TALLINN - The Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications is preparing to implement an investment aid measure to support the digitization and automation of industrial companies' production processes with a total of three million euros.
The ministry has already previously decided to allocate 2.3 million euros for digital diagnostics aid for 2019-2020 to help Estonian companies map the processes that could most benefit from digitization or robotics. This will now be supplemented by investment aid in the amount of three million euros to help manage risks posed by digitization, automation and the implementation of robots, spokespeople for the ministry said.
"Digitization is one of the biggest challenges in the industrial sector. It would, however, significantly enable to increase the value added in our economy. It is also important to foster industrial companies' rise to higher positions in the value chain by putting the opportunities posed by automation and modern digital technologies to a good use," Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT Rene Tammist said.
Industrial companies are currently eligible for support provided by Enterprise Estonia, which enables the them to conduct digital diagnostics to assess how to improve the company's processes by means of digitization and automation, what the possible time frame, cost, payback time and impact of such activities on the company's economic performance could be.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and Enterprise Estonia are now jointly developing the next phase of the support program aimed at offering industrial companies supplementary aid for investing in digital technologies starting from June. The total volume of the two measures stands at 5.3 million euros, three million euros of which is earmarked for investment support.
The maximum share of expenditure covered from the investment aid is 50 percent of the eligible costs, the maximum amount stands at 200,000 euros.
"In order to foster a sense of security in entrepreneurs, success stories are required to give them the courage and wish to put digitization to a more extensive use, whereby they, too, would learn something and inspire others," Tammist said.
An important prerequisite for receiving investment aid is that digital diagnostics of the company's production processes have to have been conducted. This can be carried out by using the company's own resources or the support allocated for digital diagnostics by the state. Based on the diagnostics, the process of the company's digitization will be mapped.