone: +49 89 9901888-130
Email: panagiotou@no-spam-pleasebayfor.org

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