Voucher Innovation Manager: another step towards Industry 4.0

  • VOUCHER INNOVATION MANAGER
  • INNOVATION MANAGERS AND THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
  • WHAT DOES THE INNOVATION MANAGER DO?
  • WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM THIS INCENTIVE?
  • CLICK DAY TO BENEFIT FROM THE CONSULTING OF INNOVATION MANAGERS
  • THE REGISTER OF INNOVATION MANAGERS
VOUCHER INNOVATION MANAGER

The Italian Budget Law 2019 has introduced a voucher system for those businesses that intend to get advice from an Innovation Manager. As a result, € 40,000.00 will be given to SMEs in order to hire an expert advisor in digital transformation. The voucher system is part of an operating plan that has already started long time ago to support technological and digital transformation of businesses and to foster the National Industry 4.0 Plan. In order to implement this measure € 75,000,000.00 have been allocated and the total amount will be distributed in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Indeed, many Italian SMEs are still tied to a not very dynamic business model and, as a result, they cannot compete with other businesses both in the European market and outside EU. For this reason, the voucher system represents a key factor in order to promote the fourth industrial revolution in Italy.

INNOVATION MANAGERS AND THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

Our country is trying to foster a business modernization plan that has already been started by means of some incentives specifically dedicated to businesses. At the beginning, these incentives were mainly aimed to make Italian business more modern through the modernization of manufacturing technologies and of old machines.

Another very import moment of this development process is represented by the so called National Industry 4.0 Plan, focused on digital transformation. The key elements of the National Industry 4.0 Plan were an improvement of working conditions, a productivity increase as well as a higher productivity level of machines and plants.

Now Italian authorities move forward with this modernization project by giving an economic contribution to those businesses that invest in innovation through:

These plans will be implemented through the introduction of a voucher system specifically dedicated to Innovation Managers.

WHAT DOES THE INNOVATION MANAGER DO?

The consulting of an Innovation Manager may represent a new way of conceiving business strategy and to implement it in Italy. This expert carries out a business analysis according to his/her professional point of view, that is not always the same of a business and, as a result, he/she draws up a report, where some fundamental critical elements concerning business modernization are identified, i.e.:

  • how may business procedures be reviewed,
  • which costs may eventually be cut,
  • which elements may be modified?

At the end of this report, all benefits resulting from these innovative measures are illustrated.

Benefits resulting from the consulting of an Innovation Manager

The main aim of this kind of consulting is to address business innovation processes through the implementation of those technologies included in the National Industry 4.0 Plan, i.e.:

  • cyber security;
  • big data and data analysis;
  • rapid prototyping;
  • advanced and collaborative robotics;
  • digital integration and development of industrial processes;
  • digital marketing programs, i.e. transformation and qualification processes for the innovation of all practices to enhance brands and distinguishing marks;
  • application of organizational methods in the trade sector, in business management as well as those related to the organization of workplaces.

Moreover, an- Innovation Manager may indicate possible solutions in order to let the business:

  • be listed on regulated and unregulated markets;
  • use new tools of alternative and digital finance;
  • participate to Elite Program;
  • open its risk capital to independent investors specialized in venture capital or in private equity.

What is a voucher for an Innovation Manager?

As the Italian Budget Law 2019 has established, a grant is given, by means of the voucher system, to those businesses that hire an expert advisor in order to be supported in the following processes:

  • technological and digital transformation by means of qualifying technologies according to National Industry Plan 4.0;
  • modernization of managerial and organizational structures of a business, included the access to financial markets and capitals.

The amount of this grant depends on the business dimensions. Micro and small enterprises may benefit from a 50% incentive related to costs incurred in 2019 and 2020 up to a maximum of € 40,000.00. Medium enterprises may benefit from a 30% incentive related to costs incurred up to a maximum of € 25,000.00.

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM THIS INCENTIVE?

Conditions and modalities to submit the application to benefit from this tax incentive related to the hiring of an Innovation Manager were indicated in the Decree of 25 September 2019. Not only SMEs, but also those businesses that have signed a net contract, whose aim is to develop innovative processes related to the same areas of interest indicated for SMEs, may benefit from the voucher system. These businesses may benefit from a 50% benefit related to costs incurred to hire an Innovation Manager up to a maximum of € 80,000.00.

The voucher system is addressed to micro, small and medium enterprises that do not operate in the sectors excluded by article 1 of Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013 of 18 December 2013 on the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to de minimis aid. Such businesses must be based or have an operative local division in Italy; moreover, they must be regularly listed on the Business Register of the Chamber of Commerce in charge at local level.

In order to benefit from this incentive, the business is required to indicate the consulting reasons, its duration as well as the expert fee in a contract that must be signed by both parts after that the voucher application was submitted.

Exclusion criteria from public incentive

Those businesses that intend to submit their voucher application must:

  • not be subjected to bans pursuant to article 9, paragraph 2 of the Legislative Decree of 8 June 2001 No 231;
  • have regularly paid all social security contributions;
  • not be subjected to any insolvency or bankruptcy proceedings, as well as any liquidation proceedings, administrative receivership and arrangement with creditors;
  • not have received and then not refunded any incentive subjected to a recovery order as a result of a previous decision by the European Commission that declares this incentive illegal.

CLICK DAY TO BENEFIT FROM THE CONSULTING OF INNOVATION MANAGERS

Those businesses that intend to submit their application in order to benefit from these incentives are required to download and fill out the form available on the website of the Ministry of Economic Development starting from 31 October 2019. In order to submit the application, only by electronical means, you will be able to get access to the section “Voucher for innovation consulting”. These are the procedure phases:

  • from 10:00 AM of 31 October 2019 – check of needed requirements;
  • from 10:00 AM of 7 November 2019 to 5 PM of 26 November 2019 – compiling of the application;
  • from 10:00 AM of 3 December 2019 – click day to start to send application forms.

THE REGISTER OF INNOVATION MANAGERS

In each Chamber of Commerce, a dedicated Register for Innovation Managers was established. As a result, all those professionals with the needed requirements – individuals and companies – that intend to perform this task for businesses, were required to be registered in this Register. These professionals were required to submit their registration application in the period ranging from 27 September to 25 October 2019, as the Directorial Decree of 29 July 2019 established.