The Digital4Business consortium, which has several Irish members, aims to launch its first MSc programmes in January 2024.
The National College of Ireland (NCI) helped to launch a new pan-European digital and entrepreneurial skills project that aims to provide a steady pipeline of talent to SMEs in the region.
NCI is one of 15 partners from seven European countries that are taking part in the consortium leading the project, which is called Digital4Business.
Digital4Business is a four-year initiative that will see various EU institutions and businesses work together to devise and deliver a market-led postgraduate programme to help SMEs access a pipeline of digital talent.
Other programmes launching in the coming few months and years will concentrate on key topics such as cloud, data analytics, AI, cybersecurity, blockchain, IoT and quantum computing.
Overall, the project will cost €19.92m. The programmes that will result from it will offer both industry and academic accreditation. The consortium will be focused on the practical application of advanced digital skills within European companies.
The initiative is being funded by the European Commission’s Digital Europe programme, which focuses on the digital transformation of Europe’s society and economy. The funding award to Digital4Business is one of the largest awards the programme has made to date.
Digital4Business was officially launched at an event in the IFSC in Dublin today (21 March).
The project began in December 2022. The consortium aims to launch the first part-time and full-time MSc programmes in January 2024.
Speaking by video link at the event, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD, highlighted the project’s relevance as part of the European Year of Skills.
“2023 is European Year of Skills – the focus is on helping people get the right education to be prepared for quality jobs, and to address specific skills shortages that businesses are experiencing – particularly SMEs. Digital4Business directly serves this mission.”
Dara Calleary TD, Minister of State for Trade Promotion and Digital Transformation attended the event in person.
“Digital4Business’ focus on the practical application of advanced digital skills within companies, and especially, within our small and medium businesses, is of great importance. This type of talent development is essential to ensure that the skills and the expertise are in place for businesses to maximise their digital potential – to take advantage of the opportunities digital presents and to assist them in maintaining their competitive edge,” he said.
As well as NCI, the other Irish partners involved in Digital4Business are IT company Terawe, Skillnet Ireland and Digital Technology Skills Limited. Digital agency Matrix Internet co-headquartered between Ireland and Belgium is also involved.
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