The Government will invest EUR 11 billion for the digitization of SMEs and the public administration, and to strengthen the digital skills of the population as a whole between 2021 and 2023
- The President of the Government presents three new plans for the deployment of the Spain Digital 2025 Agenda, presented in July 2020
- The SME Digitization Plan will have a public investment of almost 5 billion euros, to support the growth, competitiveness and internationalization of 1.5 million small and medium-sized enterprises, autonomous and micropymes, by boosting their digital transfomation, including investment in training and digital tools, such as websites, business management applications, digital marketing or internet sales channels
- In addition to horizontal instruments for the economy as a whole, the Plan provides for specific programmes for the digitization of the industry, trade and tourism sectors
- The Public Administration Digitization Plan will have an investment of 2.6 billion euros to move towards a simpler, more agile and efficient administration for the citizen, of which at least 600 will go to autonomous communities and local corporations
- The National Digital Skills Plan, with 3.75 billion public investment, will reduce different digital gaps and train citizens for future professional environments by acting in education, FP, universities and in the training of managers, with a special focus on closing the gender gap
- These three plans, together with the three previously published, form the main core of the Spain Digital 2025 Agenda and the digitalization axis of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan of the Spanish economy, which plans to allocate to this objective a third of the total public investment
The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, today presented three central plans of the Spain Digital 2025 Agenda: the SME Digitalization Plan, the Digitalization Plan of Public Administrations and the National Digital Skills Plan. The three plans will have an expected public investment of more than 11 billion euros over the next three years with the aim of promoting the reforms and transformations necessary to advance spain's digitalization process and towards a more resilient and inclusive economy. The event was also attended by the third vice president and Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño.
With the approval of these three plans, including within the main strategic axes envisaged in both the Spain Digital 2025 Agenda and the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, the Government continues to take steps forward in its commitment to digitization as one of the levers of change for the recovery of the economy, the productive fabric and employment , as well as for the digital transformation of the Administration.
As of December 2020, three more plans were already presented to promote the deployment of the Spain Digital 2025 Agenda. In particular, the Connectivity Plan, with a public investment of more than 2.3 billion euros until 2025; the 5G Impulse Strategy, which will mobilize 2 billion public funds by 2025, and the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy with a public investment of another 600 million euros in the period 2021-2023.
These initiatives, in addition to the plans approved today, provide for a mobilisation of more than EUR 15.4 billion in public investment, which will be financed by EU funds from the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism. One third of the Recovery Plan budget is earmarked for the boost of digitisation, which is one of its four cross-cutting axes alongside ecological transition, gender equality and territorial and social cohesion.
SME Digitization Plan
The SME Digitization Plan provides for public investment of about EUR 5 billion by 2023 to accelerate the digitization of 1,500,000 small and medium-sized enterprises. At least 1,200,000 of these companies are expected to be self-employed and micro-enterprises, representing 80% of the total.
This Digitalization Plan is included in component 13 of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan presented by the Government on 7 October 2020, focusing on boosting SMEs.
The digital transformation of SMEs is a process of innovation and change in business organizations resulting from the integration of digital capacities, technologies and services and is a key element for increased productivity, internationalization, potential growth and the closure of social, territorial and gender gaps.
In addition to driving the basic digitization of SMEs, the Plan calls for the drive for disruptive innovation (Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data) to take advantage of the opportunities of the data economy through scalable programs that will be deployed through public-private collaboration.
Axes of action
To achieve these objectives, four main axes of action and a fifth horizontal axis have been proposed:
1. The impetus to the basic digitization of the company has more than 3 billion euros of budget to ensure that the largest number of SMEs integrate existing digital solutions to modernize, for example, its internal management, customer and management relationship, or digital marketing, also boosting connectivity cybersecurity and tools for the development of collaborative networks and business clusters.
2. Support for change management, with a budget of EUR 656 million, will serve to promote the training of managers and staff in the digital management of the company, with particular attention to reducing the digital gender gap and training to young digitisation experts who can act as agents of the transformation of SMEs.
