The advantages that a company can obtain by adopting the 4.0 Transition plan and, in general, by innovating digitally following the guidelines of the recent PNRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan) are HUGE, both in terms of actual funding (including non-repayable contributions) and in terms of opportunities to innovate company infrastructure and processes and become sufficiently competitive to survive in turbulent markets.

Incentives to INNOVATE and not just to buy new assets

“HUGE” is by no means too strong a word since you can regain up to 40-50% of the investment in new machinery or systems that take advantage of digitization and data.

And the real advantage for the company goes much further. In fact, more than rewarding the purchase of new assets, the government is actually encouraging the company to make investments that facilitate future innovation and a sustainable added value: increased speed, sales growth, reduced costs, etc.

Complexity is part of the game.

Unfortunately, I still see some companies have doubts about the strategy to follow or, even worse, mistrust – as if these incentives were “to-good-to-be true”.
Or criticism of the mechanism (tax credit) which, clearly, requires the company to be operational (with production and turnover) in order to benefit from the subsidy ( anyway, if this was not the case, the company would just be a startup making investments, and that business case is supported with other financial tools).

How to avoid mistakes?

I confirm that it is easy to make mistakes due to the complexity of the application rules, technologies involved and necessary skills. Given the large sums involved, the public authorities in charge (Revenue Agency) will certainly make control visits to make sure that public funds have been distributed according to the intentions of the legislation.

So what are the 3 most important mistakes to avoid?

In my opinion it is essential to understand:

  • Buying machinery with the supplier’s “guarantee” that it is Transition 4.0 “ready” does NOT mean that it is ready to be certified as such
  • Purchasing, at a later date, a kit or additional devices that make existing machines or systems certifiable as 4.0, does NOT mean that those machines or systems become eligible for the benefits
  • It is NOT possible to certify machines or systems as 4.0 WITHOUT some level – even minimal – of system integration activity: it is necessary to make thedigital and open integration of data (between this machine / system and different machines, systems or users) function effectively. Both in order to realize all the operational benefits and in order to fully demonstrate that you have met all the necessary requirements to be confirmed as eligible for the fiscal benefits.


Without complexity there is no innovation.

Despite high complexity and risks, it is important for me to stress that any company that still produces with obsolete machines and processes and not connected to data networks, should make sure to take advantage of this opportunity as soon as possible. Even if this involves the need to change, acquire new skills, revolutionize processes, start new partnerships, etc.
Rather than neglecting or criticizing the requirements for achieving the 4.0 benefits, let’s try to see them as a very useful guide to help us make the right investment decisions and create the foundation for a more competitive company.

Happy 4.0 to all !!!

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