DIGITAL REGIONS has started its activities and the partnership is immersed in the first steps by identifying and collating good practices and developing a regional context analysis methodology, among others. 

Meanwhile the work is in progress, we would like to present you the partner organisations that will be working together to make this project happen. This week we will talk about DIGITAL REGIONS project’s lead partner: ERNACT, or European Regions Network for the Application of Communications Technology.  

Founded in 1991, ERNACT is an international network of European regional and city public authorities that work together to access European Union digital technology programmes and funding for the benefit of their areas, companies and universities. They implement innovative digital-age projects to improve their member regions’ digital needs. Regarding DIGITAL REGIONS, apart from leading the management, finance and communication activities that will support project’s objectives, ERNACT will share their experience and bring good practices to the exchange of knowledge process. Furthermore, ERNACT will coordinate the Action Plans monitoring methodology and the production of the I4.0 Policy White Paper. In the same way, the network will benefit from the cooperation to review and implement new actions making use of the lessons learnt in the project.

ERNACT will address the ‘Border, Midland and Western Regional Operational Programme 2014-2020’ policy instrument, that already includes measures to help companies to engage in collaborative research projects with Irish universities and institutes of technology to develop new products and services. However, there is a need to direct investments to actions with high potential for the regional growth. “Industry 4.0 is already recognised as one of the key elements for the digital transformation of the manufacturing sector as a way to improve their competitiveness”, explains Jose Manuel San Emeterio, Project Manager at ERNACT and DIGITAL REGIONS Project Leader. According to him, this interreg project will serve to bring the Industry 4.0 to the agenda of the regional innovation ecosystem in order to more effectively support the manufacturing sector. 

This policy instrument is expected to be improved through the implementation of new ERDF supported projects for the digital transformation of the manufacturing sector by adopting successful experiences and Industry 4.0 practices from other EU regions.

“We expect to build the capacity of our policy makers and other stakeholders to support manufacturing companies undertaking Industry 4.0 R&D. We would like to establish an Industry 4.0 innovation ecosystem to fully exploit the regional capacities and connect it to other centres of competence in Europe”, continues Jose Manuel San Emeterio.