ProACCIÓ 4.0 is the main programme in Catalonia to accelerate the transformation of SMEs and the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies.
ProACCIÓ 4.0 is a public programme that provides services, grants and activities to the Catalonian business ecosystem to increase their Industry 4.0 technology education, accessibility and implementation.

Launched and managed by the Catalonian regional government in 2019 with stakeholders such as the Catalan School of Industrial Engineers and the Chamber of Commerce, the creation of ProACCIÓ was in response to a low adoption rate of I4.0 technology by local industrial companies, despite Catalonia being the 5th most digitised region in Europe (DESI index, EC 2019).

A portfolio formed around three programme areas to lower SMEs’ barriers of adoption of I4.0 technology:

1. Awareness and training services: such as technology reports, demonstration of use cases, I4.0 technology courses for managers, and aiding company missions at international trade fairs for best-fit solution providers.

2. Provision of a supply-demand ecosystem: including brokerage activities (per sector or challenge) and an online database of over 1100 accredited suppliers that maps technology themes and geographic location for easy access by companies on the demand side.

3. Funding for diagnosis and implementation projects: providing vouchers for companies to use with over 350 accredited consultants to help develop their digital and I4.0 transformation roadmaps and carry out their implementation (e.g. development, testing, pilots and access to infrastructures and facilities).

Resources needed

The programme has directly provided to 1000 SMEs a public investment of over 12.5 M€ by the Catalonian regional government via Industry 4.0 vouchers for the Implementation of Industry 4.0 projects by technology adoption and for the diagnosis and elaboration of Digital Transformation Plans.

Evidence of success

Metrics in ProACCIÓ’s first two years (2019-2021):
- Digital and I4.0 transformation of more than 980 SMEs through funded diagnosis and technology implementation projects via vouchers.
- Growing ecosystem of more than 350 accredited advisors and 1100 I4.0 tech suppliers.
- Training, dissemination and marketplace sessions impacting over 4600 business professionals.

Difficulties encountered

- Crucial for Industrial SMEs to initiate their digital transformation with a diagnosis and roadmap, clearly identifying the priorities for implementation.
- Ecosystem involvement has been a key success factor (tech suppliers, advisors, stakeholders, European networks), acting as multipliers.

Potential for learning or transfer

I4.0 adoption barriers continue to manifest in regions across Europe, preventing SMEs from harnessing the business benefits of tecnologies such as IoT, AI, big data, 3D printing, robotics and VR/AR.
ProACCIÓ has funded 1000 projects in 2 years, overcoming common I4.0 transformation challenges through transferable approaches:
- Public funding via vouchers that allow SMEs to access accredited consultants and suppliers, focusing not just on implementation but also the initial step of diagnosing a company’s specific needs and potential.
- Brokerage events and a supplier database that facilitate access to the region’s supply of commercial I4.0 products and services, as well as bridging the tech know-how and capacities found at universities and technology centres to aid SMEs’ digital and I4.0 transformation.
- A holistic portfolio of services and funding that address each stage of an SME’s readiness for I4.0 adoption: e.g. awareness, training, diagnosis, implementation.
Main institution
Regional Government of Cataluña
Cataluña, Spain (España)
Start Date
November 2019
End Date


Sandra Perez Please login to contact the author.