Meet the DIGIT team: ITKAM

1.Tell us more about the very beginning of DIGIT – the proposal, setting up the team and your very first impressions. 

ITKAM is a bilateral non-profit business organisation which supports German SMEs in doing business in and with Italy and Italian SMEs in doing business in and with Germany. In March 2020 ITKAM realised that during the COVID pandemic many European SMEs, especially in the agro-food sector, had to shut down or incurred considerable losses. ITKAM realised that the SMEs suffering the most were the ones which didn’t have a digital business strategy, that is to say, the SMEs which were missing a website, an online shop, a social media presence or the digital literacy to take part in digital events (e.g. digital B2Bs, digital trade fairs or other kinds of digital events). After assessing this need, ITKAM worked on a project proposal aimed at supporting small and medium businesses’ internationalisation through digitalisation, this is how the DIGIT Project was born. ITKAM decided to involve in the project partner organisations having on the one side experience in the field of inclusion and accessibility of online sources (this is the reason why PREDIF has been included in the consortium) and, on the other side, organisations devoted to the transmission of digital and internationalisation skills (this is the reason why ITKAM asked three secondary business schools – IES Clara del Rey in Madrid, Lycée Raymond Naves in Toulouse and BSGAV in Bremen to join the consortium). 

2. As project coordinator, what do you think is your biggest challenge and how was this one-year project?

The biggest effort in this first project year is certainly linked to the development of a workflow for all 6 consortium partners by establishing an activity calendar with the related deadlines in order to make sure that all KPIs are met on time. Because of the pandemic, the first consortium meetings could not take place in person and were remote. ITKAM as coordinator had to cope with the difficulty of transmitting the scope of the project and of its deadlines without having the chance to know every consortium partner, its worries and its strengths. Doubts and questions emerged during the production of the different Project Results. For this reason, ITKAM had to develop the ability to react to, correct and support other partners in order to channel their respective contributions into the project production. In September 2022 we had the chance to meet for the first time in person in Madrid and we could straight away notice the positive impact of a meeting in presence. Knowing the project partners in person and having the chance to communicate directly and face-to-face boosted content production, and content revision as well as the planning of future project steps. 

3. How do you think the DIGIT project can make a difference in providing relevant skills, knowledge, competencies, and tools to drive an inclusive digital transformation of the internationalisation process of EU SMEs in the agri-food industry?

I think that the major difference the DIGIT project will make will be related to its intent of providing and developing relevant digital skills supporting the internationalisation process of SMES starting straight away from the didactic programs of pupils who, in the future, will work as an export manager or as internationalisation consultants at various levels. There are already some courses providing digital competencies for small businesses but they address people who are already managing a company and perceive a digital gap and the need to fill it. The innovative value of our DIGIT course is related to the fact that it tries to avoid that the digital gap arising in the future and that SMEs can count on professionals who are already aware of the digital needs of an SME and know how to operate in order to satisfy them. The DIGIT’s distinctive feature is the fact that it incorporates digital technologies into subject-specific teaching, training and learning, adapting competencies to face the digital transformation of the internationalisation process.

4. What is the main result that DIGIT will deliver? 

The main result DIGIT will deliver will be an online course accessible for free to every student, VET learner or agro-food SME willing to deepen or acquire competencies related to digitalisation for internationalisation. This course will be:

  1. multimedia: it consists of PPT presentations,  tutorials, best practices and practical exercise
  2. in the four major EU languages (English, Spanish, French, German). All video materials will be moreover subtitled, thus enhancing the accessibility even on the side of SMEs which are not familiar with digital topics in a foreign language
  3. give both theoretical knowledge and practical suggestions 

The three features which have just been mentioned make DIGIT a one-of-a-kind online resource. 


Raffaella Saviori
Sonia Barani

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme under project number 2021-1-DE02-KA220-VET-000034657