Updated on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 – 12:39
The Secretary of State for Digitization hopes to create a fund of 4,000 million to maintain start-ups in Spain and open the first call for SMEs to digitize “before the end of the year.”
Carme Artigas, Secretary of State for Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence, EM
It often costs more to maintain than to start, and new companies must not only be created but also preserved. Carme Artigas, Secretary of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence, warns: “The great drama of the Spanish company is that, when it exceeds the first stage of ‘infant mortality’, it turns out that we sell it outside our borders, expelling talent and talent. innovation because they do not find in Spain the financial capacity to grow“.
This summer, the Government has launched the Next Tech Fund to allow the growth of digital companies and encourage investment in technology projects within the country, 4,000 million euros that, in the words of Artigas, make up “the second largest fund of its kind in Europe, behind that of Germany, of 7,000 million, and double that of France and triple that of Italy. “
In the jargon of the sector, this phase is called scale-up, that is, scaling, not so much creating a start-up or accelerating its initial development, previous stages; In short, we want to take care of the moment of giving the new digital company enough muscle so that it survives and aspires to its profitability thanks to expanding.
“We want to create unicorns in Spain, not sell our talent“, said the Secretary of State, convinced that” the valuations of Spanish companies are below the market. The same Israel-based company is worth three times as much. “
In an intervention held this Tuesday by the Nueva Economa Frum, Artigas also expressed his concern about the digitization of SMEs and their access to available funds. The Secretary of State has announced in this regard that, “before the end of the year”, the Government will launch a first call for the SME digitization Plan.
This program collectively contemplates a public investment of European funds of about 5,000 million euros until 2023, with the goal of digitizing up to one and a half million small and medium-sized companies.
Large companies are opting to capture European injections, but for small and medium-sized companies the scenario is quite different, as Artigas has recognized at Frum Europa: “Large companies read the BOE, but SMEs do not and we have a capillarity problem, it is not easy, there the associations and large companies have a great diffusion work that they can do “, he highlighted. The other great concern, in addition to the digitization of SMEs is, as the Community reports prepared in Brussels, the lack of digital knowledge among Spaniards. “50% of the population is digitally illiterate”, summarized Artigas. For example, Spain suffers from a clear shortage of specialists in information and communication technologies (TIC), ranked 18th within the European Union.
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