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DIGITAL4Business, a pan-European consortium that includes Skillnet Ireland and 14 other partners from seven countries, is developing a market-led European Masters Programme that focuses on practical applications of advanced digital skills within European businesses. DIGITAL4Business consists of higher education institutes, research centres, training providers, and industry partners, and it is funded by the European Union for a duration of four years with €19.92m.  

DIGITAL4Business is one of the largest non-infrastructure projects to be awarded under the European Commission’s DIGITAL Europe Programme, which aims to accelerate the economic recovery and promote digital transformation in Europe’s society with funding of €7.5 billion. 

The programme launched at the National College of Ireland (NCI) will have both academic and industry accreditation and will aid businesses in achieving long-term competitiveness and growth through digital innovation and transformation.  

The programme’s core will be industry-driven, continually adapting to address the current and future needs of the industry. It aims to develop graduates to fill crucial roles that are high in demand and critical to the success of European businesses.  

The graduates will become the next generation of ‘Digital Decision Makers’ and business professionals with knowledge in advanced digital skills.  

The launch event in NCI was marked by a number of distinguished speakers.  

Paul Healy, Chief Executive, Skillnet Ireland said: “As Ireland’s business support agency spearheading workforce development, we are pleased to play our part in the DIGITAL4Business initiative to help businesses to achieve long-term competitiveness and growth through digital transformation and innovation. The new European Masters Programme in Advanced Digital Skills will enhance the capacity of the workforce in the practical application of digital skills for European companies and SMEs. At a time when the digitalisation of the workplace is more important than ever, we at Skillnet Ireland are proud to respond to the business needs of business leaders, professionals, and graduates in Ireland and across Europe.” 

Simon Harris TD, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science,  said: “I commend all members of the consortium, including my own agency Skillnet Ireland, and all partners for coming together to deliver this exciting project.” 

“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 and I send you my wholehearted support as you launch this morning.” 

Dara Calleary TD, Minister of State for Trade Promotion and Digital Transformation, addressed the launch event at the NCI, stating: “Embracing digital technologies is crucial for our continued economic progress as well as for meeting the demands of our people in a modern society.  

“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.” 

Horacio Gonzalez-Vélez, Head of Cloud Competency Centre and NCI’s principal investigator at DIGITAL4Business said: “As the world rapidly shifts towards a digital future, mastering digital skills and investing in research and innovation on AI, Cybersecurity, and Cloud Computing is crucial for Europe, to remain competitive and ensure a sustainable and prosperous future. DIGITAL4Business provides practical industry-focused digital skills to graduates, and National College of Ireland is excited to contribute to meeting the current and future needs of SMEs and Companies.” 

Jeff Sheridan, Matrix Internet MD and project partner said: “Making a difference is important to our team and Matrix is proud to be digitally empowering businesses and people across the EU’s 450 million humans. The EU’s Digital Decade vision aligns with Irish values recently highlighted by Ursula von der Leyen – innovation, optimism and inclusion.” 

European companies and SMEs are invited to register their interest in participating in the design and development of the new programme at

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