DEVISE project partner Fomento de San Sebastián organised a staff exchange in Donostia / San Sebastián, on February 18th, to share its digitalisation strategy and raise the profile of local projects and good practices based on the digital transformation of the retail and hospitality sectors. Furthermore, partners and stakeholders from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Spain and France that attended the meeting also had the opportunity to visit 'SmartKalea', the ‘smart’ street located in the old town of the city.

Gorka Diez, from Fomento de San Sebatián, explained that the aim of this staff exchange was to present the digitalisation strategy that is being developed in Donostia / San Sebastián city by our DEVISE partners. Representatives of local retail and hospitality associations (Asociación de Empresarios de Hostelería de Gipuzkoa, San Sebastián Shops and Federación Mercantil de Gipuzkoa) as well as local companies that provide digital services (Dinycon and In Situ) presented their good practices based on digital transformation.

Competitiveness of the retail and hospitality companies

As part of the agenda, international guests stopped at the 'Puntu Denda' premises (located in Plaza Gipuzkoa square, it's the main centre for information, services and training for hospitality establishments and shops in the city) to discover the key aspects when developing a digitalisation process to improve the competitiveness of the retail and hospitality companies. 

DEVISE project partners and stakeholders also visited some of the local shops (Deportes Ada, Cabo Rojo, Deportes Apalategui and Aitor Lasa Gaztategia) which have benefited from Fomento de San Sebastián's digitalisation training workshops and the 'Dendatics' grants programme. According to Gorka Diez, visitors got the chance to directly hear from shopkeepers about their experience in the digital transformation processes they have undertaken. 

Attendees also learnt more about the 'SmartKalea' project, located in the main street of Donostia / San Sebastián's old town. The objective of this project is to spread new information technologies in order to improve business services' and citizens' quality of life. With 'SmartKalea' Fomento de San Sebastián can obtain valuable data, such as, counting the number of people walking across the street, smart street lighting control and energy efficiency measures for shops and homes, among others.

The partners, accompanied by a group of six stakeholders from their regions, that have participated in the first DEVISE staff exchange in 2020 are: Business Agency Association (Bulgaria), Cantabrian Government (Spain), North West Regional Assembly (Ireland), Derry City and Strabane District Council (Northern Ireland) and Laval Mayenne Technopole (France).