Micro-enterprises and SMEs in any field of activity other than IT&C will be able to obtain state funds for digitization, for the purchase – among others – of electronic signature, electronic archiving and cyber security services. The measure is established by GD no. 677/2020 on the approval of the National Program for the digitization of micro, small and medium enterprises, funded under the Competitiveness Operational Program 2014-2020.
Funds for digitization
The National Program for the digitization of micro-enterprises and SMEs, worth 150 million euros, will provide non-reimbursable financing for two categories of beneficiaries, in order to increase the competitiveness of SMEs in Romania – companies that operate and companies that do NOT operate in information and communication technology (IT&C).
In the case of the latter, the money obtained through the National Digitization Program can also be used for:
• activities related to the purchase of the electronic signature solution;
• activities for converting archives from analog / folders / paper to digital indexable;
• activities related to the acquisition of services for strengthening cyber security applicable to software / hosting / networks.
The duration of the implementation of the National Program for the digitization of micro, small and medium enterprises is until December 31, 2023, in October of this year the rules for granting state aid being published.
Why the digitalization of SMEs?
According to the substantiation note of GD no. 677/2020, in Romania, the total expenditures of small and medium enterprises on digitalization and information and communication technology are 10 times lower than in Western European countries.
Although the digital revolution has taken place globally, the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has led to widespread recognition of the importance of the digital transformation for the economy, as well as for its future resilience. In this context, the positive effects of the companies’ digitization is extremely visible, in the case of about 90% of the companies that introduced digitization both the competitive advantage and the customer portfolio having increased, while the number of employees remained relatively constant.