THEIA is a digital self-diagnostic maturity model that supports the strategic planning of business transformation and identifying critical areas.
THEIA Model is a general-purpose framework adapted to every economic activity sector and identifies four dimensions responsible for the maturity of digital processes – Innovation and change management, Management of intangible assets, Operations and Processes, Orientation to Customer – which reflect a transformation trajectory logic, supported on the path of definition, preparation/execution.

The model was developed and calibrated with a representative statistical sample of more than 300 Portuguese firms from different sectors. Also, the implementation process follows a “franchising” model in which a wide network of trained technicians from partner business associations and technological centers support the implementation of THEIA in SMEs.

Through THEIA Model, COTEC can obtain significant information on the maturity state of organisations in Portugal, as well as their knowledge about the themes related to the digital transformation, providing significant information to influence policy decision makers. Through this diagnosis, COTEC will be able to have a more accurate mapping of companies’ needs and gaps, facilitating the communication and dissemination of relevant information. On the other side, when using this tool, SMEs will be measuring their level of maturity through a set of questions that will make them reflect on their capabilities and how they want to position themselves in the future, so they can easily set the way to the desired digital transformation.

Resources needed

The practice requires 2 persons for project management. The development was subcontracted to a specialized IT company (100.000 EUR). The ongoing activities are done in partnership with business and industry associations (estimation of 50.000 EUR). The resources are funded by ERDF (COMPETE2020).

Evidence of success

The web-based tool is available to the Portuguese industry since beginning of 2020. More than 300 companies have participated voluntarily in the model development to refine dimensions, questions and indicators and make these useful and customised for the Portuguese reality.

Difficulties encountered

The questionnaire terminology is sometimes considered too technical jargon. It is important that intermediary organisations can “translate” the questions that companies can understand and adapt it to the context of specific sectors and industries.

Potential for learning or transfer

The practice is very interesting for replication because it represents more than just a “off the shelf” self-diagnostic tool that can be directly translated for any language, but is a model customized to each country/region reality.

A potential transfer for other regions/countries must follow the development stages taken for THEIA: a first model definition based on international benchmark and market gaps; industry consultation and data collection from a representative sample of companies that reflects the national reality according to statistic models; model improvement; training the intermediaries’ organisations; the implementation in SMEs is one-day session with experts from the intermediaries facilitating the session.

Continuous feedback for improvement and development of the tool is still pursued.

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Main institution
COTEC Portugal - Business Association for Innovation
Norte, Portugal
Start Date
January 2018
End Date


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