The recently launched GIZ ICONE program Improved Competitiveness of National Enterprises (ICONE) starts cooperation with the Cambodia Academy of Digital Technology (CADT) to push digital transformation beyond Phnom Penh’s borders to Cambodia´s Northwestern provinces.  


On the 5th of April, Dr. Stefan Hanselmann, director of GIZ ICONE, and Dr. Sethserey Sam, director-general of the Institute of Digital Research and Innovation (IDRI) of CADT, signed a cooperation agreement to support enterprises in Cambodia’s Northwest, specifically in Siem Reap, Battambang and Banteay Meanchey, to increase their productivity and to advance their digital journey.

IDRI is CADTs flagship institute in promoting research and development of digital technologies and in transferring technologies to enterprises through their business development programs. The newly launched GIZ ICONE program implemented by Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), promotes the competitiveness of national enterprises by improving their productivity, efficiency, and capacities to innovate. Sharing the vision of promoting digital technologies beyond the vibrant IT ecosystem in Phnom Penh, both parties set forth activities to work together to close the digital gulf and advance digital solutions to give enterprises outside of Phnom Penh a competitive edge.

The cooperation includes the introduction of digital applications and solutions, digital skills training, and knowledge exchange events in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang, and Banteay Meanchey. Additionally, the GIZ ICONE and IDRI cooperation will promote data-driven innovation in the processing and manufacturing industries to create an environment that enables and supports  Cambodia´s journey towards a modern and diversified economy by applying Industry 4.0 solutions. This includes a newly designed internship program for CADT´s top students to selected companies in the target provinces. The cooperation also includes the capacity development of government officials and other relevant actors to foster a sustainable ecosystem for leveraging digital tools and technology to improve the capabilities and market reach of Cambodian companies.

Dr. Sopheap Seng, president of CADT, highlights that it is the right time to extend CADTs activities to more provinces and to bring digital solutions and talent to companies outside of Phnom Penh. He continues stressing that cooperation among all actors in the ecosystem is needed to push for Cambodian tech solutions developed for and by Cambodians to better life, education, and business beyond Phnom Penh.

Dr. Stefan Hanselmann points out in his opening remarks that closing the digital gap between Phnom Penh and economically evolving provinces is paramount for Cambodia’s long-term vision of becoming a resilient economy. This includes pushing for closing the digital gender gap and the empowerment of women-run businesses.

Dr. Hanselmann continues by stressing that having their office in the provinces and CADT having their innovation center in Phnom Penh, the cooperation is designated to close the digital gap by building bridges.

Robert Hoer, GIZ advisor and Chief Innovation and Entrepreneurship Officer at CADT, will elaborate on the talent placement program during the event with CADT students. According to Mr. Hör, the program is designed to place the CADT´s top students at promising enterprises to work on digital projects for three months. This matchmaking platform will not just increase the digital maturity of companies, but also the awareness of students about the digital gap between Phnom Penh companies and other regions, states Mr. Hoer.

Further information about the program can be found on the CADT and GIZ websites.


Dr. Stefan Hanselmann

GIZ ICONE Program Office
Treang Village, Sangkat Sla Kram
Siem Reap Municipality, Siem Reap Province

Telephone: +855 12 815 801