Businesses across Northern Ireland will be able to enhance their productivity and digital capabilities through a new Digital Transformation Programme, which has been announced today.
The Digital Transformation Programme is designed to support over 1000 businesses across Northern Ireland to improve their productivity by incorporating digital technologies into their businesses and will be delivered through a range of workshops and one to one mentoring. Invest Northern Ireland has allocated over £860,000 of funds, with councils contributing £216,000, to support the Programme which will be delivered by all 11 councils.
Making the announcement Kevin Holland, Invest NI’s CEO said: “COVID-19 has strongly reinforced the importance of digital technologies and has significantly accelerated the shift to digital for businesses across Northern Ireland. The new Digital Transformation Programme will provide a platform for businesses to understand the digital options, which are available to them, plan the next steps in their digital journey and create value for their customers in an increasingly competitive economy.
“The collaborative nature of this Programme is exceptional and is a Northern Ireland wide effort across all 11 councils to support Northern Ireland businesses to drive an increase in productivity through digital transformation. The workshops will show Northern Ireland businesses how they can adopt existing and proven technologies to help them transform their business models, improve productivity and create value for customers and will appeal to businesses in all sectors including manufacturing, retail, tourism, hospitality and construction.”
The Programme, which will be rolled out in summer 2021, will also offer almost 200 businesses with the highest potential for digital transformation an opportunity to be selected for one to one digital innovation mentoring. The mentoring will explore how their business can adopt digital technologies to deliver transformational change with the completion of a Digital Acceleration Plan.
Jacqui Dixon, of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, which is the Council administering the Programme said: “The Councils are delighted to have secured this funding from Invest Northern Ireland. Delivery of the Digital Transformation Programme is strategically significant for the region.
“It will accelerate the adaptation of technology by SME’s to improve productivity and shows the determination of Northern Ireland’s eleven councils and Invest NI to re-build the economy through partnership. The Programme will equip and guide businesses to develop Digital Acceleration Plans with the support of public sector.”
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin confirmed “We are delighted to be involved in the collaboration of the new Digital Transformation Programme for businesses across the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area. Programme delivery throughout Northern Ireland is welcomed and will truly help to improve business productivity through the use of digital technology. It comes at an opportune time, particularly for SMEs, when our economy is rebuilding with an increased reliance on technology. Local businesses are encouraged to participate and will surely benefit from the guidance of expert advisors in stimulating digital capabilities and business innovation.”
The Digital Transformation Programme is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) Programme.