The digitisation of the European industry is crucial for its further competitiveness, but requires vast investments. These costs are a key barrier to cross the valley of death and access to finance is often not easy.

Financing the digitisation of the European industry requires a balanced approach, where public funding opportunities and possible private investments must be aligned. It is difficult to fund these innovation activities by a single entity: instead it must be a joint activity of regional, national, European governments, regional development agencies, the EIB, the EIF, private banks and venture capitalists. Especially the funding of cross-border innovation projects is complex, because of conflicting national and even regional interests.

Although the DIHs and CCs have an important benefit to the reduction of costs and overall economic risk for companies, it is often also seen as a public responsibility. Therefore, the funding of these entities are combinations of public and private “investors”. Financing of certain services are more linked to public sources (e.g. basic infrastructure and ecosystem building) and others to the direct customers (testing/validation, consulting). Thus DIHs are most likely to use a combination of public and private funding