How can regions support the digital transformation of SMEs? - 14WS21407

Thursday, October 14, 2021 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM · 1 hr. 30 min. (CET)
Digital Transition


Workshop session organised by I4MS: How can regions support the digital transformation of SMEs?

14/10/2021 09:30:00


This workshop will explore how regions can mobilise existing ESI Funds to provide SMEs with access to existing marketplaces and facilitate connections with highly knowledgeable service providers. The main goal is to understand the challenges regions face in delivering tools for the digital transformation of SMEs and to discuss ideas for improvements. We will also present two best practices on regional support programmes, and explain how regions can take advantage of I4MS tools.


Proposed agenda:

09:30 Welcome and Introduction (5´)

09:35 EDIH's role in overcoming the challenges in the digital transformation process of SMEs (10´)

Anne-Marie Sassen, European Commission, Deputy Head of Unit DG CNNECT

Ms Anne-Marie Sassen will present the new European Digital Innovation Hubs network and explain the network's role in digitalising European SMEs.

09:45 Opportunities for regions within I4MS (10´)

Maria Roca, Senior Project Manager I4MS

 What can your region gain from I4MS?

I4MS helps SMEs and mid-caps make the most of digital opportunities. Through various projects, I4MS finances small-scale experiments where companies can implement and test digital innovations to ultimately develop new products, processes and services. I4MS assets can facilitate the uptake of information and communication technologies by local SMEs to improve their business operations. Technology is at the core of I4MS, but there are other measures that need to be implemented to facilitate the shift towards digital transformation, such as skills, dissemination of available opportunities and the organisation of study visits to learn first-hand about the different technologies.


Collaboration opportunities such as:

●        Technological solutions

●        Training catalogue

●        Regions as supportive partners (contact points)

●        Other collaboration schemes such as study visits.

09:55 Case study: Croatia, SIMORA (10´)

Tomislav Plesec, Associate in the EU Projects Department SIMORA

The Regional Development Agency of Sisak Moslavina County will present how the region tackles difficult economic challenges by focusing on IT and introducing a gaming industry.

10:05 Case study: Poland, DIH.4AI (10´)

Weronika Recław, Organisational specialist DIH4.AI

The presentation will focus on how local SMEs tackled the challenges faced in their digital transformation process using the solutions offered by the digital innovation hub DIH4.AI.

10:15 Workshop methodology and topics (5´)

Marta Portales (MWC) & Begoña Sanchez (TEC), partners I4MS

- Objective & Outcomes of the Working Groups

- Challenges for Digital Transformation in manufacturing

- Other solutions to the challenges identified in the previous session

- Introduction to the dynamics & interactive tools

10:20 Interactive working groups session, where regional entities will be encouraged to discuss and elaborate on different topics.  (30’)

·       Working Group 1: Best Practices and supporting mechanism on Digital Transformation

·       Working Group 2: Best Upskilling challenges in the manufacturing industry

The audience will be split into 2 Working Groups, chaired by the partners of I4MS, Tecnalia & Mobile World Capital Barcelona. Here participants will be encouraged to discuss their needs and what challenges they face in their digital transformation journey.


10:50 Final conclusions of WG.  (10’)

  • Working Group 1: Conclusions
  • Working Group 2: Conclusions
  • Final remarks



About the organisations:

I4MS4TS: The coordination and support action of the ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs (I4MS) phase initiative funded by the European Commission to expand the digital innovation of manufacturing SMEs in Europe.

The EU initiative aims to digitalise the manufacturing industry and has now entered its fourth phase, which focuses on helping service suppliers (IAs, DIHs and CCs) to provide a business-oriented description of the technological services they offer, complemented byBest Practices identification with a total funding of €35 million.


SIMORA: The Regional Development Agency of Sisak Moslavina County (Simora ltd) was founded by the Sisak Moslavina County in 2006 with the aim of promoting regional and local economic development. SIMORA operates as a "one-stop service centre" which assists foreign and domestic investors in establishing or expanding their businesses, at every stage of the process and after the operation develops.

SIMORA is also impementing a major initiative called "isak Moslavina County - Center of gaming industry". Business incubator PISMO was established in 2017, providing office and coworking space, as well as specialised equipment, including a motion capture studio, a photogrammetric studio, a music and video studio, computers, VR equipment etc. over a total floor space of 1213 m2. PISMO also operates as the first digital innovation hub offering training, mentoring and networking. Game development training courses are held over a 6-month period. More than 120 people have attended, and 42 start-ups have emerged and are being developed within PISMO. A gaming campus project is currently in the preparation phase. SIMORA works with start-ups in PISMO, but also puts them in touch with other gaming companies in Croatia and Europe, enabling them to grow and find their place on the global gaming market. SIMORA also organises an annual Global Game Jam, a 72-hour global competition in gaming development.



The Digital Innovation Hub DIH4.AI from Gdansk, Poland, is co-created by a consortium of the company and the Gdansk University of Technology in collaboration with almost 20 partners.

DIH4.AI is one of the leaders of Digital Innovation Hubs in Poland, selected in October 2019 by the Ministry of Development, Labour and Technology. 

The primary objective of DIH4.AI is to support companies during the production and marketing phases of innovative high-tech projects through access to knowledge, experience, technologies and good practices. The Digital Innovation Hub conducts information, training, consulting and implementation activities, in particular in the field of AI, but also in robotics, Internet of Things (IoT) and cybersecurity. In order to support entrepreneurs, business environment organisations and public administration representatives through the process of digital transformation, the hub offers training services, and access to computing power and laboratories, as well as advice on the use of AI for data processing. The DIH4.AI Hub organises and participates in events aimed at increasing entrepreneurs' awareness of the need to introduce changes. An important part of the activity is conducting audits assessing the digital maturity of companies using the ADMA methodology, and then developing a plan for digital transformation of the company. 

Digital Innovation Hub (DIH4.AI)ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs (I4MS)Sisak Moslavina County Development Agency Ltd (SI-MO-RA)
English (EN)


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