Frequently Asked Questions
1. When does the matching program starts ad when do Digital Enablers start visiting Companies abroad?
The matching program has already started. Registrations are being evaluated every month and any match can start as soon as both the Digital Enabler and the Company have agreed to it and have finalised the details.
2. Besides participating as a Digital Enabler or as a Company, is there any other way to connect with DigitaliseSME?
Besides registrations as Digital Enablers or as Companies, any organisation with an expertise in SMEs and/or in supporting digital transformation on a territory, such as digital innovation hubs, can become DigitaliseSME Ambassadors.
DigitaliseSME Ambassadors act as sources of information and can be the first-contact point for interested firms and professionals to receive clarifications and answers to their questions.
If you wish to be a DigitaliseSME Ambassador, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions Concerning Registration
1. What is exactly the monthly evaluation done by the Project Committee?
Once a month, the National Contact Point evaluate the profile of companies that are coming from countries of their responsibility and that have registered since their last evaluation to see if they can already propose a match with a Digital Enabler.
Once they have found a suitable Digital Enabler, they propose the match to the Project Committee, which once a month, every month, also does an evaluation to confirm the proposed matches.
The ones that are confirmed are then pushed forward by the relevant National Contact Point, who organises a call between the Company and the Digital Enabler to confirm their interest and finalise all details to make the match start.
2. I have new information relevant to my registration with DigitaliseSME, can I update my registered profile and, if so, how can I do it?
You can update your registration by sending an e-mail at email@example.com, stating your name and application profile (Company or Digital Enabler) and explaining what new information is now available. If it is just a small addition (e.g. a new language or a change of address), we will add it manually in our database.
If the new information is quite significant (e.g. a completely new need for digitalisation for a Company, a completely renewed description of activities for a Digital Enabler), we might ask you to re-register again after cancelling your previous profile.
3. I have registered since a few months, but I have not yet been proposed a match. Am I still eligible or does it mean I am out of the potential candidates for matches?
Since the moment you register, you will be kept in our database until the end of the project. However you might not be contacted until we found a Company matching your skills or a Digital Enabler whose skills match your needs.
This might be a fast process, or it might take some time, as it depends a lot on the registered profiles of your counterparts that you would be matched with.
4. How can I delete my registration if I wish to do so?
We will not automatically delete any registrations but if you wish to delete your registration, you can e-mail the request at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do it for you, confirming it to you via e-mail once it is done.
Questions Concerning Digital Enablers
1. Is the Digital Enabler role comparable to a strategic consultant who helps the company set up a project but does not implement it him/herself?
Yes, that would be a good way to understand the role of a Digital Enabler. He/she has the role of a planning consultant, helping plan all the details needed to realise the digitalisation project, which the company can then start to implement.
The Company candecide to keep on working with the same person for the implementation of the project, but such an agreement would only be between the two parties and it would not be part of the collaboration covered by DigitaliseSME.
2. Why is it that a Digital Enabler cannot be a citizen or resident of the same country where the Company he/she is matched with resides?
This rule was specifically set by the European Commission in the call providing the funding for DigitaliseSME.
The logic behind such rule is that the EU cannot finance programs which could also be done at national level. All EU-funded projects and programs must provide a European added value. In this case, companies can get in touch with digital experts coming from another national context and another market, and that can help the two parties internationalise, becoming more open to opportunities coming from abroad.
This rule might be subject to change at the end of the DigitaliseSME Pilot Phase. Any changes or updates will be published on the DigitaliseSME’s website.
3. From whom should Digital Enablers get the two reference letters needed to finalise their registration and participate in a match?
Digital Enablers should get the two reference letters from companies they have helped realise a digitalisation project.
It does not matter if they have done so as external contractors or employees. The letters can be signed by former employers or colleagues or by managers who oversaw the project.
4. Should references for the Digital Enabler concerning previous projects be in the form of letters or other type of testimonials, like LinkedIn references, are also acceptable?
