24 participants - Stakeholders and partners from the project, representatives of the public and private environment, were invited to the debate last 28 January 2021. Among whom we mention: Liviu Rogojinaru- Secretary of State in the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Tourism, Octavian Oprea- President of the Romanian Digitalization Authority, Dragoș Iorga - Executive Director OIR POSDRU BI, Stelian Brad, DIH4S, Costin Lianu, General Manager USH Pro Business, Bogdan Pârvu- “Lucian Blaga” University Sibiu, Ligia Neacșu- Best Smart Consulting SRL, Ștefan Grigore- Omega Consulting SRL, other consultants and representatives of the public and private environment.

The objective of the event was to generate an exchange of experience about good practices regarding the support through public policies of the digitalization process of SMEs in Romania.

The debate focused on 2 questions:

  1. What public policy proposals do you have / improvements to existing ones so that you feel that SMEs are supported in the digitization process?
  2. Do you consider the solutions proposed by OIR POSDRU viable/implementable/useful to SMEs on their path to digitization?

Among the proposals made by the participants, we can mention:

Inclusion of Digitalization as an Essential Development Pillar in the 2021-2027 Financing Agreement.

Given the stage we are in (beginning of the financial cycle 2021-2027), the biggest impact we can generate in the area of public policies is the inclusion of a direction (thematic goal/objective) in the Financing Agreement 2021- 2027 as a foundation for all strategies and programs that will be developed later. Thus, digitization as key importance in all funding programs could be a very good direction. Moreover, at EU level, digitalisation is one of the strategic pillars of this financial cycle, along with a green and circular economy.

Without this approach (this is how the financing area in the RO and EU is composed from the point of view of public policies) respectively from the highest level - Financing Agreement 2021-2027 to the level of guides, it will not be possible to include “innovations” in the final funding guidelines that accurately reflect the content of these macro strategies."

Also, the participants considered the solutions proposed by OIR POSDRU BI viable, but to consider for a major impact a mix of solutions to cover the targeted needs.

The conclusions and proposals resulting from this workshop will be the subject of further analysis in the project "Strengthening the capacity of SMEs to adapt to the Industrial Revolution 4.0" and will materialize in proposals to change public policies in Romania, to support SMEs- to adapt quickly to the digital transformation.