Digital Agenda VI: ICT Industry Development and Innovation Plan
As part of its tailor-made plans to develop the Digital Agenda for Spain, in June 2013 the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism “MINETUR”) published its ICT Industry Development and Innovation Plan, with €1,314 million in funds and set to run until 2015.
The Plan starts from the premise that, in an international context, corporate ICT R&D&i activity in Spain falls someway short of its rightful position (given the country’s economic heft and the industry’s contribution to gross European added value). With this in mind, the Plan has set the following general targets: (1) to increase the efficiency of public investment in ICT R&D&i, targeting resources at those areas with the greatest potential to generate wealth; (2) to boost public investment in ICT R&D&i; (3) to promote the roll-out of R&D&I initiatives at small and medium-sized businesses; and (4) to raise Spain’s profile in ICT R&D&i on the international stage. In particular, the Plan identifies certain areas labeled “thematic priorities” (in line with the Digital Agenda for Spain and the Strategic Economic and Digital Society Action Plan):
- Industries of the future: Internet of the future, cloud computing, big data, mobile apps, smart cities.
- Cyber-security and digital trust, ICT applications and solutions to enhance the competitive edge of SMEs.
- Developing e-government.
- Environmental management apps.
- Digital content-related apps and solutions.
The measures under the Plan revolve around four core areas:
- Measures to enhance the efficiency of public investment in ICT R&D&i and improve procedures for the investment and management of public funds in R&D&I in the ICT industry, by amending the rules governing the handing out of R&D&I grants to develop ICT and strengthen the monitoring and evaluation of direct aid for project development (use of big data and data-crossing).
- Measures to boost ICT R&D&I, above all at SMEs (€1,290 million), with aid in the form of a direct finance program for R&D&i market-oriented initiatives to enhance innovation capacity, focusing on priority areas.
- Measures to raise Spain’s profile on the international stage, encouraging Spanish participation in EU initiatives forming part of the EUREKA ICT cluster and other international markets. To this end, there are plans to amend the rules governing the procedure to grant aid for R&D&i projects to promote ICT, giving top priority to projects led by the Spanish consortium participating in European initiatives, both in terms of evaluation and the degree of net aid.
- Measures to attract ICT professionals (€24 million), in the shape of a program to directly finance the digital training of working ICT professionals in expertise relating to technology with a bearing on the priority thematic areas.
Garrigues Technology & Outsourcing Department