Anyone who has been hesitant to make their small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) even more digital will receive a new boost from the state in Germany. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) is significantly expanding the budget for its investment grant programme "Digital Now". Together with you, we look at the details announced from Berlin in the middle of the year and, above all, the sums mentioned.
On 18 June this year, Digitaltag began in Germany. According to the organisers, there were around 2,000 activities and 4,325 hours of programme.
While the articles published on this penultimate Friday of the month raised awareness, an announcement by the BMWi published exactly one week later brought extra movement to one of the future topics of all. In this news, the house of the Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, Peter Altmaier, announced on 25 June that more than 250 million euros would be additionally injected into the "Digital Now" funding programme by 2024.
The addressees of this project are the so-called SMEs. This specific measure addresses all companies with three to 499 employees. Companies of this size, not least in the transport business, form an important backbone of the logistics industry. That is why we had already reported on this initiative and the associated chances of receiving a grant for your efforts in an earlier newsletter. With this issue, we would like to update you once again with regard to the funding that can now be applied for until 2023 at www.bmwi.de/digitaljetzt.
Up to 50,000 euros per company in the pot
The aim of this federal programme is among other things:
- Encourage investment by SMEs in digital technologies
- Increase the know-how of the employees and their qualification
- Open up opportunities through digital business models
The underlying motivation is to strengthen the competitiveness and innovative capacity of SMEs, which often have to compete in the market with large companies that have their own IT departments or can easily purchase products. Here, "Digital Now" is intended to provide financial support so that the gap between the big and the small does not grow any further. The amount of funding is up to 50,000 euros per company. According to the ministry, the measure reimburses almost half of the project costs of those optimisation projects in the IT environment of small and medium-sized forwarders, transport companies or other players in the road haulage business.
Investments in hard- and software as well as staff know-how
In addition to the reimbursement of costs for hard- and software purchases, the programme also includes payment for staff training. If the subsidies are approved by the BMWi after they have been applied for, the federal government will pay out the money for the corresponding expenses in a later step. For example, this concerns invoices for further training courses for your employees or payment receipts for a software purchase to improve your daily work processes.
For 2021 alone, a doubling of the budget from 57 to 114 million euros from the BMWi for "Digital Now" has been announced. With such an increase, the circle of recipients will naturally also grow. You can already take the first step with an application via the project website.