The Cambodia Academy of Digital Technology (CADT) and EuroCham on June 8 entered into a multifaceted memorandum of understanding (MoU) to lay the groundwork toward the government’s goal of an advanced digital economy.

As part of the MoU, a working group will be formed to add value to industries by pushing for tech adoption, facilitating internships, and providing private sector insight for the digital economy.

The deal also encompasses the “50 programme”, under which the European Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia (EuroCham) is to provide 50 hours of training to university students selected by the CADT.

As per the agreement, the institutions will also host conferences, networking events, and training workshops for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME), to promote the digital economy.

The MoU was signed by EuroCham deputy executive director Thomas Hesketh, EuroCham Digital and Technology Committee chairman Matthew Tippetts, and CADT president Seng Sopheap.

At the signing ceremony, Sopheap said that digital innovation is a cross-sectoral process that poses challenges for local and international companies, and that teaming up with EuroCham to advance digital transformations and improve competitiveness was “a natural step”.

The cooperation between the institutions’ research and development teams means more tailored services and new opportunities for the young talented students picked by CADT, he said.

“We are also excited to bring our ecosystem together with EuroCham members to raise awareness and create new initiatives, such as career fairs and technology promotion events. One highlight I’m really excited about is called the ‘50 programme’.

“EuroCham members will spend 50 hours with our students in the form of workshops and seminars to close the skill gap and boost insights on both ends,” Sopheap said.

To support Cambodia’s booming digital ecosystem, data-driven Industry 4.0 technologies and systems will provide “the missing building blocks” to connect processes and value chains across all sectors, beyond the barriers of the conventional manufacturing industry, for smarter business decisions, he said.

“Using the right tools and having a strategy will be paramount for not missing out on opportunities for data-driven and automated businesses,” he added.

Speaking at the ceremony, EuroCham’s Tippetts said: “This MoU is the first step in a synergistic partnership between EuroCham and the CADT.

“Our members can share their knowledge and expertise with CADT students while also working much closer on training initiatives, internships and recruitment. We are very honoured and enthusiastic about this opportunity,” he said.

Not present at the event, EuroCham executive director Denis Sainte-Marie said in a press statement that the MoU would better enable his institution to support the digitalisation of the economy.

“Our goals include attracting top European tech companies to the Kingdom while also helping to develop local talent. We commend the progress already made by the RGC [Royal Government of Cambodia] in developing e-government services,” he said.

Minister of Post and Telecommunications Chea Vandeth, who presided over the ceremony, hailed the MoU as a “good illustration of real cooperation” between academia and industry.

“This cooperation not only promotes the digital transformation of enterprises but also contributes to the development of digital talents through a work-based learning programme.

“This programme will allow students to get hands-on experience that provides them with work-ready skills required by the industry and improves their employability for the current and future job market,” he said.

The Institute of Digital Research and Innovation (IDRI), Institute of Digital Technology (IDT) and Institute of Digital Governance (IDG) – all under the CADT – are to assume key roles in carrying out the MoU.