Derry City & Strabane - Shaping sustainable Digital Innovation Ecosystems in 7 European regions




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Shaping sustainable Digital Innovation Ecosystems in 7 European regions

15 October 2019

The ERNACT network attends the kick-off meeting of the project in which partners have started creating Digital Innovation Ecosystems (DIGEM) for Donegal and Derry & Strabane.



Letterkenny, October 2019

CARPE DIGEM, or Catalysing Regions in Peripheral and Emerging Europe towards Digital Innovation Ecosystems, is an Interreg Europe funded project in which 10 organisations, including ERNACT (representing Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council), from 7 countries participate to create functioning Digital Innovation Ecosystems (DIGEM). To achieve this objective, they use their RTDI skills, packages and delivery mechanisms within government, civil society and business that are required to convert the use and application of new technologies into economic and social opportunities.


Hosted by lead partner Digital Nievre, partners met at L’INKUB (Digital Accelerator and Hub) in Nevers (France), on 24th and 25th September 2019. This first meeting served as a 'capacity building' event to prepare the partnership to set up, manage and monitor the processes at the core of our project. The meeting began with each partner making a short presentation about their organization including their expectations and the added value they are bringing to CARPE DIGEM project. Further, a project overview revision including the main exchange of knowledge, management and communication and dissemination activities and responsibilities were discussed. 


In order to get to know all partner regions closer, partners presented the preliminary selection of good practices related to the regional digital innovation systems in their countries. ERNACT General Manager Colm Mc Colgan presented 'Derry EU Digital City Challenge', an EU initiative to help achieve sustainable economic growth in Derry (Northern Ireland) through the integration of advanced technologies. The key objectives of this ongoing good practice are: employees with the digital skills needed by enterprises in key sectors; increase and focus digital research capacity on the needs of the



city’s key sectors; adopt smart city for innovation in key economic sectors and public service; create a digital innovation ecosystem that generates new jobs, enterprise and investment.


ERNACT is currently using Interreg and Local Authority cross-border cooperation policies. However, the ambition is to achieve a 'Cross-border Innovation and Digital Transformation Strategy and methodology with a Governance structure and Action Plan' through the project. "CARPE DIGEM fosters synergies between existing policies involving digital priorities and the newly planned policy actions supporting digital transformation", explains Colm Mc Colgan. ERNACT is the only partner region working towards the improvement of a cross-border policy instrument.


During the meeting, the partnership also reviewed 'Partner Territorial DIGEM Ecosystems: Social + Economic Innovation Processes, Methodologies, tools, policies and strategies'. Finally, they held a working group session to discuss what are local and collective DIGEM Opportunities, challenges, themes and priorities.



Site visits

Partners have been offered a very intensive program of visits, presentations and hands-on experience to the business, public and community initiatives, and projects held at Nevers and the region of Nievre. In September 26th partners visited the most important regional digital event - SIVIIM (“The Summit of Innovation in Medium-Sized Cities ‘Reinventing the appeal of middle-sized cities through digital innovation and transformation”) at Nevers and met with participating businesses and public sector organizations, focused mainly at “My free open-source city” topic.


The next steps for the CARPE DIGEM partnership are good practices mapping and the establishment of the stakeholder groups formed by the relevant actors in each of the regions that will be engaged to actively participate in project activities seeking their support and contribution to the project’s success.



About CARPE DIGEM project

CARPE DIGEM has gathered 7 European countries that are addressing the issue of building sustainable digital innovation ecosystems. Focused in interregional cooperation, 10 organisations will work together until January 2023 to catalyse and expand digital ecosystems, enhancing inclusion and coaching capacity to provide universal access to the integrated digital solutions that citizens and enterprises need.

10 Organisations France, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Ireland, Bulgaria and Sweden


Learn more about CARPE DIGEM.