30 Sept 2022

Councils launch website to develop North West's City Region's 'Digital Ecosystem'

Local authorities working together towards a cross-border digital transformation action plan

New website launched to develop North West's City Region's 'Digital Ecosystem'

Colm Mc Colgan, ERNACT General Manager, with Mayors Alderman Graham Warke and Cllr Jack Murray

A new website has been launched to promote the development of a digital transformation plan for the City Region.

Developed by the ERNACT network, the website will facilitate information to interested parties about digital transformation in general, the various initiatives and action plans underway, and provide updates on news and events taking place in the cross-border area.

Like many other European regions, local authorities and universities in the North West Ireland City Region, supported by their regional authorities, have been taking steps to ensure that business, communities and society are ready to face the huge changes being brought about with advances in digital technology.

This includes cross-border cooperation to increase investment and innovation in digital research by our higher education institutions and initiatives such as the Donegal Digital action plan and the EU Intelligent City Challenge programme by the local authorities.

The launch takes place during a two-days study visit to the city region by other European regions and cities.

The study visit is part of the Interreg Europe funded CARPE DIGEM project, in which ERNACT represents the Derry & Strabane and Donegal councils.

CARPE DIGEM is primarily about how to create functioning and sustainable Digital Innovation Ecosystems (DIGEMs) in regions considered to be outside the digital, economic and social core of Europe, traditional 'receivers' of innovation and change.

The project is examining how the partnership in close collaboration with their regional public, private and community stakeholders, can better communicate and engage their regions in improving strategies for digital transformation, predicting and developing new skills and competencies for the future.

CARPE DIGEM provides an opportunity for this cross-border region to more coherently communicate its efforts and to consolidate and develop activities that add value on a cross-border axis.

Mayors Jack Murray and Graham Warke also welcomed visiting politicians from the County of Nièvre in Burgundy (France) and Madeira (Portugal) whose regions are also partners in the CARPE DIGEM project.

Members of the ERNACT board, appointed by Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council, also participated in the launch of the new website.

Commenting on the website launch, Donegal County Council Cathaoirleach, Jack Murray, stated: “This new website has been developed with the aim of promoting the development of a digital transformation plan for the City Region.

"We are fortunate to have high calibre businesses and universities in the North-West Ireland City Region and it is important that businesses and communities are ready to face the rapid advancements in technology and digitalisation.

"It is great to welcome delegates from other European regions to the North-West City region and also our counterparts from France and Portugal whose regions are also partners in the CARPE DIGEM project.

"During the two-day visit our ‘Remote working Strategy for Donegal’ was presented to delegates aiming to promote Donegal and the North-West City Region nationally and internationally as a superb location for remote workers.”

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