Digital tech SMEs at the service of Regional Smart Specialisation Strategies

Project aim:

The DEVISE project aims to transfer technology provided by SMEs and start-ups in the ICT sector into Smart industry sectors including marine and manufacturing. By doing so the project will foster the growth of the SMEs and start-ups in the ICT sector while simultaneously enhancing the competitiveness of the Smart industries in the region.

Although significant progress has been made in the definition of more focused policies supporting these strategic sectors, more coordinated actions are required to foster the growth of digital SMEs providing innovative solutions that allow other sectors to be more competitive.

The strength of the DEVISE project is in the collaborative nature of the cooperation across the 10 EU partner regions. Through the project, the 10 project partners from Ireland, Romania, Spain, Bulgaria, Finland, United Kingdom, France and Belgium will establish 10 regional digital support environments. Policy makers, business support organisations, educational centres and SMEs from the digital and other smart specialisation sectors will be the main participants and beneficiaries of these environments which will be expected to last beyond DEVISE’s lifetime. These environments will bring improved coordination and increased collaboration between the digital sector and those belonging to other smart specialisation sectors.

By 2021, the DEVISE project aims to increase by 15% the number of digital tech SMEs enabling competitiveness in other regional strategic sectors through improved supporting policy instruments.

In doing so, the project will follow an innovative intersectoral approach involving all the relevant stakeholders in the process of analysing the current context, learning from other EU regions and defining improved policies integrating the lessons learnt.


Project start date: 
Project end date2022-11-30 
Project status: 

Total budget: EUR 1.782.367,00



  1. ERNACT – BMW (Ireland)
  2. North West Regional Assembly- BMW (Ireland)
  3. Derry & Strabane District Council – Northern Ireland (UK)
  4. Regional Government of Cantabria – Cantabria (Spain)
  5. Fomento San SebastianBasque Country – (Spain)
  6. West Romania Development Agency – West (Romania)
  7. Laval Mayenne Technopole – Pays de la Loire (France)
  8. VOKA – Chamber of Commerce -Flanders (Belgium)
  9. Seinajoki University – South Ostrobothnia (Finland)
  10. Business Association Agency – Varna (Bulgaria)