Business and innovation Centre, Beira Interior (Portugal):
Our Portuguese partner has been the first one organising their regional stakeholder meeting. The event took place on the 28th November 2019, with the participation of 24 attendees representing clusters, universities, IAPMEI (Portuguese Institute to Support Small and Medium Sized companies), start-ups, and other entities.
“The workshop started with a short introduction of the project and then, in a roundtable format the guest speakers discussed on various topics related to Industry 4.0 and digital transformation”, explained Paulo Costa, Project Manager at Business and Innovation Centre of Beira Interior. Attendees discussed about relevant policies supporting SMEs for digital transformation (especially with the funding and implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies, including the identification of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the national and regional SME support), facilities, initiatives and ecosystems that have been established to facilitate the transfer of Industry 4.0 technologies into the SMEs.
Business Agency Association, Varna (Bulgaria):
Our Bulgarian partner held their first regional meeting on the 17th of January, at the Art Sallon of Radio Varna. The event gathered over 20 participants from mass media, universities, experts and business development specialists from Varna.
Silvia Stumpf from Business Agency Association introduced the project objectives, planned results and expectations towards an involvement of stakeholders and their role in the project. DIGITAL REGIONS was presented from the perspective of the concrete benefits for the regional economy and the future of the city. “Everybody agreed that there need to be a teamwork between local governments and policy makers, universities, businesses and business promotion organizations to have success”.
During the meeting, main good practices on innovations were presented, and participants discussed about their eligibility under the project. The meeting ended with a summary of the next steps and tasks of the local stakeholders and an open discussion about the presented topics and good practices according the regional policies adopting Industry 4.0 for their Digital Transformation.
ERNACT, Northern and Western region (Ireland):
Lead partner ERNACT have started a series of meetings with their stakeholders. On 7th January the project was presented to the Northern and Western Regional Assembly that is the main responsible of the Operational Programme addressed in the project. Furthermore, on 20th January it was the turn of Enterprise Ireland, the governmental agency in charge of supporting SMEs growth including strategic sectors for the project as there are digital and manufacturing. Among others, they discussed on opportunities and challenges for the manufacturing companies to adopt Industry 4.0 solutions, the value that DIGITAL REGIONS can bring into the region and the involvement expected by the relevant stakeholders. “Our stakeholders acknowledge the important role that Industry 4.0 can play in the digital transformation of the manufacturing companies as a way for them to adapt and grow within the new global markets. Meetings held have served to present the opportunities that DIGITAL REGIONS can offer and agree on next steps to work along with them seeking for improved supporting instruments”, stated Jose Manuel San Emeterio, Project Manager at ERNACT.
University of Ljubljana, Slovenia:
Slovenian partner has held 3 meetings. The first one took place on the 21st January in Krško, the second one on the 22nd in Novo mesto and the last one, on the 27th in Murska Sobota. They will be organising another 7 workshops in February across many cities offering stakeholders to participate in the Stakeholder Group (6th in Ajdovščina, 11th in Velenje, 13th in Ptuj, 14th in Krško, 20th in Žalec, 28th in Škofja Loka and Koper, Šmarje). “We have new interested stakeholders from development centres, NGOs and SMEs from different parts of Slovenia”, explains Andreja Hlisc from the Laboratory for Telecommunications of Univ. of Ljubljana.
Hof University of Applied Sciences, Upper Franconia (Germany):
Our German partner aim to strengthen the digitisation of SMEs in their region and improve the funding structures. To achieve this objective, they will organise their first big regional stakeholder meeting on the 13th of February. However, they have already started engaging with local representatives from politics, business and associations and funding structures for small and medium-sized businesses, among others. They have had smaller meetings with representatives from the Hof district (14th January), from the Wunsiedel district (17th January) and from the Kronach district (20th January). The journey has just begun, and the results are being positive. “Important stakeholders from the region support us”, mentions Anne-Christine Habbel, iisys Managing Director.