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Digital technology opportunities and challenges for SMEs in Donegal

3 Jun 2019
Donegal’s business development agencies Enterprise Ireland, Údarás and LEO assist SMEs to introduce digital technology into their companies.
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Donegal Digital, in cooperation with DEVISE project (funded by Interreg Europe programme), organised a workshop on the 28th of May, in CoLab (LYIT, Letterkenny), to identify how the business of digital technology buyer and supplier companies in Donegal could be improved by working together to overcome mutually identified opportunities and challenges. The workshop had three main objectives:
 
  • Review the results of surveys circulated by DEVISE project to companies in advance of the workshop.
  • Discuss joint opportunities and challenges identified by both buyers and suppliers of digital technology.
  • Agree practical steps to be taken after the workshop to realise the opportunities and overcome the challenges.

The attendees (representatives from SMEs based in Donegal, business development agencies Enterprise Ireland, Údarás na Gaeltachta and LEO Donegal and staff from LYIT, CoLab and the Wisar lab) were divided into four groups for some breakout sessions. 

  1. Process Automation / Factory Automation
  2. Digital Marketing
  3. Digital Training in Small Businesses
  4. Test new technologies

According to Colm Mc Colgan, ERNACT General Manager, the focus of the workshop is to identify concrete opportunities that can be implemented by companies based in the county. The first group discussed about sketching out a Process Automation pilot because the results of the previously circulated surveys indicated high demand for process automation solutions among Donegal companies. The second group defined a digital marketing pilot they would like to see implemented. The third group exchanged ideas about how could digital training requirements be solved for small companies. Finally, the fourth group explored the use of innovation vouchers to allow companies to pilot the use of new digital solutions.


About DEVISE project and previously circulated surveys
This Donegal Digital workshop has been organised as part of a wider European Union project called DEVISE, which is exploring how companies in the digital sector can provide better practical solutions for ordinary companies.

Regarding the results of the previously circulated surveys, "we have presented and got input into a recent survey carried out to help identify the challenges companies face in introducing new technologies, such as lack of time and skills issues", explains Jose Manuel San Emeterio, Project Manager at ERNACT and DEVISE Project Leader.



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Donegal County Council Enterprise Ireland IDA Ireland Letterkenny Institute of Technology Udaras Pramerica ERNACT Failte Ireland