Digital infrastructures and European SMEs: Innovation Beyond Borders
Thursday, July 14th, 2016
The European Union is working to homogenise infrastructures across its Member States to maximise cooperation and minimise costs. Its effort are concentrated on transports, energy and digital. The first two type of infrastructures include the networks of transportations channels (roads, railways, etc…) and energy grids and wiring across the continent. When it comes to digital infrastructure, it can be a bit harder to understand what exactly pertains to this network. The European Commission understands these infrastructures as those physical connections that allow for data access and flow and provide European citizens with an easy access to state-of-the-art information technology. These are data centres, broadband cable connections and any other channel in which data travels from one point to the other.
The homogenization of these infrastructures across Europe is vital for business, both for the exchange of services and of goods. The ability to transmit data and information as fast and reliably as possible across large distances allows SMEs to really access the Single Market without moving away from their base of operation. Through these channels, they are able to provide real support to their client or vital information about their products, while also using the technology to analyse their business and tweak their operations accordingly. Moreover, not only can European small and medium-sized business use the digital infrastructures to improve their commercial activities , but they can also use it to innovate their sector. A fantastic example is how 15 European SMEs have been recognised, and some of them awarded, for innovative digital technologies in the health sector, improving the lives of patients and facilitating the work of doctors.
Digital infrastructures are key to business growth in our world and are essential to support innovation in many sectors. SMEs can use them to pioneer a path to technological progress. Nonetheless, to fully exploit this opportunity, SMEs need to acquire international contacts they can collaborate with. A great way to do that is through MobiliseSME, a cross border exchange program for European SMEs employees. Companies that want to take this chance still have a couple of days to book a place in the program by taking our survey.