Commission funds project to close the e-commerce gap between European regions

October 18, 2002

Brussels, 17 Oct 2002

The gap in the use of e-commerce between the most and least developed areas of Europe is growing, and is the focus of a 4.35 million euro project, partly funded by the Commission, called e-MINDER.

e-MINDER will target the regions of Cyprus, Galicia (Spain), and Pomerania (Poland), and hopes to enable SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in these areas to develop e-commerce capabilities, and consequently boost their regional economies.

In order to coordinate these activities effectively, a major aspect of the project involves the creation of leveraging centres in each of the regions. These independent centres will observe and assist the implementation of e-commerce activities in three main areas:

- improving innovation policies by promoting best practices that have proved successful in other European regions;

- encouraging enterprises to create new sales channels to become more competitive;

- raising e-commerce awareness through classroom-based activities for SMEs and in secondary education, to target present and future entrepreneurs.

This last point is seen as a key to the success of the project: initiatives must be targeted towards both enterprises and individuals. Through this dual approach, organisers hope that the e-commerce awareness in the region as a whole can be raised, and these less developed areas can begin to compete in the knowledge economy.

Partners in the project include universities, technology institutions and corporations and, as well as financing, all will be lending their particular expertise to the initiative through the leveraging centres. The two year project will run until September 2003.

For further information, please consult the following web address:

CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2001

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