On 26 January, the European Commission launched an expression of interest (EoI) for the purpose of developing supporting actions for the digitalisation of construction SMEs. The dual purpose of this EoI is to assess the interest among SMEs in construction to benefit from planned support actions as well as to collect best practices and lessons learnt in the field of digitalisation, including details on the experienced benefits of digitalization and potential barriers to its implementation.
According to Ecorys, the agency tasked with the project by the Commission, the main objective is to support SMEs in their digital transition, leading to increased productivity, efficiency, and competitiveness. In this regard, the project encompasses two main actions:
- Developing a tailored digital maturity scan and an interactive handbook for the construction sector
- Providing in-depth trainings to companies, to further deepen the knowledge provided in the handbook
This initiative aims to provide construction SMEs with the opportunity to gain experience from their peers, share their own lessons learnt, benefit from free promotion, and be the first to be informed about planned support actions. Selected companies can receive:
- Early access to a digital maturity scan developed in the form of a guided interview;
- Early information once other support tools are available, such as an interactive handbook providing advice on digitalising one’s business and the launch of targeted in-depth trainings;
- Free promotion through platforms in form of a 1-page case study outlining the company’s digitalisation best practice / initiative and how it improved its business.
Construction SMEs that are willing to share best practices and lessons learnt in the field of digitalisation are invited to directly fill-in the form online. It contains up to 19 questions and shall take about 15 minutes to complete. The indicative deadline for completing the survey is 25 February.
EBC regrets that the questionnaire is only available in English as more linguistic versions would have increased its uptake by micro companies and SMEs in the construction sector.