Within scope of broader approach to building a common digital innovation ecosystem, EU4DigitalSME launches a Call for Proposals to support the formation and functionality of three (3) Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) in BiH.

The DIHs are expected to drive the digital transformation of SMEs across BiH and build regional innovation ecosystems around them. In addition, DIHs should also be closely linked to the European network of Digital Innovation Hubs to foster technology and knowledge transfer through collaborating in regional or EU research and innovation projects.

Through the Call for Proposal EU4DigitalSME seeks to identify capable partners with promising DIH proposals, outlining their envisioned support for the digitalization of SMEs. Successful applicants will receive technical and financial support for the design and development of fully operational DIHs.

Overall, the DIHs are intended to constitute key elements of a common digital innovation ecosystem in BiH, improving the competitiveness of the local economy by facilitating the uptake of digital technologies in SMEs and fostering technology and knowledge transfer. The supported DIH are expected to be operational by December 2022.

In the understanding of the EU4DigitalSME project, DIHs are defined as “a single organization or a coordinated group of organizations with complementary expertise and a public benefit objective offering a set of services and activities that support SMEs in their digital transformation and innovation efforts acting as a central point of contact/expertise.

The objective of DIHs is to support SMEs with the uptake of digital and innovative technologies. They are seen as a core mechanism to create a strong, collaborative regional innovation ecosystem through providing access to services, facilities and expertise offered by a wide range of partners. The aim is to ensure that individual SMEs receive the services they need, that targeted sectors get access to innovative, scalable solutions and that stakeholders cooperate with each other at a regional, national and/or pan-European level.

It is crucial that a DIH provides a portfolio of services, including technological, ecosystem and business support functions. Only by providing a mixed portfolio DIHs can address the different needs of companies in their digital transformation. An important principle that should be observed in the process of developing a service portfolio for the DIH is that it should not compete with or replace services already provided by existing parties. Rather, the DIH should integrate the services of market providers – while developing itself only those services that the market does not provide.

In addition, DIH are expected to provide a public benefit, meaning DIH are expected to contribute to existing local and regional policies and strategies in the areas of digitalization and innovation according to the DIH's technological capabilities and specialization areas, as well as strengthen the competitiveness of its target users resulting in benefits for the society, improve the employment conditions and activate entrepreneurship, build digital capacity, and contribute to the creation of a regional digital innovation ecosystem.

More information on DIHs you may find in the Guidelines for Applicants which can be downloaded via this website.

Via this call for proposal EU4DigitalSME will select suitable proposals for the creation of Digital Innovation Hubs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Successful applicants with selected proposals will receive the following benefits:

  • Comprehensive training program on the creation, set-up and management of Digital Innovation Hubs,
  • Individual and continuous support on the creation, set up and management of Digital Innovation Hubs (as described in Kalpaka et al. 2020, see footnote),
  • A Mentor in form of an already fully operational DIH, to support the mentee in networking with other DIHs, investors, innovative entrepreneurs, potential customers, etc.,
  • Coaching on proposal writing, consortia & project management for national and inter-national funding-lines,
  • Support in development of up to 5 draft proposal per DIH for national or international funding-lines,
  • Facilitation of connections and collaborations with EBRD,
  • Exchange with DIHs and other relevant players in the European Union and/or West-ern Balkan, Eastern partnership countries, tailored to the sector/topic of the respective BiH DIH (e.g.: conference, study trip, etc.),
  • Financial support for the reimbursement of the costs of setting up structures, pro-cesses and logistics in the Digital Innovation Hubs, service development/provision, staffing, equipment (i.e. facilities, websites, dissemination materials, legal and IPR consultancy services, administrative support), as well as for travel and accommoda-tion costs.

Non-selected proposals, but with sufficient potential and quality might receive a short-term training.

The Call for Proposal opens on 19th January 2022 and closes on 28th February 2022, 23:59:59 hours (Sarajevo time). During this period, applicants can submit their proposal.

Proposals are to be submitted within the above stated deadline via the Submission Form which can be filled in via this website. More information on how to apply you may find on this website under the APPLY TO CALL section.

Proposals submitted by any other means than the Submission Form will not be considered eligible.


In the timeframe from February 1st, 2022, to February 23rd, 2022, the project will offer a weekly consulting session. During this timeframe, applicants can book up to two timeslots, 30 minutes each, to ask questions and consult on bilateral issues. Applicants are given the opportunity to receive technical feedback on specific sections of their draft proposals. The feedback provided will not focus on the specific content or idea of the proposal.

The sessions will be held in Englishweekly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the timeframe 09:00h to 12:00h CET.

Registrations for timeslots will be accepted via the registration form on this webpage. To better prepare and provide effective advice, we kindly ask applicants to specify the topic(s) to be discussed in the consulting session via the box Consultation topic(s) in the registration form.

Participation in the individual consultation session(s) is neither mandatory nor will it in any circumstances automatically lead to the proposal being selected.

This website was created and maintained with the financial support of the European Unionand the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Its contents are the sole responsibility of GIZ within the implementation of the EU4DigitalSMEs project in BIH, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the EU or the BMZ.
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