Digitalización industrialIndustrial digitalization

What, how and when of the European Funds for industrial transformation

By 5 October, 2021 No Comments
Grants and financing

Companies and organizations, like people, sometimes need incentives to help them solve certain situations, face crises or obstacles, and keep moving forward.

A drive to improve and surpass yourself.

Today, companies have different support and financing mechanisms activated to stimulate recovery and growth. These plans are that important impulse to undertake the necessary transformations and modernize its processes, make them more efficient and flexible in the face of a changing and challenging environment.
We are going to break down the different lines of support, both European and national, that Spanish companies can opt for.

The NextGenerationEU funds have been created by the European Union to address the economic consequences of COVID19 and to accelerate the digital and ecological transition of member countries. Transfers for the period 2021/2023 will be carried out through two main instruments or mechanisms:

Recovery and Resilience Mechanism (RRM): this is endowed with €69.5 billion in direct transfers or grants. It will finance investment and reform projects aligned with policy levers. Only non-recurrent expenditure will be financed.

React-EU: endowed with 12,000 million euros, in collaboration with the autonomous communities, it will be managed through ERDF, ESF and EAFRD funds. They are earmarked for maintaining employment (ERTE and self-employed), youth employment, social services, health, affected sectors and working capital for companies. They will reach 100% of eligible expenditure.

In addition to these funds, there are other mechanisms and aid already offered by the European Union and which are still in force, promoting investment and development in member countries, the Structural Funds and the Horizon Europe Programme.


In Spain, European NextGenerationEU aid is channelled through the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR). An initiative designed by the Government to manage and guide the 140,000 million that Spain may receive between 2021 and 2026, and which outlines the roadmap for the modernisation of the Spanish economy, the recovery of economic growth and job creation; seeking a solid, inclusive and resilient economic reconstruction after the COVID-19 crisis.

The plan is divided into 4 major cross-cutting areas – ecological transition, digital transformation (which will receive 33% of the funds), social and territorial cohesion, and gender equality – which are projected in different lever policies such as the one that is committed to “the modernisation and digitisation of the ecosystem of our companies”.

Within this policy, one of its points recognises “the need to promote a coherent plan for the digitisation of the entire value chain in key sectors, to take full advantage of the synergies and opportunities of new technological and data management developments, including projects that contribute to energy efficiency, the decarbonisation of the economy and the circular economy (…). Digitalisation can also help to facilitate information management and the improvement of environmental knowledge and parameters, the integration and systematisation of processes, the modernisation of management, the prevention of climate risks and the provision of comprehensive environmental services”.

This point (13 of the 30 global points) is implemented and developed through the SME Digitalisation Plan 2021-2025, which is part of the Spain Digital Agenda 2025 and will mobilise almost 5,000 million euros to support SMEs and the self-employed throughout their digitalisation process.

The plan aims to have an impact on the digitalisation processes of 1.5 million companies and businesses through various measures divided into five lines of action:

1. Boosting digitisation. This item has a budget of more than 3,000 million euros and is aimed at SMEs that integrate digital solutions into their internal management, customer relations, digital marketing activities and cybersecurity.

2. Change management. 656 million has been earmarked for training managers and staff in the digital management of the company. In addition, emphasis is placed on reducing the gender digital divide.

3. Disruptive innovation and global entrepreneurship. With a budget of 439 million euros, the aim is for startups and SMEs to benefit from the opportunities that will arise from the green economy using data, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things.

4. Support for sectoral digitalisation. The Government allocates 450 million euros to support the digitisation of key sectors, such as industry, commerce and tourism.

5. Coordination, efficiency and reforms. The fifth and final line of action of the SME Digitalisation Plan 2021-2025 focuses on the reform of instruments and support centres for innovation, digitalisation and entrepreneurship to provide advice and training, taking into account the needs of SMEs.

All open calls for proposals related to the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan can be consulted here.


Of the grants currently published on the aforementioned portal, the call for applications dated 8 September 2021 stands out: Grants 2021 for research and development projects in Artificial Intelligence and other digital technologies and their integration into value chains.

Among other actions, this includes those that address technological development and entrepreneurship in the face of societal challenges and that promote the development of the knowledge and technologies needed to address and seek solutions to the problems associated with these challenges, incorporating research, technological development and innovation in the broadest sense. (technological maturity level: TRLs 6-8).

The projects supported under this call will be industrial research and experimental development projects involving actions related to any of the following digital technologies:

a) Artificial Intelligence: Machine Learning; Deep Learning; neural networks.
b) Internet of Things (IoT).
c) Massive data and information processing technologies (Open/Linked/Big Data).
d) High performance computing.
e) Cloud computing.
f) Natural language processing
(g) Cybersecurity; biometrics and digital identity.
(h) blockchain)
i) Robotics
j) Virtual and augmented reality, special effects and simulation.
k) 3D printing and additive manufacturing.

The deadline for submitting applications is 8 October 2021 and the execution period is 20 months after the award. Contact us and we will help you to plan your project for this call.

Other national aid

There is currently other aid in force aimed at promoting industrial development, reinforcing competitiveness and maintaining industrial capacities within Spanish territory.

This is the case of the Productive Industrial Investment Support Fund (FAIIP). Endowed with 600 million euros for the year 2021, it is the evolution of the Ministry of Industry’s REINDUS programme. The fund finances private commercial companies and cooperatives that develop or will develop a productive industrial activity and industrial services.

The projects that can be financed by the FAIIP are the creation and relocation of industrial establishments and improvements and/or modifications to production lines; expressly including the productive implementation of “Connected Industry 4.0” technologies and actions oriented towards environmental sustainability.

In turn, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism will maintain its free advice service Financia Industria for industrial entrepreneurs who want to explore possibilities of public financing, also providing information and advice on this new fund.

To navigate and search among the many public state aids, we have at our disposal the web portal: Sistema Nacional de Publicidad de Subvenciones y Ayudas Públicas (National Publicity System for Public Subsidies and Grants).

In addition to all the aid and financial support of European or state origin, we must add the different plans that the Autonomous Communities are making available to both SMEs and large industry, for industrial modernisation and digital transformation.

Get a boost. Maval.

These economic and financial aids that companies can find now are a really useful and useful tool for any organization that wants to take that boost: to advance and better position itself in the global market and in front of its competition.

If you want us to accompany you, we want to be part of that impulse.