How can digitalisation and advanced technology be brought to SMEs?
How can their skills be updated?
– Key questions of the first breakout session on #Digitalisation and #SkillsGap.
The impulse presentations by Bianca Muntean (Manager of Transylvania IT Cluster) and Kristina Dervojeda (Senior Manager Innovation Policy Research, PWC) gave a quick, but inspiring overview of activities undertaken by cluster managements to foster digitalisation.
The interactive discussion was moderated by Andrei Brunis (Policy Officer at the European Commission’s Advanced technologies, Clusters and Social Economy Unit). Ten groups discussed vividly concrete and practical steps for cluster managers and policy makers in facilitating digitalisation and the acquisition of adapted skills.
The concluding panel discussion with Katarzyna Koziol (Enterprise and Single Market Adviser, SMEunited), David Seoane Vilariño (FundingBox, Spain – Project Manager of Connected Car INNOSUP-1 cluster project), Peter Statev (Chairman, ICT Cluster Bulgaria) and Manuella Portier (Director of European Affairs, Cap Digital) successfully rounded off the breakout session: The panellists responded to the challenges mentioned by the participants and shared their own experiences and strategies.
Together, participants and panelists identified the following challenges:
- Lack of awareness about the importance of digitalisation
- Ignorance about the actual impact of digitalisation, e.g. on the corporate culture and marketing
- Concrete measures from the part of the cluster management are only possible if needs are known
- Many buzz-words, but what is behind them?
- Companies are at different stages of digitalisation. Which skills will be needed in the long run, in 10 or 15 years?
These solutions were developed:
- .Showing the benefits of digitalisation
- Mapping organisations that are ahead, showing their success stories and award excellent companies
- Incentives for willing companies
- Financial support for cluster activities
- Training of Cluster Managers to know how to support their members, e.g. on digital business models
- Bottom-up approach: Developing a common methodology and tools to scan the level of digitalisation
- Developing tailor-made courses and workshops for the cluster members
- Knowledge transfer between companies and also from university and research centres to companies
- Developing long-term strategies and skills forecasts
- Adapting school education to the changing needs: curricula should reflect the requirements of digitalisation