3. Disruptive innovation and digital entrepreneurship will have a budget of EUR 439 million for SMEs and startups to take advantage of the opportunities of the data-driven green and digital economy.
4. Support for sectoral digitisation has a budget of EUR 450 million to boost the digitization of the industry, trade and tourism sectors.
5. Reform of tools and networks to support the entrepreneurship, innovation and digitisation of SMEs to strengthen their complementarity and effectiveness throughout the national territory.
Highlights of the SME Digitization Plan
• Digital Toolkit is the most ambitious programme of this plan, has 3 billion euros for its implementation and is intended to finance the integration into SMEs of a set of basic digitization packages (enabling tools, training, website, ERP resource management system, CRM customer management system, online sales, digital marketing, cybersecurity) that will enable the effective implementation of e-commerce in a secure and reliable way, the digitization of relationships with Management and with customers, the development of internal processes without papers, the implementation of e-invoicing, or digital marketing.
For their deployment and implementation, different instruments of public-private collaboration will be considered to accelerate the digitization of SMEs, especially micropymes and freelancers.
• Connectivity Bonuses is the program that will provide assistance to SMEs so that they can have an internet connection and thus be able to incorporate the basic digitization packages to increase productivity through remote work, communication with customers and suppliers and the incorporation of new technologies. This programme has an expected investment of EUR 50 million.
• Agents of Change is a program that has 300 million euros to finance the incorporation of digital transformation professionals in SMEs to develop their digitalization plan and accelerate their digital transformation. The agents of change may have formed, in turn, in the 100 million Expert Programme to train young experts in the digitization of SMEs.
• Business Entrepreneurship Support Programs include a number of measures to boost digital entrepreneurship and fast-growing start-ups, such as startups. These include the creation of the National Entrepreneurship Office that will act as a virtual platform that serves as a reference for SMEs, freelancers and start-ups, the program to support the creation of startups by women entrepreneurs, the web portal startups that serve as a showcase for the Spanish ecosystem or the deployment of a network of entrepreneurship support centers that promotes a network of public and private centers or hubs of incubators, accelerators, and entrepreneurship centers. This programme plans to invest EUR 182 million.
Public Administration Digitization Plan
The Digitalization Plan of Public Administrations is one of the main elements of component 11 of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, of modernization of public administrations.
This Plan plans to mobilize public investment of at least EUR 2.6 billion over the next three years, of which at least 600 million will be specifically earmarked for autonomous communities and local corporations for the development of digital public services throughout the territory. The objective of the Plan is to improve the accessibility of public services to citizens and businesses with all guarantees for the protection of personal and business data, to overcome social and territorial digital gaps and to promote the efficiency of public administrations by digitizing important tractor areas such as Health, Justice, or Employment Policies, consular services or territorial administration in the field of inclusion.
High-impact projects on the digitization of the Public Sector will have an investment of 1,040 million euros. For example, in health matters interoperability for information management of the various Autonomous Communities will be strengthened to improve service, apply artificial intelligence to data analysis and address health emergencies; in the judicial field, the Ministry of Justice has developed the Justice Plan 2030 to improve digital services for citizens, businesses and collectives and to move towards sustainable judicial management over time; and employment will improve information systems supporting unemployment benefits and employment activation policies. All this, with the appropriate guarantees for the rights of citizens and companies in data matters.
With this Plan, progress is made towards a 21st Century Administration by including reforms and investments that will improve both administrative procedures, digital competencies and available resources. The public sector of the different administrations will serve as a point of support and lever for the major transformations that Spain requires in the digital field. This programme will also support the digital transformation of regional and local administrations, consistent with the guidelines set for the General Administration of the State during this period.
The Plan will increase the efficiency of public administrations, by strengthening shared means and services, thus generating a series of synergies and very significant cost savings that ensure the sustainability of investments and provide more means and instruments for achieving the objectives of resilience, climate change, environment, digital transition, public health and territorial cohesion.
In addition, and in coherence with the Connectivity and Digital Infrastructure Plan, better digital connectivity in public centres will promote the better provision of the new services contained in this Digitalization Plan of Public Administrations, such as telemedicine.
