(St. John`s, NL, 25 April 2014) To advance opportunities in digital technologies in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Provincial Government has provided $32,207 to the Harris Centre at Memorial University. Funding will allow the Harris Centre to establish a project management committee to examine the potential of participating in the European Regions Network for the Application of Communications Technology (ERNACT). ERNACT regions work together to develop and transfer practical e-services for citizens and business in order to optimize business success.

Then minister of IBRD, Terry French, was quoted in the release as follows: “Our government is focused on supporting business prospects that encourage success in the global marketplace. Becoming an ERNACT region may provide opportunities for Newfoundland and Labrador businesses to take advantage of the network’s capability in advancing their commercial, trade, academic, and research and development goals. Keeping pace with emerging technologies is critical for business success and the Provincial Government firmly supports initiatives that help create new opportunities in innovation and technology.”

Established in 1991 to pursue joint funding and development opportunities in digital technologies, the ERNACT network extends to regions in Spain, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Romania, and is currently seeking additional interested regions. Dr. Blair Winsor from Memorial University’s Faculty of Business Administration, who specializes in small enterprise and innovation, will sit on the project management committee and assist the team in their assessment of opportunities for the province in ERNACT.

“Engaging with our European partners with ERNACT on this initiative is a logical extension of the Harris Centre’s role as facilitator of regional development and public policy and is consistent with Memorial’s long history of working with partners around the North Atlantic,” said Dr. Rob Greenwood, Executive Director, The Harris Centre, in an extended quote in the same release. “ERNACT also builds on our recent project on Advancing Innovation in Newfoundland and Labrador, and could lead to new opportunities for collaboration by innovation stakeholders in the province ranging from community organizations and industry to government and the post-secondary sector,” he said.

Participating ERNACT regions have demonstrated a strong record of advancement in digital technology growth and management. Additional information on ERNACT can be found at: www.ernact.net .

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CONTACT: Diane Keough, Communications Coordinator, The Harris Centre, Memorial University; 709-864-3739; diane.keough@mun.ca