Strengthening Europe’s sustainable Digitalisation: 2021 overview by our Working Group

As many of us usually do, at the end of a year we are thinking retrospectively about what we achieved over that particular time and about what we could have done better. From this point of view, we are not an exception.

 

All in all, 2021 was a good year for WG Digitalisation. We started several projects and initiatives that are core to the scope of this working group: facilitation of consortia forming for EU funded projects, matchmaking events for cross-border collaborations throughout Europe, support in developing European Digital Hubs in the members’ regions and open discussions with EU policy makers for digitalisation. All these actions are important for a healthy and resilient business ecosystem, where the Single Market concept is echoed in reality.

A massive shout-out also goes to the growing number of companies and organisations that have joined the Working Group in the past months: Macedonian Chamber of Information and Communication Technologies; Latvian Green Tech Cluster; Digitális Jólét; Bit Alliance, Infopark,  Demokritos/ahedd DIH; Industria, Alteredu, Estonian ICT Cluster,  . After having a chance to work with all the WG Digitalisation experts, I am now convinced that the group is composed from the exceptional people, representing exceptional organizations.

Furthermore, during this year the WG Digitalisation has hosted experts, partners, DIH representatives, decision makers and other guests, including EC’s Joint Research Centre, Sunrise Valley Digital Innovation Hub, JOTNE and others. This has resulted not only in fruitful conversations and discussions, but also in the detection of new synergies, launch of the new collaborations in other settings beyond the Working Group.

Finally, through the Working Group’s discussions and consultations, we have contributed to multiple positions and policy initiatives led by the DIGITAL SME Alliance, including: Response on Digital Decades Targets 2030 Consultation; Position on the Digital Markets Act, Position on the Digital Service Act; White Paper on Digital Sovereignty.

The only thing that we might regret this year – is not being able to meet in person, but there is a sound hope for this to finally change over the next year. What is sure, though, is that for the upcoming years, the WG Digitalisation will continue to focus on initiatives that are most relevant to the members and their networks, from supporting efficient EU policies on sustainable digitalisation, to international matchmaking events organised periodically for the members and their associated networks. Furthermore, with the advancement of the EDIHs call initiative, the Working Group will facilitate the exchange of best practices in terms of designing and developing Digital Innovation Hubs, as most members are actively involved in this initiative.

As an old Romanian saying goes, where there’s more, there’s power. It is up to us to build on the foundation we already have, to bring more partners to the table and to leverage on the power we are consolidating by using it in the best possible ways for the interests of SMEs across Europe. 2022 could be that kind of a year and I am looking forward to it!

Join our Working Group DIGITALISATION and work with us as of 2022 here: https://www.digitalsme.eu/working-groups/

Author:

Andrei Kelemen – Chair of WG DIGITALISATION

Andrei is also the Executive Director of Cluj IT Cluster where he oversees all operational aspects of an organization that represents the interests of one of the most prominent industries in Cluj, as well as the Head of Operations and Internationalizationat DIH4Society.

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