Programme with aim to support digital transformation of SMEs through the uptake of advanced technologies and their implementation in the business practices
Support programme under the Operation program of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Priority Axis 2 Development of SMEs’ entrepreneurship and competitiveness, Specific Objective 2.1 Enhancing competitiveness of start-ups and developing SMEs.
The main aim of the programme is to support the growth and competitiveness of SMEs by means of digital transformation, thus contributing to the development of regions.
Eligible applicants are SMEs and only projects with an already developed strategy for their digital transformation can be supported. The support is provided through the acquisition of new technological devices and equipment, which must be connected to existing or newly acquired technologies and information systems (IS or ERP, MES, MIS) and other implemented modules integrating all or most areas of business activity, especially production planning and management, inventory, purchasing, sales, finance, human resources, etc. During the assessment process, the planned digital maturity level after the implementation of the project, i.e. progress in digital transformation, is evaluated.
Eligible epxenditure are expenditure on the purchase of production and non-production technologies, machinery and operating units and also on the purchase of hardware and local networks, including related software. Expenditure and supplies related to technology installation and network building if such expenditure is to be accounted for under the relevant technology or hardware.
Budget for the programme: Approx. EUR 201 795 917. In last call, the aid is granted under aid intensity schemes of 45% (for small-sized entities) or 35% (for medium-sized entities)
Evidence of success
The programme Technology allows for the acquisition of new machines, technological equipment and facilities. Under the programme it is possible to obtain support for the digital transformation of SMEs. So far, more than 160 projects focused on digital transformation and automation of manufacturing processes were supported.
During the preparation of the last, 13th call of the programme, the challenge was clarification contentious parts, elimination of irrelevant criteria and clearer formulation of important points.
Potential for learning or transfer
The programme was developed as a brand-new programme tailored specifically to the needs of SMEs in supporting their digital transformation and automation of manufacturing processes. The programme was re-designed to intensify the uptake of innovative solutions in the area of Industry 4.0 in SMEs. The programme is complemented by another support programme, which provides grants for the development of digital implementation strategies with the help of external expert organizations in the field of I4.0. The complementary programme thus supports the initial stage of the strategy development, which can be then implemented within the Technology programme.