ITALY: Round table on “Transizione 4.0” at the Ministry of Economics

The round table on Transition 4.0 chaired last week at the Italian Ministry of Economics (MiSE) by Minister Stefano Patuanelli was attended by a number of associations, the genuine entrepreneurial soul of our country.

The meeting aimed at initiating a discussion on the latest outcomes of the measures set out by the Business Plan 4.0 to improve existing tools and identify a new structure, which through multi-year programming can help SMEs and large companies realise a technological transition that can also rewards environmental sustainability.

At the opening of the meeting, Minister Patuanelli presented the 2017 data of the main incentive measures (hyper and super-amortization, tax credit for research and development expenses), which indicate that the Business Plan 4.0 rewarded medium and large companies more than smaller ones. It was also highlighted that, after a record 2017 in internal machine tool orders, there was a gradual decline in orders, in 2018, which has in fact worsened during the first nine months of 2019.

In this respect, Minister Patuanelli urged the stakeholders around the table to seek a consensus to improve the outline of the budget law for 2020-2022, in which the Government allocated resources for approximately 7 billion Euros for the extension of the Plan’s tax measures to 2020 and for the introduction of the tax credit on circular economy (green economy) for the years 2020-2022.

Minister Patuanelli’s goal is now to reorganise the tax measures of the Plan following a multi-year plan that could potentially increase up to 40% the number of beneficiary companies, particularly of SMEs. Through rationalising and simplifying the use of such tool by companies, by converting hyper and super-amortization into tax credits of increasing intensity, the aim is to provide more incentives than before for investments in training 4.0 and in technological and digital transformation, especially if targeted at environmental sustainability. Moreover the aim is to enhance investments in the innovation and design sectors which represent the cornerstones of Made in Italy.

Lastly, it was reminded that MiSE offers relevant aids to issues in the scope of Transition 4.0 for large R&D projects focused on sustainable industry, agrifood, circular economy, intelligent factory, productive reconversion and life sciences.