Unfortunately only letters are acceptable. The project needs specific documents, in the form of letters, that testify the Digital Enabler’s skills and abilities to engage with a digitalisation project. Other type of testimonials cannot be taken in consideration.
5. What constitutes a proof of professional independency of the Digital Enabler?
The proof of professional independency must prove that the Digital Enabler is not a shareholder in a company competing in the same sector as the company the Digital Enabler is matched with.
For example, if he/she is matched with a company specialising in 3D printing, the person should not be shareholder in another company working in 3D printing, as that would create a conflict of interest.
The required proof is a signed Declaration of Honour signed by the Digital Enabler and attesting that he/she is not a shareholder in companies competing with the one he/she has been matched with.
6. What evidence of language skills can the Digital Enabler bring?
As proof of his/her language skills, the Digital Enabler can either bring official certificates or examples of professional interactions and engagements for a period of at least three years, though not necessarily consecutive, in the language that must be proven.
For example, a Digital Enabler wanting to prove their language skills for English, could do so by showing he/she has worked in an English-speaking environment for a year and, a few years later, collaborated with a company for two years using English as the working language. Living in an English-speaking country, like the UK, would constitute proof but is not necessary.
7. What type of feedback is the Digital Enabler required to provide during or after the matching?
The Digital Enabler is required to provide three reports to the National Contact Point in charge of his/her matching.
One should describe the analysis defining the challenge faced by the company and for which they require the implementation of a digitalisation project.
The second one should describe the strategy proposed to implement the digitalisation project.
The third one should provide terms of reference for the needed technological solutions, for the organisational changes required and for the necessary training for the Company’s staff to implement the digital project.
Please note the National Contact Point will provide the Digital Enabler with the predefined format for reports once the matching starts.
8. What happens if the solution proposed by the Digital Enabler requires more than four weeks to be finalised?
DigitaliseSME will not cover for any additional honorary or expenses incurred beyond the time of the four weeks of matching already covered by the project.
The fixed honorary for any Digital Enabler, independently of their country of origin, is 8.000€ for one month of work in the matching with a Company. In no cases additional funding will be provided.
Nonetheless the two parties are free to continue their professional relationship beyond the space offered by the project, but such an agreement would only be between them and it would not be part of the collaboration covered by DigitaliseSME.
Questions Concerning Companies
1. What is meant by a “need for a digitalisation project” that a Company must have to participate in a matching?
The project understands the concept of digitalisation as either digital transformation or digital optimisation. Digital transformation means the introduction of new digital elements that change the way the company works or what it delivers. By digital optimisation, we understand the improvement of existing processes through digital technology.
By “digital” we refer to the use of a technology that generates, stores and processes electronic data.
We look for projects that entail a fundamental change in the day-to-day business of the organisation, be it at managerial, organisational or productive level.
2. I already have started a digital project and I would need the support of an external expert to complete it. Can I register with DigitaliseSME for this?
No, the support provided by the Digital Enabler should concern a new project for digitalisation that require planning and strategic advice. The Digital Enabler will not work on a project that has already started and that requires implementation. Moreover, he/she will also not code, will not install program or repair devices or software, and will not do any data elaboration.
3. What are the standards for board and lodging that I am supposed to provide to the Digital Enabler that is coming to visit my company?
While we leave it to the Company and to the Digital Enabler to finalise the exact details of the board and lodging that will be provided, please note the proposed solutions should fulfil minimal standards that allow for the normal lifestyle of a person who is already a professional with experience in his/her sector.
Hence solutions like shared rooms, hostels or other similar accommodations that would most commonly be intended for students and/or very young professionals should be avoided.
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The Pilot Project DigitaliseSME is co-financed by DG CONNECT of the European Commission, on proposal of the European Parliament.
The content of this website reflects only the authors' views, i.e. that of the partners of the project <DigitaliseSME>. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.