State Secretary Mona Keijzer signed thirteen deals for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Through these deals, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy is contributing over seven million euros to regional SME projects of provinces and municipalities. This gives businesses an incentive to innovate, digitalise and operate internationally.

The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) is involved in two digitalisation deals. The AUAS will help SMEs in the Greater Amsterdam (Groot-Amsterdam) and Gooi & Vechtstreek regions with digitalisation issues, cooperating under the two deals where possible. Many business owners want to and have to start working on digitalisation, but feel they are missing out on opportunities. For example, SMEs have difficulty adapting to certain shortages in the labour market, the emergence of digital and other platforms, sustainability, globalisation and, recently, COVID-19.

Digitalisation offensive for SMEs in the greater Amsterdam region

In the greater Amsterdam region, the AUAS Expertise Centre for Applied Artificial Intelligence and its partners have launched the SME Digitalisation Offensive. This project contributes to the knowledge and skills of business owners in terms of opportunities (use of data, online marketing, sales and automation), risks (safe business practice) and the use of digital tools.

With the digitalisation offensive, the consortium aims to reach at least 30,000 SMEs in Amsterdam to inform them of the opportunities and possibilities of digitalisation. At least 750 businesses will be offered a self-scan, after which they will be referred to various online training programmes in the field of digitalisation and data analysis, appropriate to the maturity level of their business. Using an online platform, SMEs will be linked to other SMEs that are already innovating and are able to share their knowledge.

Digital and physical platform for SMEs in Gooi & Vechtstreek region

Under the other SME deal, the AUAS will digitally prepare SMEs in the Gooi & Vechtstreek region. The SPOT 035 project is organising a digital and physical platform for SMEs with digitalisation questions. At the Media Park in Hilversum, business owners will have access to a regional network of students, knowledge institutions and digital frontrunners (leading technology and media companies).

The online and physical platform provides information, helps draw up digitalisation strategies and supports business owners in the step towards realisation and financing.

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