To this end, the Plan will be structured into three axes of action:
1. Digitally transform Management with cross-cutting initiatives for the deployment of efficient, secure and easy-to-use public services and for the generalization of access to emerging technologies.
2. Deploy scanning tractor projects, for example in the areas of Health, Justice or Employment.
3. Support the digitization of territorial administrations, Autonomous Communities and Local Entities.
Key measures of the Public Administration Digitization Plan
• App Factory: An initiative to enhance the development of quality mobile applications with which to improve access to public services, bring the Administration closer to the public and facilitate a smoother and closer relationship. The goal is that by the end of 2025 half of the utilities are available on mobile app.
• One-Click Administration: It will provide citizens and businesses with access to the information and digital public services of the General Administration of the State. A measure that will prevent the dispersion of information and reduce barriers to the consultation of information and the use of services.
• GobTechLab: The initiative will launch an innovation laboratory of the General Administration of the State to improve the experience in the use of digital public services through citizen participation, collaborative creation and innovation in public services. This project envisages the development of an open space where you can experience public services with citizens and companies and collect their opinions or suggestions for their improvement. The main areas of application will be emerging technologies such as AI, data analytics and blockchain.
National Digital Skills Plan
Finally, the National Digital Skills Plan develops components 19, 20 and 21 of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan to respond to the need to develop the digital skills and skills of both workers and citizens as a whole, in order to drive quality job creation, reduce unemployment, increase productivity and help close gender gaps , social and territorial.
The Plan will mobilize a total of 3.75 billion euros in the period 2021-2023 and aims to achieve a level of digital training among Spanish citizens that meets the challenge of the digitization process.
Seven lines of action have been established for this purpose:
1. Digital training of citizens with special emphasis on groups at risk of digital exclusion and also includes a free mass access online offer (MOOC).
2. Combating the digital gender gap mby promoting women's digital training.
3. The digitization of education and the development of digital skills for learning with the incorporation of digital and programming skills into the curriculums of the mandatory stages.
4. Training in digital skills throughout working life for unemployed and busy people in the private sector.
5. Training in digital skills for public employment.
6. The development of digital skills for SMEs.
7. The promotion of ICT specialists (both vocational and university training graduates).
Public-private collaboration will be key in identifying the needs and developing the different measures and projects of training programmes.
The different relevant ministries will lead the implementation of the different projects and measures working within the framework of their own sectoral conferences with the autonomous communities, through conventions and other instruments of public-private collaboration.
In order to coordinate actions by the public sector and also to promote public-private collaboration, a digital skills hub will be created,such as workspace, dialogue forum, knowledge network, idea lab and channel to spread the measures and results of the Plan.
Featured measures of the National Digital Skills Plan
• It willinvest in the digital training of the population as a whole throughout the national territory, including through massive online training courses and the reinforcement of the mentoring classrooms of the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, with special attention to smaller populations.
• Digitalization of the school, through the deployment of infrastructures, teacher training, educational techniques, reinforcement of STEM vocations (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and integration of computational thinking from the initial stages of education.
• Digital Vocational Training Plan: Reinforcing the supply of places in the digital field and the training of teachers in applied digitization, accelerating the modernization of the catalogue of titles to adapt it to the demand of the market, integrating digital competences in all curriculums. In addition, a digital training plan will be addressed in the field of labour and public administrations and a modular offer and certification systems will be developed to enable and boost the training of workers and their requalification throughout the working life.
• Combating the digital gender gap, through programs to promote scientific-technological vocations and digital training for women and girls. To this end, an orientation program will be incorporated into the school curriculum from Primary, with mentors for the development of female models in the digital field; and digital training in women professionals in the technology sector, in collaboration with companies, will be promoted to facilitate their incorporation into digital employment.
• Uni Digital Plan: In order to promote the digitization of the university, it will be invested in technical means and digital educational methodologies, and in teacher training. Digital training will also be included in the curriculum including assigning credits to MOOC programs as elements of Artificial Intelligence and developing a network of AI Centers of Excellence. In addition, administrative locks will be reduced to speed up the implementation of new university degrees.