The next few years will be marked by the arrival of the European Covid 19 Next Generation EU Recovery Fund from the Union that will have to finance the projects that contribute to the reactivation and especially the digitization of the Spanish economy. Some analysts even speak of a “founding moment”, such as the one that occurred with the entry of Spain into the European Union. We talked about it with Carina Szpilka, President of AdDigital.
Question. In the field of digitization, what are we at stake as a country with the correct management and use of these funds?
Answer. European funds have the potential to mark a true turning point. That is why we should not approach them as a recovery plan that will take us to where we were, but rather as a real opportunity to take a leap forward, to definitively transform our economic fabric. And there it is key that they serve to promote digitization projects, because it is this that will allow us to achieve that more productive and competitive economy, but also more innovative and sustainable to which we must aspire as a country.
P. What type of projects should Spain focus on in order to achieve the objectives of creating quality employment and contributing to the reactivation of the economy, what criteria should prevail in the distribution and what could be those driving forces or specific sectors?
R. Of course, the great potential of these funds and the Recovery and Resilience Plan, but also its complexity, lies in its transversal nature and in all the areas of action that are marked. However, of them, I would highlight everything that has to do with the digitization of SMEs and with education and talent.
Regarding the first point, at this point, we are perfectly aware of the difficulties that SMEs face in transforming themselves, but also that it is for these types of companies that digitization represents a greater opportunity. Digitizing allows them to access cutting-edge technologies and services in conditions similar to those used by large companies, which makes them more competitive and facilitates their entry into new markets, their growth, and the generation of employment and wealth.
That ties in with the second point. The digitization of the SME also involves having access to the right talent and for that a change of focus is necessary as regards the digital training of the population. This point must be approached not only from education (school, university, VET) but also by training people within companies, expanding their knowledge or providing them with new ones, guaranteeing both access to appropriate technological resources and training. of the educational personnel and the revision of the learning contents.
With regard to tractors or axles with more transformation potential, Spain has a very good opportunity in the data economy, because the data depends from the digitization of the smallest SME to the most sophisticated development of artificial intelligence. And, landing it more, bet on the physical infrastructures that support it, such as data centers (taking advantage of the fact that we already play in the first division in terms of telecommunications infrastructures) and on technologies such as the cloud.
P. What are the mistakes that we should not make in the process of executing these funds to prevent what seems like a huge opportunity from turning into a big fiasco?
Undoubtedly, we are faced with a unique opportunity to transform our economy and prepare our country for the future, but to make the most of it, all stakeholders, public and private, must work in close cooperation.