On 12 March 2019 more than 70 stakeholders participated in the Mid-term Workshop of SKILLS+ in Magdeburg. In the morning session, organized together with the Investment Bank of Saxony-Anhalt which has prepared another action plan in result of the PURE COSMOS project, the challenges for digitalization in Saxony-Anhalt and the actions foreseen to address those were presented and discussed. In the rural Altmark area, a regional digitalization centre will be set up to coordinate the elaboration and implementation of a digitalization strategy covering the county territory. The action will take use of the experiences gained in Norway where the “e-Trøndelag” strategy (now becoming the Trøndelag 4.0 strategy) had been a major driver of digital innovation. Other actions foreseen in Saxony-Anhalt include consulting services for craftsmen aiming to digitalize their businesses and, in result of PURE COSMOS, online services to apply for funding user-friendlier.

In the afternoon session, action plans of the other ten European partner regions were presented. These plans are close to finalization and will be published soon on the project website.

In April 2019, the second phase of SKILLS+ will begin during which the eleven action plans of the partner regions/countries are implemented. By the end of 2020, more than 16 million Euros from European and national funding programs as well as private investments will be invested. Altogether more than 80 institutions will be involved and up to 5,000 small companies are expected to benefit.