COM³ was a project co-funded by the North Sea Region Programme 2014 - 2020.

19 partner institutions from seven North Sea Region countries worked together to support Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in rural areas in their digital transformation.

COM³ partners strengthened and empowered local and regional public authorities and business support organisations in their role as facilitators for the tech-adoption of small business in rural areas.

Through the learning platform ruraldigital.eu, COM³ partners provided tips and inspiration to help local SMEs thrive in a digital world. COM³ partners also created e-learning courses to help staff and developers in municipalities, regions and business support organisations to acquire the digital skills they need.



 Click on the image to access the learning platform ruraldigital.eu



COM³ is a change of mind-set with a focus on the mediatory role of local & regional authorities for improving the tech-readiness of rural businesses and exploiting local potentials for rural innovation and smarter growth. COM³ gives rise to tech-enabled and tech-branded rural areas built on their local environmental, socio-economic and cultural assets. The vulnerability of rural businesses and their uncertainty to the rapid technological changes along with shortages in infrastructure and competencies keep them often unable to effectively adopt fast evolving technologies. To overcome this, COM³ provides a unique model for local and regional authorities and enables them to create a dynamic environment for rural businesses in utilizing basic and advanced digital techs. The COM³ training & coaching model, connected hubs and matchmaking & mapping initiatives combined with a comprehendible set of regulatory, finance and security guiding measures & training will provide the structures needed to protect vulnerable small businesses and to create 9 tech-enabled and tech-branded rural areas in the NSR. COM³ partners test the jointly developed solutions in 9 regions from 7 NSR countries. They create a NSR roadmap and platform for digitalization of rural businesses and build a cross-border community around it. This will result in a 15% increase of tech adoption for rural businesses followed by an increase of the share of ICT in the local/regional GDPs in the pilot regions.