A Wales-led European project on digital collaboration ‘DE-LAN' is being launched in Brussels today by Deputy First Minister for Wales Ieuan Wyn Jones and Robert Madelin, Director General for Information Society and Media, European Commission, aiming to explore the economic opportunities presented by online collaboration between business.
Nine European partners will investigate how digital collaboration can benefit small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) through ‘DE-LAN', which stands for ‘Digital Ecosystems-Learning Application Network'.
The project aims to promote best practice in the development, deployment and exploitation of emerging trends in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) such as Cloud Computing and social networking.
Particular focus will be put on applications such as Digital Business Ecosystems (DBE), Living Labs and Digitally-Networked Businesses; evolutionary systems which create an online market place to seamlessly connect organisations, companies and individuals that do business together.
Wales is currently digitally networking businesses in sectors including Creative Industries, Marine Science and Construction.
Expected advantages include the wider promotion of products and services, improved innovation, streamlined working practices and increased competiveness and growth in the global marketplace.
Deputy First Minister for Wales Ieuan Wyn Jones, in Brussels for the event, said "When traditional industries dominated the business landscape in Wales and the rest of Europe, the technologies used and the ways businesses traded with each another were tried and tested through years of commerce.
"Fast forward to today and ICT is transforming not just the type of business we do but the ways in which we trade.
"As lead partner in the DE-LAN project, we are excited in Wales by the prospect of working with and learning from like-minded partner regions from across Europe to develop new processes and new approaches to strengthen our standing in the global economy."
Robert Madelin, Director General for Information Society and Media, European Commission said: "The recently announced Digital Agenda for Europe illustrates that the European Commission is committed to a flourishing digital economy throughout the EU. But to build a truly digital society we need partners at all levels, and from all sectors. That is why the DE-LAN project is so important - DE-LAN's work embraces the spirit of collaboration in the Digital Agenda and will help make ICTs an even bigger part of daily life for millions of citizens.
"I look forward to working with the experienced partner Regions to explore how innovative use of ICTs can help businesses across Europe to meet their challenges. Projects like DE-LAN can help achieve our ultimate goal of using ICTs to advance job creation, sustainability and social inclusion."
Knowledge and experience will be shared through regular interregional meetings, workshops and conferences.