Between 16-29 October, it took place the III Congreso Internacional “Cibersociedad 2023” (Cybersociety Congress 2023) in La Habana, Cuba. Convened by the Union of Computer Scientists of Cuba (UIC), under the motto “Digital transformation: Global-local connection”, the meeting was an ideal space to present the advances of the Cuban digital agenda within the framework of the digital transformation policy, along with other similar experiences at a global level, with emphasis on Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the EU-LAC Digital Accelerator being one of them.

Nearly 500 panelists and speakers from academia, policy-makers, business, new economic actors and entities driving innovation exchanged knowledge and expertise on highly relevant topics, grouped into thematic clusters. From Artificial Intelligence, Digital Skills, Business Digital Transformation, Next Generation Infrastructures (5G), to Digital Innovation and Industry 4.0. Approaching these topics academically and through the different experiences shown was a great opportunity to identify Cuba’s potential within the framework of the EU-LAC Digital Accelerator.

Likewise, the congress had more than 30 speakers from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Spain, Mexico, El Salvador, Portugal, Czech Republic, Venezuela and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as representatives of international organizations such as UNDP, UNESCO, WFP, European Union and regional entities, among them la Federación de Entidades de Tecnología de la Información de América Latina y el Caribe, España y Portugal (ALETI).

TECNALIA, the project coordinator, participated at Cybersociety Congress 2023 generating synergies between EU-LAC Digital Accelerator and the initiative Co-Lab Innovación Digital – Laboratorios de Innovación para la Transformación Digital de la Cultura. Our colleague, Naiara Uribe presented EU-LAC Digital Accelerator sharing objectives, partners, work methodology and emphasizing the importance that open innovation can acquire to generate alliances that contribute to the resolution of companies’ innovation challenges through the adoption of developed digital technologies by technology-based startups or MSMEs. The potential of innovation for digital transformation and the need for a favorable environment for the creation of these ecosystems that, at the national and local level, will energise the region were emphasised. Under this premise, an initiative aligned with digital transformation and open innovation such as the EU-LAC Digital Accelerator was not only a key and practical example for the participants, but also an opportunity that will allow them to extend the collaborative environment that the Digital Innovation Lab already promotes.

On another hand, Paco Prieto, participated in the Cybersociety Congress by facilitating a “training of trainers” workshop, which raised a great interest to those responsible for the Citizen Innovation Laboratories that make up the Co-Lab Network. The day after he gave a conference on Innovation Culture as a driver for Digital Transformation, in which he emphasised the importance of corporate leadership and the keys to organisational culture to convert subsisting companies into innovative companies. People are the ones who innovate, but they need leadership and an internal ecosystem that favors the Culture of Innovation. These messages gained great strength when linked to the EU-LAC Digital Accelerator as a channel to innovate and develop business internationally under the driver of digitalisation.

In addition to participating in the meeting, the organising entity, UIC, has been working for several years and making digitalisation visible through its Cuban Magazine of Digital Transformation. With more than 90 reader countries in the region, the magazine publishes the best works presented based on a peer evaluation of renowned scientists on the topics of the event. In 2023, among the highlighted topics for the EU-LAC Digital Accelerator were Digital Transformation in the Company and Digital Transformation Strategies and Policies.

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