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Project EAGLE is a pan-European consortium in which Skillnet Ireland is collaborating with 10 partners from 7 countries. The project which is funded by the European Commission under the Digital Europe programme, will run for 3 years with a total funding of €2.3 million and is tackling advanced digital skills gaps throughout European SMEs.  

The gaps are being addressed through the design, development, and delivery of high-quality specialised training in key digital capacity areas which include Cybersecurity, Big Data, Robotics, Blockchain, and Smart Energy. 

Industry-themed focus groups 

As part of our commitments within project EAGLE, Skillnet Ireland in conjunction with the University of Limerick (UL), coordinated the delivery of two industry-themed focus groups in May 2023. The focus groups which were hosted by Shannon Chamber Skillnet and Limerick Chamber Skillnet saw representatives from 20+ cross-sectoral SMEs assemble to define and prioritise their digital capacity needs. The data gathered throughout these facilitated sessions will be leveraged to inform the design and delivery of a data analytics programme by UL, ensuring Skillnet Ireland’s efforts and the wider project eco-system deliver user-centric outcomes which will bring sustainable impacts beyond the lifetime of the project. 

Valerie Rousselin Somerville, EU Funding Manager, Skillnet Ireland said “Skillnet Ireland is delighted to be part of this ambitious project. Through project EAGLE, we will build a partnership between industry representatives and universities in 7 EU countries to empower SMEs in Ireland and in Europe with advanced digital skills. The success of these focus groups reflects our deep roots with enterprise, which allows us to engage with industry to respond to policy and skills challenges in a proactive and agile manner, through our Skillnet Business Networks.”  

The wider transnational effort to define digital skills needs 

Beyond the national perspective, these focus groups are feeding into a wider transnational effort in defining digital skills needs throughout European SMEs. Our counterparts within Project EAGLE are conducting similar efforts throughout their respective countries and there are plans to publish a pan-European digital skills needs analysis over the summer.  

As we near the conclusion of the skills needs analysis phase, the project’s attention will turn to programme design and delivery. This will involve continued close collaboration between business support agencies such as Skillnet Ireland, and universities throughout Europe in ensuring that these digital skills programmes continuously meet the needs of European SMEs, and ultimately support the growth and development of these sectors through the development of a talented and future-ready workforce which is equipped with critical knowledge and skills.  

Keep up to date on the project EAGLE website

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