Cluster Sports & Technology (CST) is one of the partners in DIGIT-PRE, a unique project supported by the EU, to stimulate the development of innovative digital solutions for prevention, prediction, and remote care. For this purpose we roll out an Innovation Support Program for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), led by our cluster in the project, to help them develop these solutions. In 2023 the project announced an open call for SMEs for the 10 regions that are part of the DIGIT-PRE consortium. In total, 26 SMEs (9 from the Netherlands) combined in 12 innovative collaborations were selected to participate. 

In the next 15 months (by June 2025) the innovative collaborations of SMEs will develop their products from prototypes to market-ready solutions. This program is coordinated by Cluster Sports & Technology and supported by our amazing DIGIT-PRE partners. In the Innovation Support Program, we bring in the CST expertise and experience on the ELIS innovation cycle of the ELIS Innovation Hub and incorporate that on a larger European scale. 

In March 2024, we kick-started the process with two ELIS Pitch Stop Events organised in Porto, Portugal and Malmö, Sweden. During these events, the selected innovative collaborations of SMEs presented to experts their digital solutions that meet public health challenges in different ways. The objective of the ELIS Pitch Stop Events is to streamline the support process within the DIGIT-PRE Innovation Support Program by providing structured sessions to define the gaps that the companies face in releasing their business goals. The events enhanced the quality of the innovative collaborations between the SMEs and prepared them for the next stages of the innovation support program. 

Both SMEs and experts evaluated the ELIS Pitch Stop Events as providing great added value to all of the participating companies at this phase of the DIGIT-PRE project. 

The expert feedback helped the companies to identify, map and prioritise challenges related to their business case that are crucial for their success. In the next steps of the Innovation Support Program, the companies will work on these challenges and ultimately bring their product to the market.  We will keep you posted on the journey of these innovative solutions in the DIGIT-PRE project. 

The ELIS Pitch Stop Event is a support concept trademarked from Cluster Sports & Technology and part of the ELIS Innovation Cycle. It has been successfully applied in different projects and programs for SME support in the Netherlands and Europe. If you represent an SME who wants to achieve success and needs support – feel free to reach out to us!