September 14, 2023

Working on the future European Observatory of DIHs

The Regional Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development as the co-leader of Work Package 4 called “ DIH Capacity Building and Monitoring” has been responsible for the design of a new tool, called SmartAgriHubs DIH Observatory: a key instrument to expand and connect the network of DIHs throughout Europe. The document “DIH Observatory web platform content and format” was presented months ago and provides a set of basic guidelines for the successful development and deployment of the SAH DIH Observatory.

The SAH DIH Observatory is composed of a large set of new functionalities and resources, which are currently under technical development by another project partner. It is expected that this tool will be available and accessible to all DIHs belonging to the SmartAgriHubs community at the Innovation Portal next year.

Digital Innovation Hubs are an essential new instrument in the development and dissemination of technologies and practices for the digital transformation of the European agrifood sector. DIHs will need to develop and offer their services mostly with a local focus as they are serving at a “working distance”. Nevertheless, it is fundamental to have a pan-European perspective on these services.

In this way, DIHs around Europe will be able to offer a tested portfolio of services with a high level of quality. To create multipliers and added value at European level DIHs must contribute to the formation of a SmartAgriHubs Observatory.

To this end, after a detailed analysis work of documentation, as well as various design sessions with experts in this field/matter, besides specifics end-user acceptance sessions, where the usefulness of the functionalities were checked with the sector at European level, this DIH Observatory by SmartAgriHubs has been designed.

User-friendly tool

This tool is designed as a user-friendly tool building on and forming synergies with already existing features, while also bringing new innovative characteristics that will highlight the usefulness of the Innovation Portal within the agrifood sector.

Some examples of these functions that have been raised can be mentioned:

  • Broaden search criteria; by taking advantage of the already existing large database of agri-tech and service providers and by enabling new matchmaking functionalities, the Innovation Portal will act as a service platform connecting different stakeholders from the agri-food sector.
  • Expanded library; an upgraded section will be dedicated to spread relevant information related to Digital Innovation Hubs.
  • User feedback; a comment section     will be enabled on the DIH public profile where other users will be able to provide any observations, remarks or describe their experience in using a certain service. This feedback track record will help to increase DIHs online reputation and improve service quality based on user inputs.  
  • Business portfolio; DIHs will be able to share and disseminate best practices of companies that have successfully implemented digital technologies with the help of their     services, as well as best practices concerning the way Hubs are organised, developed or financed. This will not only certify a DIH expertise and ensure companies choose the best Hub that can help with their digital transformation, but also help other DIHs find inspiration and ideas on how to increase their development level and advance to a new level of maturity.
  • Data and indicators; by adding new information on the characteristics and capabilities of DIHs included in the network, two different sets of indicators will be available. One private for the DIH internal visualisation, that will allow Hub managers to monitor specific parameters through visual benchmarking analysis. That means that they can make easy and accessible status comparison with other leading entities in order to better understand the DIH current situation and determine     possible actions for improvement. The other data sets are public indicators available for the whole SAH community and will include only general information.
  • Recognition of DIHs; the use of a gamification strategy will encourage the DIHs active participation within the SmartAgriHubs community by providing different visualbadges as well as enabling dynamic scoreboards. This will help users identifywhich Hubs are more dynamic in certain areas. In addition, the use of anoperating scheme based on the principles of gamification will help stimulatethe process of continuous updating of the capacities of each of the hub partners.
  • Improvement steps; automatic feedback messages will be sentregularly to Hub managers. These messages will be adapted to theparticularities presented by each of the Hubs so that they will beautomatically generated based on the data recorded.  


As an overall objective, SmartAgriHubs Observatory aims to foster and grow a solid connection between Digital Innovation Hubs and relevant stakeholders from the whole agrifood value chain.