Innovation Made in Europe – The strategic role of SMEs in the green and digital transition

On 24 November, the European DIGITAL SME Alliance organised its General Assembly setting out a new vision for Innovation Made in Europe. The event highlighted the crucial role of ICT small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in advancing Europe’s digital and green transitions and tackling strategic challenges, such as resilience and the energy crisis.

Europe is once again faced with new global challenges. In the past year, the European Union has had to contend with the coronavirus pandemic and now faces an energy crisis in the wake of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. During this ongoing turbulence, the digital economy has played a crucial role by providing tech solutions to deal with some of the most pressing issues. The agile and innovative approach taken by small and medium sized enterprises across Europe has helped move the continent towards strengthened technological autonomy.

At the 2022 General Assembly, the European DIGITAL SME Alliance celebrated the potential of the European digital industry and set out a new vision for Innovation Made in Europe. The European Commission’s Directorate for the Internal Market (DG GROW) and the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA) showcased the winning startups/ SMEs, which had been selected from the ‘Get Digital: Go Green & Be Resilient’ initiative. Moreover, successful European scale-ups presented their entrepreneurial journey at the General Assembly. These champions have developed solutions that show the potential of European innovation, and directly contribute to making the European digital economy more sustainable, resilient, and technologically sovereign.

The European Union seeks to continue supporting entrepreneurs to build a dynamic and vibrant digital ecosystem. The European Industrial Strategy establishes a legal framework to ensure that the single market fosters innovation, while backing scale-ups with several financial instruments. Alongside this support, there are a host of initiatives, such as the European Green Digital Coalition, which seeks to harness the emission-reducing potential of digital enterprises.

The General Assembly will discuss concrete actions and practices that support ICT start-ups and SMEs, in order to help the companies, reach their potential. For Europe to achieve global leadership in the digital economy, it is time to unlock the strengths of European entrepreneurs and create the conditions for digital innovation to thrive in Europe.