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Digital Technologies: 5 Tips On How SMEs Benefit From The Federal Funding Program

Innovative IT solutions increase efficiency and productivity and improve company security. Nevertheless, many SMEs shy away from introducing digital technologies because of high costs and a lack of know-how. The new BMWi funding program offers help.

To resolve the digitization backlog in companies, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has launched “Digital Now – Investment Funding for SMEs”., small and medium-sized companies, artisans and freelancers who employ between 3 and 499 people have been supported in their plans to introduce digital technologies. The SD Worx experts have put together five tips showing how companies can benefit from this funding package and what to look for.

The Digitization Plan Provides Information On Strategy And Objectives

At least a quarter of respondents believe the new technology their employers have introduced will improve their career advancement within their company. The level of approval varies from country to country:

  • 25.9 per cent in Germany
  • 30.7 per cent in the United Kingdom
  • 31.5 per cent in France and 32.3 per cent in the Netherlands

In Belgium, even 47 per cent of employees see the new technology as an opportunity to move up to a higher position. Only a minority expect a negative impact.

Investing In People Or Digital Technology

In a further step, it is essential to consider which systems and solutions are to be subsidized and to what extent. SMEs and the skilled trades can apply for grants of up to 70 per cent for investments within the framework of two modules. “Investing in digital technologies” is mainly about the acquisition of new hardware and software. These investments should serve the internal and external networking of the respective company. Examples are:

  • Data-driven business models
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Cloud applications
  • Big data
  • The use of hardware
  • IT security and data protection

The “investments in the qualification of the employees” aim in turn to build up the know-how necessary for sustainable digitization of the company. This includes further training measures for digital transformation in ​​digital strategy, digital technologies, IT security and data protection or basic digital skills.

Digital Technologies: Use Bonus Payments

On the one hand, SMEs from structurally weak regions benefit from an increased funding rate because they receive ten percentage points more than other companies. Companies with investment plans in their own IT security are also given exceptional support (five percentage points more). Companies that develop business models within existing value-added networks also receive five additional percentage points.

Suppose all of the three points mentioned are met, the funding rate increases by a total of 20 percentage points. This means that companies can receive funding of up to 70 per cent. After the application has been submitted, it is checked in the next step. This is followed by implementing the respective project in the company and the delivery of proof of use with renewed verification by the donor.

Further Funding Opportunities For Digital Technologies

Grants and low-interest loans, and loans in cooperation with development banks are among the best-known funding options for digitization projects in medium-sized companies. The new funding program “Digital Now – Investment Funding for SMEs” is just one of numerous initiatives. There are also other programs from the federal states, the federal government and the EU. A straightforward compilation can be found here.

“We welcome the initiative of the federal government and think it makes sense that medium-sized companies are shown various ways of advancing the degree of digitization. Innovative solutions are the be-all and end-all for more efficiency and competitive strength,” explains Patrick Weber, Managing Director at SD Worx. However, sometimes it is challenging to keep track of things due to many different organizations and players. This is why a step-by-step and well-planned procedure is so important. We are happy to assist you with our many years of experience.

As a provider of people solutions, SD Worx supports companies in using human resources to create added value for their activities and their employees. SD Worx offers people solutions that keep employees throughout their careers, from recruiting to paying, rewarding and developing the talent that makes the company successful. SD Worx offers its services in four areas: technology, outsourcing, comprehensive expertise and relevant conclusions from data.

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