On 8 March, as part of the EU RATIO project, we shared successful measures to support SMEs in the COVID crisis with project partners, entrepreneurs, business promoters and regional representatives.

The participants talked about the challenge they faced due to the Corona crisis in the last two years. Many enterprises have experienced financial difficulties. SMEs operating in the retail, events and tourism sectors were particularly affected.

The focus at the online workshop was on the numerous measures taken both by state institutions and by the companies themselves. Especially financial support and the promotion of digitalisation were at the forefront of the meeting on 8 March.

From Leipzig, the handling of the crisis by the augmented reality agency Sensape was presented and discussed. Before the crisis, the company was mainly active in trade fairs, events and retail. The artificial intelligence (AI) developed by the company sets the scene for brands, advises customers and promotes sales. Due to the crisis, this area has almost completely disappeared. The company has further developed its technology so that it can now offer solutions for digital customer entry. The system was then tested and successfully implemented in Leipzig City Library.

The Interreg Central Europe project RATIO was continued in a fifth call for an additional year. The focal theme of the project will be revisited during this period under the influence of the Corona pandemic. In the coming months, the exchange of experience between the European partners will continue.