The European Commission has established a contribution of 16 million euros for Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) in four application areas of Healthcare, Infrastructure Inspection and Maintenance, Agri-Food and Agile Production. The project DIH-HERO (Digital Innovation Hubs in Healthcare Robotics) under the Horizon 2020 Grant Agreement No. 825003, will develop a broad-based pan-European network of Digital Innovation Hubs specialising in Healthcare Robotics. The network will focus on developing services that join business and healthcare stakeholders in developing innovative products and services for the healthcare market.

The DIH-HERO consortium, under the scientific supervision of researchers from Twente University, will bring together a comprehensive network of 17 partners reaching north, south, east and west across 10 European regions. The partners, including Sant’Anna School researchers of the Biorobotics Institute coordinated by Professor Arianna Menciassi, will connect their own regional networks and extensive expertise in healthcare innovation that ranges from surgical intervention to care at home. Each Hub partner delivers both technical and medical expertise to the consortium through their pre-existing operational relationships with hospitals and healthcare facilities.

The DIH-HERO project will operate throughout the healthcare pathways that connects Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment and Care as well as covering all aspects of hospital logistics and clinical services. It will also focus on home and care-based robotics addressing healthy aging and elderly care. The DIH-HERO project is expected to increase deployment of robotics, to create supply chains, to coordinate access to technology, resources, demonstrators and open platforms, to disseminate best practice and cross-industry-based standards, and to develop a leveraging effect on other sources of public funding mechanisms, in particular regional and national funding.

“In Italy, the Institute of Biorobotics at Sant’Anna School, the Politecnico Milano and the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia Genova, will coordinate three DIHs – said Arianna Menciassi. In addition, universities and higher education institutions such as IUSS Pavia, Scuola Normale Superiore, Campus Bio-Medico Roma together with hospitals and research centers such as Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Pisana, Fondazione Don Gnocchi, Fondazione Toscana Gabriele Monasterio, Fondazione Volterra Ricerche ONLUS, Fondazione Stella Maris, Distretto Meccatronico Puglia and CERTH – Centre for Research and Technology in Greece will ensure that robotics innovation in healthcare is accelerated across all Europe”.

“This pathway, said Professor Stefano Stramigioli of Twente University and the project manager of DIH-HERO – will provide a sustainable ecosystem covering the entire value network to facilitate and accelerate a broad uptake and integration of robotic technologies, supporting the digitization of clinical services through robotics”.


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