2022 has been the year in which the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR) has gained momentum, which articulates the support from the European Next Generation EU Fund. This is the biggest ever economic injection of the European Union (EU), which aims to re-energize the economies of the member states after the pandemic. A capital transfer that now, in a scenario of uncertainty, takes on special relevance as a boost to an economy whose growth is slowing.
The European Commission announced in June an increase in direct transfers that would reach Spain by 2026. The plan originally provided for the delivery of 69.5 billion euros in non-reimbursable subsidies. 7,700 million will now be added to these, taking the total amount to 77,200 million euros. an amount that the government has not yet formally requested from the commission. It has not been announced how this new capital will be distributed, but it is known that so far Spain has received 31,000 million euros and another 6,000 million is expected to be disbursed between the end of this year and the beginning of next. During 2023, 17,000 million will be distributed in two batches, one of 10,000 and the other of 7,000 million.
Fernando Perez, director of national programs at consultancy Zabala Innovation, assured that 2023 will also be a year with a multitude of programs to award aid, as all plans should be finalized before the end of the year. The aim is that the entire European budget is executed by the end of 2026. Mobility and self-consumption”, summarizes this expert.
The launch of new strategic projects for economic recovery and transformation (PRTE) is planned, such as a focus on decarbonisation, with the main objective being to reduce emissions from the manufacturing industry. This PERTE will be added to the 11 that already exist dedicated to sectors such as electric vehicles, naval, aeronautics or agri-food, to which assistance is sought by administrations, citizens and companies.
Training and Digitization for SMEs
In addition, the core programs that revolve around digitization, growth and sustainability improvement in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are already underway, will continue to be implemented during the next financial year. “Most plans are with small amounts of support, but they are very useful for this type of company,” Perez explains.
The School of Industrial Organization (EOI), under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, manages six initiatives financed by European funds to support SMEs in all sectors. It aims to promote its digitization, development and internationalization through training, support and promoting cooperation between companies. For example, the Activa Industria 4.0 program aims to mentor 3,300 SMEs in the manufacturing industry for the integration of cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence; Activa Crecimiento intends, after individual analysis, to establish general improvement plans in 2,600 companies across all sectors, while Activa Ciberseguridad seeks to shield the systems of 4,500 SMEs against potential computer attacks.
The Digital Kit program of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation has support for companies with up to 49 employees to move forward in their technology transformation. Its objective is to provide them with digital tools through digital vouchers of 2,000 and 12,000 euros that allow them to give visibility to their business, sell online and improve their production processes, to be used only by companies recognized by this Ministry. can be done with
Red.es, a public business entity dependent on the Secretary of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence, is responsible for managing the initiative which consists of three calls. The first, open until March 2023, is aimed at companies with 10 or more employees and those with fewer than 50 and offers grant aid of 12,000 euros in digital solutions such as cyber security or Marketing Digital. The second, for organizations with between three and less than 10 workers, provides a bonus of 6,000 euros until September of next year. And the third, for companies with fewer than three workers and the self-employed, gives 2,000 euros to each company that makes a request before October 2023. According to Red.es, 86,000 bonuses have been awarded so far.
Leading the Energy Transition of SMEs
In the energy segment, the PRTR considers, through the Institute for Energy Diversification and Savings (IDAE), subsidies to promote self-consumption and replace polluting vehicles with cleaner ones. Companies in the service sector can apply for assistance for the placement of photovoltaic panels up to 45% of the value of the original self-consumption system and between 45% and 65% of the cost of the storage battery.
Companies in the industrial, agricultural and service sectors have a program for the implementation of renewable facilities such as thermal solar panels, heat pumps or geothermal energy. The initiative subsidizes 40% of the cost for medium-sized companies and 45% for small companies.
IDAE also has plans to modernize the company’s vehicle fleet. This is the MOVES III scheme, which existed prior to the advent of the European Next Generation EU Fund, but which began to be financed with the first disbursement in 2021. The package allows for the acquisition of 50 electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles—which run on hydrogen—as well as recharging points. For companies that need to refurbish large numbers of cars, there’s Moves Fleet. The program subsidizes a percentage of the purchase of up to 500 vehicles, in addition to the acquisition or customization of digital fleet management systems and staff training. For companies located in municipalities with up to 5,000 inhabitants or in non-urban municipalities with up to 20,000 inhabitants that do not have a center of more than 5,000 inhabitants, the applicable aid percentage increases between five and 10 percentage points. These plans are in place until the end of 2023 and are managed by autonomous communities.
How to access the European Fund Next Generation EU
The call for programs of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR) of the Spanish Government, which expresses European funds, can be consulted through web portals or autonomous web pages maintained by the Ministry of Finance and Public Function . Communities have enabled the management of aid. They are mainly in charge of processing and granting grants to them in conjunction with ministries and town halls.
Fernando Pérez, director of national programs at consultancy Zabala Innovation, acknowledges that being aware of both regional and national calls and filtering out those that may be useful is a challenge for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that do not Yes, they can always agree. For this reason, the advice of a professional manager who accompanies the company through the application process is very useful to increase your chances of success. Banking institutions offer this guiding role not only during the request, but also during execution, as economic and technical justification is usually required throughout the process.
Wake up with analysis of the day by Bernd Gonzalez Harbor