DIGITAL REGIONS project partners from CIEBI - Centro de Inovação Empresarial da Beira Interior / Beira Interior Business Innovation Center in Portugal have also developed a Regional Action Plan to stimulate the adaption of Industry 4.0 measures and boost the conditions for additional uptake of I4.0 solutions among Bulgarian SMEs.

Our Portuguese partners aim to to stimulate the creation and development of innovative companies through their connection to the regional scientific and technological system and the interactive European Network of BIC's (Business Innovation Centers) or European Business and Business Centers.

CIEBI explains that, the Portuguese Government launched a set of initiatives focusing on digitising the economy, including the national strategy Industry 4.0 Programme. The initiative’s central theme is to provide SMEs and industrial companies with the knowledge and resources to drive the digital transformation. This programme brings together actions to foster digitalisation of SMEs via technology upgrades, productive innovation and training and re-skilling. "A state of the art has been established to identify the current stakes that DIGITAL REGIONS has to tackle and to better understand companies’ needs and challenges related to Industry 4.0 or digital transformation. In this context a macro-analysis and micro-analysis were performed by each partner of the project in order to identify current gaps, needs and opportunities related to its regional and national innovation policy", continue our partners.

The main source of inspiration for this Action Plan came from the Good Practices 'Digital Innovation Hub Slovenia' and 'Co-Learning Lab' shared by the project partners University of Ljubljana and Hof University of Applied Science, respectively. "The overall objective of the action is to influence and improve public policies at local and regional level to tackle challenges of digital transformation and lack of qualified staff and digital competences within the companies, with the main focus on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises", they add.

In order to become more competitive, companies will have to invest in the qualification of human resources and in the acquisition of digital technologies. To take advantage of the opportunities provided by funding programmes, in terms of digitalisation, it is crucial to define a clear strategy to communicate the instruments available to support the digital transition of regional SMEs and to be aware of the specific areas where they need support. To address these challenges, the following activities will be developed:

  • Diagnosis on digital skills training needs in micro and SMEs and development of training plan for the strengthening of workers' digital skills.
  • Organisation of a workshop involving relevant players such as Clusters, players of PTCentroDiH’s consortium, business managers, academia, digital experts and other interested public and private sector organizations.

Read the Regional Action Plan.