To encourage SMEs to allocate money for technology audits, which would help them to evaluate their possibilities to digitalize their production processes
Supported activities: 1. technology audits (50 % of eligible costs), 2. automatization of manufacturing processes, implementation of digital technologies, according to audit results (45 % of eligible costs for very small and small enterpr.; 55 % of eligible costs for medium enterpr.;). Potential applicants: Manufacturing SMEs. The maximum amount of funding (ESF): Very small and small – 1 000 000 Eur (min 20 000 eur); Medium - 2 900 000 Eur (min 100 000 eur); For technology audit - 20 000 Eur. Priority criteria (minimum score is 30 (out of 100)): 1. Growth of applicant productivity. 2. Share of applicants private investment to fixed assets, created by the project. 3. Integrated digital technologies, applied in the project, correspond with Priority academical research and experimental and innovation development priority implementation programme. Eligible costs: - technology audits - automatization of manufacturing processes - implementation of digital technologies; - purchase or rent manufacturing equipment; - employees’, working with gained digital technologies, salaries. Eligible SMEs: - has to be active 1 year - annual income from its own production during last 3 years not less than 145 000 eur - at least 1 digital technology or 1 digital technology and digital decision has to be introduced in the project. Main result – growth of work productivity.
Enterprises have to have knowledge about what technology audits is and what kind of automatization of manufacturing processes, implementation of digital technologies they need. They also have to understand that digitization changes are necessary and useful for the company. Difficult evaluation.
Evidence of success
Measure was very popular during 2 calls. On the 2nd call 160 applications were received for 67 mln Eur (in PFC it was foreseen only 15 mln Eur.). According to huge request and good quality of applications EIM financed 124 applications for 53 mln Eur. 124 industrial enterprises will be able to evaluate more effectively their need for digitalization of their production process and to implement the necessary equipment. 80 small and very small & 44 medium ent. will implement projects.
1. To evaluate 4.5 times more applications than expected in time. 2. To find additional financial recourses (3,5 time more than planned). 3. Timing of the call (during the economy closure because of Covid). 4. Difficult evaluation of eligibility criteria 5. High competition of applicants.
Potential for learning or transfer
Measure was planned in good way as it was of a great interest of companies and its 2nd PFC was improved only a little: 1. If applied eligible sum is bigger than one in PFC, Intermediate body can apply to Ministry for a bigger sum. 2. Copy of technology audit agreement was added to required annexes. 3. If company borrows money from financial institution, it has to provide copy of this treaty. 4. If the loan is taken not from the bank, company has to prove it’s capability to lend money. 5. If insurance event happens, company has to restore lost assets. 6. Company has to start project after 3 months from the treaty. 2 months extension was added to the 2nd call. Good things that were used form the 1st PFC: 1. Call was for SMEs only. 2. Very small, small and medium enterprises competed separately. 3. The score to get financing was low enough (30 out of 100) – for more ent. to be financed 4. The min and max sums for one company were enough. 5. 1 ent. – 1 project (no partners).