The 2nd Study visit online, hosted by DigiBEST project partner - County Council of Granada (Spain), was held November 24 – 25, 2020. Within the framework of Interreg Europe program this was organized to demonstrate actions and provide the opportunity for participants to share experiences and learn from best practices on digital transformation in the Granada region.

In the second study visit participated more than 50 experts from six European countries – policy makers, ICT experts, NGOs etc.

During the first day participants were welcomed by José Mateos Moreno, General Director of Employment and Sustainable Development of the County Council of Granada. There was presentation of Andalusian Sustainable Construction Cluster (CCSA) which is a public-private initiative that brings together actors of the industry operators, aimed at increasing competitiveness trough innovation, sustainability and collaboration. Participants were introduced also with DESARROLLO TIC – software engineering SME approved by (a public corporate entity belonging to the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and the Digital Agenda, and which depends on the Secretary of State for Information Society and Digital Agenda) which provides digitization services to SMEs through the "Digital Advisors" programme, individualized advice by certified agents (digital advisors). The programm already proved a success - 133 SMEs from Andalusia have received financial support of up to 5.000 EUR for the contracting of advisory services in the digitalization of their business. The program was especially useful during Covid-19 and many companies have improved revenue and competitiveness.

Most of the project partners were impressed about the presented initiative of a social network of inhabitants in Andalusia – Guadalinfo (the Consortium “Fernando de los Ríos”). Guadalinfo offers a free accessible public space in the internet which aims to generate projects and initiatives and stimulate the transformation of local areas. Guadalinfo is aimed to close digital gap between urban and rural areas and to encourage full integration into the Knowledge Society. Guadalinfo shows the opportunities that the use of ICTs offers by carrying out activities for entrepreneurs, SMEs and the community in general and also works to increase the value of website creation by SMEs. The former can thus experience the benefits of trading online while the latter can raise their profile and value.

In second day participants learnt how the Asociación Granada Plaza Tecnológica on Granada Tech City has become the largest Digital Economy business organization and the largest Technological Cluster in Andalusia, about the Nazaríes IT that has been developing technological solutions in the field of monitoring and sensorization. In the second part of the day Chamber of Commerce of Motril intruduced with they role in improving the competitiveness of businesses, particularly SMEs and TICCÁMARAS – the Programme providing to local SMEs a series of instruments, activities and support to help their digitalization processes and applications of IT.

The participants have learned a lot and it seemed that there is a potential for transforming of good practices to other DigiBEST project partner regions. The partners showed great interest in some of the presented projects and would very much like to get to know them in more detail whenever it is possible to visit Granada in person. It was very important that the organizers produced videos of interviews with entrepreneurs who had used some of the pervious mentioned projects and that, especially during Covid - 19, they had radically improved their competitiveness and turnover by using ICT tools.
This was the first Study visit organized online which required courage, commitment, creativity of the organizers. Presentations alternated with beautiful videos - interviews with entrepreneurs, the nature of Granada, which made the event more attractive.

The project is implemented within the framework of the DigiBEST INTERREG EUROPE Interregional Cooperation Program “Digital Transformation of the Business Environment” of the European Structural and Investment Funds Objective “European Territorial Cooperation” 2014-2020.
This article reflects the author's views only and the Interreg Europe programme authorities are not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.