Healthcare Digital Innovation Hubs Workshop, 10 January, Brussels

The purpose of this workshop is to explore the opportunity to create a network of Robotics Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) in Healthcare. The meeting will explore the following:

  • what a DIH is expected to provide,
  • the range of stakeholders in a DIH,
  • how it should connect to other DIH’s and innovation structures.
  • the issues surrounding delivering calls to provide funding support to third parties (FSTP).



The scope of the DIH needs to be broad and cover all key areas relevant to robotics technologies in the Healthcare sector. For example robotics has application in logistics and the transport of goods and patients, the automation of support services such as disinfection and diagnostics as well as in clinical procedures with surgical and rehabilitation robotics. Robotics also has the potential to play an important role in home care and assistance to the elderly.

Healthcare is a significant concern for all European governments. Robotics, connected to AI decision support and big data analytics is expected to have a significant impact on healthcare systems in the next decade, especially in light of the increased cost, expectation and ageing population coupled to a reduction in qualified nurses and care workers.

Key to achieving this impact is the joining of diverse sets of stakeholders; medical staff, hospital operators, equipment manufacturers, robotics experts, AI and data experts. In addition non-technical stakeholders such as insurance companies, national healthcare systems, policy makers, and last, but not least, patients and their relatives need to be directly or indirectly involved, the latter through outreach and “living labs” type activities. Only by interacting with all these groups can the DIH advance the use of robotics in the healthcare sector. The DIH also needs to connect to other technical areas such as AI, Big Data and IoT. Europe has the potential to lead globally because of its unique approach to universal healthcare coupled to the potential for synchronisation of national, regional and European investments.


Attendees: Who should attend?

The workshop is aimed at all organisations that have an interest in contributing to a network of DIHs in Healthcare. This includes all stakeholders even though they may not become directly involved in a proposal to host or run a DIH the gathering of viewpoints is critical to the success of any DIH.

There are a number of other EU- funded and many national initiatives that work within this field (see e.g., EIT on Health, etc.). These other innovation bodies need to be drawn into the conversation about how a network of DIHs might operate and how it should engage with existing innovation structures in the EU.

DIHs are also expected to have a regional component as they need to be spread across multiple regions in Europe. Therefore, utilising national and regional funding is a critical part of the integration and sustainability of a DIH, thereby linking regional and EU initiatives.

What will you get from the workshop?

The workshop is designed to achieve the following objectives:

a)    To make potential stakeholders in the DIH aware of how a DIH should operate and the expected delivery back to stakeholders.

b)    To connect different actors in the healthcare environment with technology providers and other organisations with an interest in developing and using the network of DIHs to explore the scope and potential for a DIH in Healthcare and to examine how it might be implemented.

c)    For those considering participating in a DIH an insight into the mechanisms available and the obligations on the organisers from an EU funding perspective.

d)    To understand how EU, national and regional funds might be leveraged to support a network of Healthcare DIHs and their connection to other DIH networks.

The workshop will also provide an opportunity to assess the scope and engagement in the DIH and to plan future events that support the delivery of the work programme.



The meeting will take place at BluePoint Brussels, Blvd A. Reyers Ln 80, 1030 Brussels

In case of questions, please contact Jory Buhay, jory.buhay(at)


10:30 - Welcome
10:45 - Current status of activities in the Healthcare robotics field
11:15 - Impulse statements: (3mins + 2 slides max per statement)
12:00 - Discussion
12:30 - Lunch
13:30 - What is the added value of a DIH in Healthcare? Breakout and discussion
14:30 - Break
15:00 - What services and connectivity should the DIH deliver? Breakout and discussion
16:00 - Summary and discussion
16:30 - End


The H2020 Work Programme is available at

The workshop mainly relates to the call DT-ICT-02-2018: Robotics - Digital Innovation Hubs

Please note that important information is not only in the specific call text, but also in the introduction texts on for Digital Innovation Hubs (page 78) and on Platforms and Pilots (page 83).