Esteban Pelayo – EURADA´s Directormportales
I am Esteban Pelayo, the Director of Eurada. Eurada is the European Association of Development Agencies, created in 1992. Next year we will celebrate 30 years of sharing knowledge and experience among regional economic practitioners. We help these actors to overcome challenges, learn from each other and share experiences.
Why are regions so relevant in the digital transformation of manufacturers at a EU level?
If you look at the priorities of the future development of the regions, all of them mention digitalization in some way. Digitalization is crucial and every development agency in Europe has a priority to facilitate digitalization.
In Europe we have the programme ”Digital Europe”. The European Commission is establishing a ”European Digital Innovation Hub” that will organize the territories and connect said territories and regions of Europe in order to help each other overcome the challenge of digitalization. For this reason, digitalization for us is crucial and will be part of the competitiveness of the European industry in the future. And I must say, Europe has a lot of SMEs compared with other territories in the world, such as China or US for example, and SMEs need unique support. The Commission needs to lead the different actors in a way that supports SMEs in digitalization. The regions in Europe that become better at this will achieve more gains, will be the leaders in the internal market, and will create a more competitive industry.
Would you like to invite manufacturers or other relevant stakeholders to join your network?
With regards to manufacturers and other regional stakeholders, we welcome all of them. However the main actors of networks are the public organizations supporting them. So what we call the development agencies, that are very much connected with this stakeholder, help them to get finance, to innovate through digitalization and other means. Also connected are sustainability and social innovation challenges, and as well internationalization. These three topics are very connected. For instance, if you are not an innovator, you will never sell abroad. So for you to internationalize better, you have to be an innovator and for this you need funds, which is whythe development agencies are there.
Eurada, as an European Association, is open and has organised a working group on digitalization connected with funding, where we will welcome any entity that would like to learn more about opportunities in Europe connected with digitalization Join us!