In June 2021, six European projects took part in the joint conference of Interreg projects “Integrated Digital Transformation”, which was centred around fostering synergies amongst likeminded European projects. The digital conference took place on 2 June 2021 from 10:00 to 15:00 CEST, during which partners from the CORA, COM³, Futures By Design, GrowIn 4.0, CUPIDO and SMARTVillages projects exchanged experiences on digital transformation and looked into future opportunities. atene KOM contributes or provides a leadership role to four out of those six projects participating in shaping the digital future in Europe.

The joint conference of Interreg projects, “Integrated Digital Transformation”, served as an opportunity for project partners and stakeholders to discuss their findings with other experts and practitioners, reach out to a broader audience and learn about the findings of likeminded European projects in neighbouring fields – all within the context of digital transformation, smart regions, digitalisation of companies and Industry 4.0.

Currently, there exists a “digital divide” across rural areas of Europe – in many cases, the proper digital infrastructure does not exist, and digital skills are not sufficiently developed. To tackle these imposing issues, the Interreg NSR project, “CORA – COnnecting Remote Areas with digital infrastructure and services”, stimulates digital infrastructure, services and skills in rural areas by helping local authorities to identify their common challenges and empowering them to exchange experiences, test innovative solutions and create an advanced digital environment.

Meanwhile, the Interreg NSR GrowIn 4.0 project, where atene KOM serves as a supporting project partner, aims to build strong competences and tools in the participating regions for the benefit of manufacturing SMEs. The approach is to establish a strong partnership which pools knowledge on the manufacturing industry and Industry 4.0, resulting in collections of new or improved methods and tools—developed in interaction with SMEs—to support in the development of skills. Similarly, the Interreg NSR COM³ project has the aim of making rural areas more attractive places to live, work and invest in by digitally enabling and transforming SMEs. This is done by developing a unique support model that strengthens and empowers local and regional actors in their role as innovation facilitators and enablers. Finally, the Interreg NSR Futures By Design project prepares SMEs from various sectors for the economic, technical and digital challenges ahead by transferring information and knowledge. In each of these likeminded European projects, atene KOM leads project communication, jointly carries out project management activities, and/or contributes as a project partner, ultimately establishing a powerful network in the world of digitalisation and Industry 4.0 to become a choice partner in the development of regions.

Knowledge transfer and exchange of experience remained central to the digital conference, which simultaneously served as the final conference of the CORA project. At the digital conference in June, the CORA project shared the pillars and dimensions of the digital transformation model, which addresses various facets of the digital transition. Futures By Design presented a breakdown of SMEs on their data readiness, and representatives of the GrowIn 4.0 project shared their obstacles and barriers report developed within the project, as well as a presentation on business innovation and transitions of SMEs. COM³ partners shared their experiences with building communities around digitalisation of businesses. The experience and knowledge exchange did not stop with atene KOM projects – the Interreg NSR CUPIDO project also provided engaging presentations on the concepts of “museums at home” & “museums without walls”, while the Interreg Alpine Space SMARTVillages project offered insights into their digital exchange Platform and pilot experiences.

Further information about the event is available on the CORA project website.