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Dear Reader,
This is the 2nd Issue of the EVITA Newsletter, a Newsletter that will be edited approximately every 6 months, in order to promote the results and outputs of the EVITA project.

The EVITA INTERREG IVC project project is a project that builds upon various good practices developed under different regional or interregional development programs, in order to improve  the effectiveness of regional development policies in the area of the access of SMEs, to knowledge, information, e-business practices and the globalized digital economy in regions with low IT penetration. This newsletter concerns the second semester of 2009. During those 6 months, the focus was given on the 2 remaining Study Visits, through which the “best policy initiatives” were presented to all partners and the creation of the training content and the communication material.





5th Study Visit (Santiago de Compostela) 

The 5th EVITA Study Visit took place in Santiago de Compostela, with the purpose to provide an in-depth analysis of the Galician Policy Initiatives on SME support on IT and e-business, deriving from the partner CESGA and other affiliate organizations. The Study Visit was held at the CESGA and the iGAPE premises on September 18th, 2009, with 14 attendants.

The Galicia e-Commerce Leveraging Centre was born with the aim of promoting and giving support to galician SME's (Small and Medium Entreprises), in order to take advantage of new technologies and Internet and start e-commerce processes. The general goals of the Galicia Leveraging Centre are:
  • Analysis of the situation regarding ICT and e-commerce issues in the galician SME´s.
  • Organize e-commerce courses and conferences for SME's.
  • Give technical support to SMES with e-commerce initiatives (B2B, B2C, etc.).
  • Promote e-commerce and new technologies in Galicia with communication and dissemination activities.
After the detailed presentation, a long discussion took place on the objectives, impacts, resources, tools and main activities of the initiative.

Furthermore, other Services and financial tools for supporting Galician SMEs and some IT Cases were presented by the iGAPE experts. More analytically,  the On-line Support Service was presented in-depth, with the different options and possibilities an entrepeneur has for supporting and promoting his business. Services range from subsidy lines to web page design consultancy.

Another important issue that has been presented and analyzed was the role of Help Desk models on SME support for IT and e-Business adoption. IGAPE On-line support service is based on this type of tool, extensively used as a convergence and management point of all the questions and queries Galician SMEs conduct to the Regional Development Agency.  

The partners were then guided to the iGAPE helpdesk where the experts of the iGAPE explained the function and the various processes of the helpdesk .

6th Study Visit (Stockholm) 

The 6th EVITA Study Visit took place in Stockholm, with the purpose to present to the partners an overview and an in-depth analysis of the strategic vision of the Swedish SME support on IT and e-business initiatives in Sweden. The Study Visit was held at the TILLVAXVERKET premises on October 5th , with 15 attendants.
In a first phase, the Swedish Agency’s for Economic and Regional Growth (TILLVAXVERKET) experts and guest experts presented to the attendants an Overview of the programs of the Swedish government for IT and e-business support to SMEs.
More analytically, the “From Insight to Action” program, which aims to help SMEs to use secure e-business solutions, has a very good rate of satisfied SMEs. The program is coordinated by Tillvaxtverket and the 50 ongoing projects are sub financed by Tillvaxtverket. The project owners/project managers are SME networks or governmental organizations such as municipalities.
The program “IT.sme.se” had a aim to help micro enterprises to start using ICT. The main activity was to learn the SMEs t use different ICT tools such as Internet, MS Office and booking systems.
The “REG-IT” program was a regional effort to help SMEs in the rural areas of Sweden to use Internet and ICT solutions.
The “Meeting-point Wermland” is a project that aims to help SME and Municipalities to use (send and receive) e-invoices. The presentation of the program was an example of project sub financed by Tillvaxtverket which concerned a local potato farmer who has installed a very high tech solution for the “potatoe process” and for marketing/selling on the Internet..
The “DARRA” presentation showed us a very good example of transnational project including a practical toolbox for the SME.
The next day (October 6th), the partners participated to the 21st eBSN (e-business Support Network) Workshop “e-business implementation for SMEs shifting the gear from policy dialogue to actions”, where a number of Sector Specific actions to help SMEs and Show-casing best e-Business practices among European SMEs from all over Europe were presented and a Roundtable discussion on: How do Governmental organisations work with eBusiness took place.
Release of the training content
During this 3rd semester of the project, we had the release of the EVITA training content on e-business and the benefits to SME competitiveness. This content aims at improving managerial understanding and skills in e-business by entrepreneurs and includes basic IT knowledge, introduction to both B2C and B2B e-business models and practices, and issues on entrepreneurship over the internet. The training content has initially been created in English by COPCA, in a generic way. In a second phase, the other partners are localizing it by translating it and by adding the local/ regional e-government services to SMEs and some local e-business best practices. This process is actually ongoing The training content includes among other :  
  • ICT applied to small and medium companies and the Internet evolution for the SME.
  • The business models the company must know.
  • The digital marketing plan
  • Website definition
  • The action plan
  • Visit to contact conversion
  • Basic skills to get customer royalty
  • Social Marketing Strategies: Web 2.0
  • Social marketing strategy/ Tools and solutions for the SMEs
  • SEO Strategies using web 2.0
  • Online reputation management 
 Release of the communication material 

5.000 leaflets were produced by FTZ in order to disseminate the project ideas, main activities and expected results to an extended public in all the concerned regions. The leaflets were created in 9 languages. 


The rest of the EVITA priorities are scheduled and have started to be implemented without concrete outputs so far: The the e-learning platform, the Study on e-learning and the Malta e-tutor seminar are all under preparation.
The EVITA project falls under the INTERREG IVC program and is co-financed by 81,5% by the European Regional Development Funds and by 18,5% by National Funds.




STUDY VISITS                

Next Study Visits

6th Study Visit, Stockholm, 5-6 October 2009



Next project meeting

3rd Project meeting, Santiago de Compostela, September 17th, 2009


The Interregional Cooperation Programme INTERREG IVC, financed by the European Union's Regional Development Fund, helps Regions of Europe work together to share experience and good practice in the areas of innovation, the knowledge economy, the environment and risk prevention. EUR 302 million is available for project funding but, more than that, a wealth of knowledge and potential solutions are also on hand for regional policy-makers.