An innovation process for the entire country: The initiative combines the forces of SMEs and the public sector in Liechtenstein to strengthen regional cooperation and develop sustainable business models.
digihub.li, the European Digital Innovation Hub (EDIH) for Liechtenstein, is now providing a framework for developing sustainable business models that address current challenges facing SMEs and the public sector and have a measurable positive impact on Liechtenstein's economy and society. The focus is on four core services: an innovation ecosystem within which SMEs and the public administration work together on implementation projects; the promotion of future skills among employees of SMEs and the administration as well as the population as a whole; personal support for projects (coaching); and the provision of innovation spaces for start-ups, SMEs and investors to build and scale digital business models.
Team with entrepreneurial experience
The nine-strong digihub.li team led by the two managing directors Hartmut Hübner and Stephan Gstöhl aims to make possible new economic connections in the country visible and highlight the potential of regional cooperation. The consortium includes the organizations Beck Vision GmbH, Blockchain Founders Group AG, Coworking Space Vaduz, FOGS AG, Impact Integrity GmbH, Integrity Earth Verein, Meet Your Purpose Genossenschaft, whose teams are contributing their own activities ranging from a platform for digital company start-ups to crowdfunding solutions and tools for meaningful collaboration.
Hartmut Hübner explains: "We want to build Liechtenstein's new ecosystem step by step by actively involving SMEs and the public sector in a process that produces concrete and measurable results."
Stephan Gstöhl adds: "Involving the entire country in the innovation process offers a unique opportunity to identify and drive forward topics in which sustainability and entrepreneurship go hand in hand."
A European impulse with a local focus
As a member of the Europe-wide network of Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs), digihub.li wants to benefit from European cooperation and contribute Liechtenstein's strengths to the network. The focus is on jointly developing sustainable business models that address real challenges in the country. By participating in the European digitalization programs, Liechtenstein can now also benefit from this network and contribute its own strengths.
Discovering opportunities: Needs analysis as the key
Innovations often fail due to ideas that sound great, but in practice do not meet the actual needs of the addressees and therefore do not bring the desired success. digihub.li therefore works with a participatory approach, i.e. addresses this problem from the outset. SMEs and the public sector can actively participate in the innovation process from day one and directly contribute their wishes based on personal examples and experiences.
Recognizing and addressing real needs
From the end of October, digihub.li will therefore be offering needs analysis meetings to which all SMEs and the entire public sector in the country are invited. These discussions will not only serve to identify challenges, but also to recognize potential for sustainable business models that build on cooperation between SMEs or between SMEs and the public sector and demonstrate effectiveness for the region.
A total of 80 of these interviews are planned by the end of this year in order to obtain a representative picture. Once the interviews have been evaluated, the results will be presented to the public in spring 2024 - before the business ideas are translated into concrete project formats as part of innovation workshops.
From needs analysis to investor matching: a 7-step plan
The digihub.li innovation process runs until spring 2026 and comprises a total of seven steps:
- Needs analysis: Practical discussions with SMEs and public sector teams to understand their needs and challenges and gather initial ideas
- Open Space: Regular events from January 2024 to take up further ideas and communicate current project statuses
- Innovation workshops: From spring to summer 2024, specific goals and customer benefits will be developed for each business idea.
- digihub.li Hackathon: An event at which the whole of Liechtenstein gives feedback on the business ideas after the workshops have been completed.
- Implementation projects: Development of models and prototypes to make quick successes visible.
- digihub.li Innovation Day: The business models developed will be presented to the public in the course of 2025.
- Investor matching: Subsequently, forward-looking business models gain access to sources of financing.
The digihub.li team invites all interested parties to actively participate in this innovation process. The following options are available immediately: