After many years of joint journey, the projects CORA and COM³, supported by the North Sea Region Interreg Programme, are coming to a closure. Together partners from Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom and Germany, developed measures, guidelines and training solutions that enable citizens, small and medium-sized companies and administrations in the North Sea region to meet their common challenges, identify and acquire the necessary digital skills. In this way, local actors are empowered across countries to use new technologies and finally overcome the digital divide in rural areas in the region.

Partners and stakeholders met online on 21 June 2023 for the “Joint final conference of Interreg COM³ and CORA projects”. With 53 participants from 27 partner organisations, this was a successful and heart-warming event.

We looked at experience gained through the project activities and explored opportunities for future cooperation. The conference provided the occasion to discuss findings and learn from the results, look at the legacy and lessons learned from COM³ and CORA, as well as get inspiration for the future cooperation.

Bieke Blauwblomme from Intercommunale Leiedal opened the event and welcomed old friends and partners. The joint journey started many years ago in 2017 with the CORA project, and then continued within the COM³ project.

CORA and COM³ projects developed several tools to support digitalisation in the European regions:

  • Partners developed and tested the CORA model for digital transformation available. One needs digital infrastructure, skills and services in order to allow for digital transformation. CORA partners prepared a set of measures guiding municipalities in their digital transformation.
  • Partners developed and tested the COM³ model, which helps municipalities, regions, and business support organisations to empower local companies and create a dynamic rural digital ecosystem. Partners created no less than 15 e-learning courses and a method book.
  • On a joint learning platform eu one can test the digital maturity, get inspired by stories from partner regions, and improve skills using online training modules. We have consolidated the best from both projects to create an attractive learning platform.

Our journey will continue in the follow-up and sister projects and we are looking forward to many coming years of joint adventures.