June 14th, 2024 | 4:59

Bizkaia

Bizkaia grants €4M in non-refundable funds to SMEs to promote digitalization

Mairenis Gomez

May 17, 2024 | 3:00 p.m.

Bizkaia supports the digital transformation of its SMEs with €4M to promote competitiveness

In Bizkaia, only a quarter of the industrial sector has introduced advanced processes to improve its competitiveness. Digital technology is transforming the world in which we live and is one of the main levers on which companies rely to be more competitive.

In Bizkaia, this process is not going as fast as would be desired; only one in four industrial companies has introduced advanced processes of this type. For this reason, the Provincial Council of Bizkaia will allocate almost four million euros in aid this year to lost fund so that SMEs, those who have the most difficulty getting on this train, join e-commerce, automate their processes or take advantage of the advantages of artificial intelligence.

Bizkaia companies move towards digitalization

According to information from the study by the Barrixe Innovation Observatory, the business fabric is "evidently advancing" towards digitalization. This was explained by the Economic Promotion Deputy, Ainara Basurko, who added that "the companies of Bizkaia are clear that the impact it will bring them is high." In fact, seven out of ten companies believe this.

However, there are differences in their level of digitalization, only 23,5% of them use advanced level technologies. The majority have joined electronic commerce, use production or logistics process management systems, have automated their industrial processes or have put up barriers to cyberattacks, but only a few have incorporated artificial intelligence, cloud or quantum computing, or virtual reality.

Three main barriers to digital transformation

Likewise, there are three main barriers that companies encounter when addressing this transformation. Firstly, some firms have not identified the areas or processes to improve. The financial capacity of each company also influences, without forgetting the lack of personnel with adequate training to carry out this transformation.

Increased competitiveness

Likewise, implementing advanced technologies in companies contributes to increasing the competitiveness of the industrial fabric, "because it can improve product quality, working conditions and the reliability of production processes, and helps to make better decisions and anticipate possible problems and difficulties". In this context, the department has opened a new call for the Digital Transformation program, with a budget of 3,95 million euros. The aid, direct and non-refundable, is aimed at small and medium-sized companies in the industrial sector and services related to the industry, with staff of between 5 and 250 workers.

Bizkaia supports the digital transformation of its SMEs with €4M to promote competitiveness

Support for small businesses

"Some companies, particularly smaller ones, need additional support to address a major digital transformation," stressed Basurko, Most of the subsidies (3 million euros) will be allocated to them, so that they begin basic digitalization. The rest of the budget will go to advanced digitalization.

Without a doubt, this program is a unique opportunity for SMEs in Bizkaia. Digitalization not only improves competitiveness, but also opens new market opportunities and improves operational efficiency. With this support, companies will be able to overcome the barriers that prevent them from moving forward and take full advantage of the advantages that digital technology offers.

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