We are delighted to see that the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation of the Irish Government supports our Interreg DEVISE project by including it under the specific Objective 6 -Support the digitalisation of SMEs in the North-West- of the Regional Enterprise Plan to 2020 for North-West Ireland.
Digitalisation is a major driver of productivity growth for small businesses through the improvement of process efficiency and product quality. Digitalisation also provides SMEs with greater access to new geographical markets, talent and financing.
There is a significant difference between large and small firms in how they take advantage of digital technologies and opportunities. SMEs face several barriers to adopting digital technologies as they often do not know how to translate the use of such technologies into economic impact and how to build a new incremental business.
In particular, SMEs have difficulties deciding when to invest, up to what level and in which innovative field; and banks are often reluctant to provide loans for investments in digital technologies.
These market failures provide the rationale for European, national and local interventions in assisting SMEs adopt and embrace digital technologies.
The North-West Regional Enterprise Plan will support the work of project partners Northern and Western Regional Assembly and ERNACT in their endeavours as part of DEVISE.