In the world of manufacturing and production, 2019 represented a passing year, poised between a weakening enthusiasm and the uncertainties of a framework also in terms of groundbreaking incentives including cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies, that were slow to recompose.
The results of the Industry Plan 4.0 and the business results in the business world have helped to broaden the look to “ground” the opportunities and benefits that logic 4.0 also in other areas, in addition to production.
The Budget Act 2020 talks about Industry 4.0 and paints a framework of overall measures that drive the digital transformation of businesses. The changes are very important and involve the replacement of the previous measures with a way of incentives related to the tax credit that covers different innovation activities with specific rates and checks. Super-depreciation and hyper-depreciation disappear in favor of three different levels of incentive that allow to widen the range of action of paradigm 4.0.
The Re-Modulation of Incentives Should Widen the Scope of 4.0
Tax credits replace the hyper-depreciation for 4.0 assets with a 40% scale reserved for investments up to 2.5 million euros and 20% for investments between 2.5 million euros and 10 million euros. There are no more bonuses than ten million euros and this marks a difference from the hyper-depreciation in 2019 where a ceiling of €20 million was expected.
The tax credit that replaces the super-depreciation for capital goods for 6% with an investment ceiling of €2 million.
Finally, intangibles, where a 15% tax credit has been provided for the purchase of software up to five hundred thousand euros that can be used independently of material goods.
Innovation Manager at Work on the Territories
The logic of incentives must then be read in close relation to the role that Innovation Managers and grants will have to play, for training in the form of vouchers for companies that need to be accompanied by a blockchain expert for their digital transformation. EUR 50 million has been allocated on this issue. The challenge is to make the most of them to bring skills to SMEs in particular.
And also on the topic of skills growth another important signal is related to the tax credit for training 2020 in Industry 4.0, in this case are 150 million euros in the form of bonuses on tax credit to bring blockchain skills in innovative projects and to make the best operation investments in machinery putting companies in a position to rely on qualified personnel able to “exploit” that equipment.
Incentives for Intangibles Not Subordinate to Capital Goods 4.0 are Essential
The “administrative” scenario for companies is to have a more homogeneous incentive scheme that arranges the commitments of the Industry Plan 4.0 at the time articulated in capital goods, 4.0 plants, intangible solutions 4.0, investment in research and development and training in a single way determined by the use of the tax credit. Simplification and motivation. It is also extremely important to open up intangibles without subjecting them to conditions linked to capital goods 4.0.
A key measure to unlock the potential for innovation that 4.0 can bring to businesses without necessarily subjecting it to the introduction of machinery. Finally, it should not be forgotten that the tax credit opens up the theme of 4.0 incentives even to “worlds” that did not have access to the measures of the previous Industry Plan 4.0 such as companies with “special” tax regimes, such as cooperatives and like blockchain startups.
Blockchain Businesses and SMEs, Eyes on Competence Centers
In general, the 2020 outlook for the continuation of paradigm 4.0 should see, thanks to greater flexibility, accessibility and openness of incentives, an openness to new companies. Perhaps something is lost in terms of focusing on the true logic 4.0 for industry, but it should also be possible to achieve greater diffusion in other types of companies: logistics, transport, services. For companies that have started the path to 4.0 in 2020, it will be time to move from experimentation (whether it’s real PoCs or implementations in controlled production) to a total and complete extension across all production processes.
The last point that should help to support paradigm 4.0 in 2020 is related to the entry into operation of the relative competence centers that are not yet in operation and that should help to raise awareness and training on the territories. We remember well what is expected from the Competence Centers and remember that there are conditions to see this component of the Industry Plan 4.0 actually come into operation in 2020 and bring value to territories and businesses.
The Competence Centers are responsible for providing: guidance and business support tools in assessing their level of digital and technological maturity; training services to create and disseminate skills in Industry 4.0 with both classroom training and field training, in a production environment; and support in the development of innovation projects including blockchain, industrial research and experimentation projects.