Portugal i4.0 is the Portuguese strategy to develop industry in the digital area. The aim is to put Portugal at the forefront of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Portugal is part of the group of medium performers among EU Member States when it comes to digitalisation. The country performs well below the EU-average in terms of Human Capital. To further support this, a general digitalisation strategy for the industry called ‘Industry 4.0 Programme’ was established in 2017 by the Ministry of Economy as part of the National Strategy for the Digitisation of the Economy. The work on the national strategy Industry 4.0 Programme began in April 2016 using a bottom-up approach with a consultation of about 120 stakeholders that included 88 companies, academics, associations and national authorities through interviews, workshops and hearings. The outcome of this consultation was a list of proposed measures to accelerate the adoption of industry 4.0 by national companies that was then validated by the Strategic Committee composed of representatives of the government, national authorities and private sector.
Phase I of the Programme, which was mainly focused on raising awareness about industry 4.0 among Portuguese companies and the general public, was concluded at the end of 2018. Phase II of the Programme was launched in April 2019 and integrates 3 axes – Generalise, Capacitate and Assimilate, with a more concrete focus on innovation and knowledge development to stimulate transition to industry 4.0. At this stage of the Programme, the Government aims to stimulate economic and social growth through a mass digital transformation of business models
Investments of 414M EUR (100% supported by EU funds) and up to 2.26bn EUR in incentives, via Portugal 2020, for the development of awareness and adoption of technologies associated with the Industry 4.0 concept, which is foreseen for the next 4 years (2017-2020).
Evidence of success
A monitoring tool on impacts has been developed to showcase the direct connection between policy lines and possible impact. Out of the 64 measures, 95% were implemented impacting more than 24,000 companies and more than 550,000 people.
The 10-year goals of the Industry 4.0 Programme are to involve 20,000 companies, to train and to upskill 200,000 workers, and to finance 350 transforming projects.
The availability of digital competencies adjusted to the development of i4.0 projects, access to finance to support the transition, and adaptation of management mechanisms in most companies represent the main challenges to progress in industry 4.0.
Potential for learning or transfer
This practice has potential of transferability to other countries. There are some key aspects to take into account for it to be successful:
- To ensure private funding.
- To involve private companies in the development and funding of the measures is considered a key factor.
- The design of the strategy relies on a bottom-up approach involving and engaging with industry, scientific and education stakeholders, in order to determine the needs and potentials of the industry.
- Bring on board relevant stakeholders representing the whole value chain of the key sectors for the country economy.
- It is fundamental the engagement of all economic operators, in particular multinational companies, since these actors play a central role in steering activities and applying private measures.
- The use of a digital platform for the management and implementation of Indústria 4.0 ensures that all the actors are well connected, while facilitating the application and management of the measures.
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