SMEs Voucher aims to promote the definition of its own technological strategy, with a view to improve companies’ competitiveness, in line with Industry 4.0
Vale Indústria 4.0 (Industry 4.0 Voucher) is part of the Vale Inovação (Innovation Voucher) modality of the SME Qualification under the Portugal’s 2020 programme, Competitiveness and Internationalisation axis, managed by Operational Programme Competitiveness and Internationalisation (COMPETE 2020), and applies to the entire Portuguese territory with specific calls for the operational programs of each region.
It supports individual SME projects, for a maximum period of 12 months, aimed at acquiring consultancy services to diagnose the current situation and identify a strategy leading to the adoption of technologies linked to Industry 4.0.
This GP has as its main objective the promotion of technological strategies that lead to the digital transformation of SMEs,through the adoption of Technologies that allow disruptive changes in the business models of SMEs through the acquisition of consulting services to identify a strategy leading to the adoption of technologies and processes associated with Industry 4.0, namely in the areas of design and implementation of strategies applied to digital channels for managing markets, channels, products or customer segments; design, implementation, optimization of Web Content Management (WCM) platforms, Campaign Management, E-Commerce, etc.
These vouchers have a unit value of 7.500 euros. Non Refundable Incentive of 75% with a limit of 7.500 euros
The beneficiaries of this measure are SMEs of any kind and in any legal form.
It is expected to support over 1500 companies, representing a public investment of 12 million euros from National, EU and Private Funds. It is necessary to have accredited entities in charge of consultancy services and technology supply to SMEs within Industry 4.0.
Evidence of success
So far, Industry 4.0 Voucher received 1,230 applications, 279 of which obtained funding, and a total investment of around 2.8 million euros was approved. These projects represent about 31% of funded projects, but only 0.4% of approved investment.
Lack of digital skills is the main challenge identified in companies. Therefore, one of the great challenges for them is to be able to recruit the most competent talents, as well as to train the existing ones, so that they can help the company to implement all digitization processes.
Potential for learning or transfer
Considering the challenges that companies face in terms of adaptation to the Industry 4.0 paradigm, this measure emerges as an important incentive to support the digital transformation in Portuguese SMEs, making them more competitive in the context of Industry 4.0.
Besides providing SMEs with an instrument to support digital transformation, this practice also supports the development of a diagnosis that produces a set of recommendations to define an action plan for the digitization of their processes.
This diagnosis will allow them to know in detail the current situation and identify a strategy leading to the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies and processes, namely in the areas of design and implementation of strategies applied to digital channels for managing markets, products or customer segments; design, implementation, optimization of Web Content Management (WCM) platforms, Campaign Management, Customer Relationship Management and E-Commerce, etc.