Engineer, entrepreneur and for two years, Minister of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence. carmen artigas Heads the managing department. digital kit (a €3,000 million program to digitize one million SMEs) or The law of ‘beginnings’. He talks about this with El Periódico de Catalunya, a newspaper of Prensa Ibérica, a newspaper of the same group, at one of the stops on this newspaper’s last—and marathon—technological visit to Barcelona.
How do you evaluate the progress of the digital ‘kit’?
It is a successful program that has broken all records for any public subsidy in history. We knew that to make this possible we had to eliminate the bureaucracy, create the figure of the volunteer representative (50% of the requests reach us through this channel) and the digitizer. We didn’t search one million SMEs one by one, we had to mobilize those who wanted to sell, that’s the digitizer. first leg [para empresas de entre 10 y 49 trabajadores] 60,000 companies have already requested it.
You were prepared for less, weren’t you?
We even had to approve the extension of an additional 100m euro tranche. We don’t know if we’re going to need it, because when coupons are requested, the company has six months to close deals with the digitizer, but it’s going very well, over 500 have already been closed, so we plan. to expand. The resolved claims already amount to 120 million euros.
What level of digitalization will SMEs have after the program is completed?
I can’t tell you how many places we expect to go up in the DESI index. [un indicador que analiza el rendimiento digital de un país], but we are making a hyper-qualitative and quantitative leap: these companies will manage digital processes. If we reach one million, we will have increased this capacity by 33% and this will have a very significant turnover effect. In addition, in the second half of the year, we will implement a mechanism equivalent to the Digital Kit with digital education topics for SMEs, because otherwise we will not be able to embed digitalization in their culture.
Will it be considered an aid to the Digital Kit?
We terminate the mechanism. The idea is to make it easy and take advantage of companies that have already registered. Initially, it will likely go to companies with more than 10 employees.
How much money will be allocated?
There will be 586 million euros that will go to ‘talent development’ to managers and workers and both. [empezar de cero] like re-skilling [formar a un empleado en nuevas disciplinas]. There is a lot of money for education, the problem is that administration is driven by supply, not demand, so we will devote ourselves not to making more courses, but to directing resources to mobilize SMEs.
Let’s talk about the ‘Start-up’ Law. How’s it going?
In the assembly process: the change time has opened until the end of June, we will proceed with the negotiations with the parties to see the effect of these changes in July, and we want to start the assembly when the summer returns. process. Our goal is to be approved before the end of the year.
Will they change things in the text? For example, the industry did not like the fact that a ‘start-up’ took only five years into consideration.
Of course, we will wait for them to suggest something to us, and then we will see their applicability. Brussels makes its mark on the definition of start-up: If we give a category of more than five years, there will be companies that can access funds here, not in Europe. Yes, it is necessary to correct the serial entrepreneur definition and some technical aspects.
Will they also work to make Spain a reference for a single technology? Is the PERTE of semiconductors a movement in this sense?
It’s a clear bet that we want to be a leader in the semiconductor industry because that’s also good for all the industries we need to protect: from the automotive industry to technological agriculture. Putting Spain on the map of something our industry also needs is a very bold commitment.
So, won’t it be an Artificial Intelligence PERTE or other very important technology?
Artificial Intelligence has no PERTE, it has a whole component. Spain, for example, will announce in Brussels later this month that it will become the first European country to ratify AI regulation. It is under approval and will regulate the technology’s implementation: auditing algorithms for non-discrimination or incorporating algorithmic transparency across the public sector.