The digital revolution brings opportunities for big and small companies, but many of them still find difficult to know in which technologies to invest and how to secure financing for their digital transformation. SMEs are particularly slow in integrating digital technologies: only one out of five SMEs in the EU are highly digitised, yet they represent over 90% of all businesses in Europe.
DigiJourney idea raises from the participation of two innovation agencies and a research institute, FUNDECYT-PCTEX, Luxinnovation and IPA-SA, in European projects related to digitalisation and their expertise in the field. These innovation agencies have a common interest in continuously improving their capacity and needs assessment methodologies, and currently face the common challenge of applying new digitalisation assessment and support techniques tailored to SMEs. For that purpose, a twinning advanced mechanism was set up among the three partner agencies in order to allow them to jointly evaluate their digitalisation approaches and, based on the input gathered, design a digitalisation journey for SMEs that enables innovation agencies to improve their support to companies in the field of digitalisation.
The DigiJourney project aim is, therefore, to enable the participating innovation agencies to exchange knowledge on digitalisation methodologies and tools through peer learning activities and to design a digitalisation journey for SMEs that address their actual needs in terms of digital transformation and allows them to increase their competitiveness thanks to a tailor-made digitalisation support based on digital solutions in line with their current business.
To design such journey, it has been necessary to identify and analyse methodologies, experiences and good practices on digitalisation implemented by project partners and by other European actors. In addition, some Digital Innovation Hubs have been involved in the process with the purpose of exchanging information and, later on, incorporating new and added-valued digitalisation services to their portfolio.
Design Options Paper
As a result of the peer learning process, this Design Options Paper (DOP) provides other European innovation agencies with recommendations for improving their digitalisation support services for companies in their territories through a well-designed digitalisation client journey aligned with other supportive schemes that favour the implementation of digitalisation measures to improve companies’ competitiveness. Since the document explores options to address the digitalisation challenge and shows that certain decisions made in the design preclude some other options, it might guide similar innovation agencies that become interested in the topic only later and did not have the chance to participate in the initial twinning+ project.