EU4Digital has five lines of action in the area of ICT Innovation:
- Setting in place a common legislative framework in the Eastern Neighbourhood region that favours ICT innovation, based on EU norms and best practices. This was done in five policy areas prioritised by the Eastern Partner countries, and included country-specific policy recommendations and action plans that were taken by the country stakeholders for further implementation.
- Developing a common framework for a modular training package (EdTech Hub programme) for addressing the needs of SMEs and other groups of ecosystem stakeholders in the region (policy makers, ICT innovation infrastructure organisations).
- Promoting the networking of innovation ecosystem players within the region and with the EU, through networking events, study visits and the establishment of an ICT Innovation Governance and policy coordination forum for key EaP stakeholders.
- Extending European networks and platforms to include the Eastern partner countries. EU4Digital will identify the relevant EU organisations and facilitate the registration of the ICT innovation and start-up ecosystem players from Eastern partner countries on the relevant European networks and platforms.
- Implementing promotion campaigns in the Eastern partner countries for raising awareness of the importance of ICT innovation and increasing the participation of women in the ICT innovation field.
- Conducting a ‘Market assessment for Digital Innovation and Scale-up Initiative (DISC) in Eastern partner countries’ to address the investment gap in digital innovations and to support the scale-up of digital start-ups in the region. The Market Assessment will support the European Commission in understanding the investment gap and will serve as a basis for considering further initiatives on improving access to finance for start-ups in the region. As a continuation, EU4Digital developed a guide for ICT entrepreneurial ecosystem development that provided a maturity assessment of each country, and country-level recommendations to enable the growth of the Start-up ecosystems in the six Eastern partner countries. One of the key tools to implement these recommendations will be the EaP DISC Capital regional venture funding facility