Spain

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Spanish companies are leading in IoT, according to a recent HP Enterprise study, 42% of companies have adopted IoT solutions into their business, the highest number in Europe [1]. In addition, almost every city has an active Smart Cities initiative with Santander and Barcelona (supported by its modern telecommunications infrastructure) recognised as particularly significant international Smart Cities.

The current national digital strategy for Spain (2013), the responsibility of MINETAD, the Ministry for Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda, is under public consultation to be completed in September 2017 which will result in a new National Strategy that brings it into line with the objectives of the European Digital Agenda for 2015 and 2020 as per the 2015 recent communication, A Single Digital Market for All.[2] The new Digital Agenda for Spain will centre around the five key pillars of [3]:

  • Data Economy
  • Ecosystems 4.0
  • Intelligent Regulation
  • Technological Infrastructure
  • Citizenship and Digital Employment

The aim for this new agenda is to identify the challenges and experiences from the previous strategy and create a new living and flexible instrument that will deal with Telecommunications and Ultrafast Networks, ICT in SMEs and eCommerce, Stimulating the Digital Economy and Digital Content, Internationalisation of Technology Companies, Digital Trust, Development and Innovation in the ICT Sector, Digital Inclusion and Employment, Digital Public Services, eGovernance, Smart Cities and Boosting Natural Language Technologies. The current and future Digital Agenda for Spain are deliberate in their mapping onto the European

While a dedicated Internet of Things Strategy is not present, the areas of Data Economy and Ecosystems 4.0 support the proliferation of the sector and dovetail along with wider initiatives into the topics outlined in the Commission’s working document on Advancing the Internet of Things in Europe. Within the Data Economy axis, it is proposed to identify, for data not considered personal and dealt with under the upcoming GDPR framework, ownership, value and ethics and the development of tools to advance the creation of the data marketplace in industry and public bodies in line with the European Single Data Market initiative. This will involve dealing with the challenges of regulations affecting the ownership, management, flow, storage and processing of data, the creation of a marketplace with adequate guarantees, and the role of public bodies. The Ecosystems 4.0 is concerned with the creation or support of platforms as foundations of digital transformation within SMEs, start-ups, digital public services and cybersecurity. The strategy will result in plans for investment in SME and start-up research, development and innovation, and supporting the adoption across industry and public organisations.

Currently, under the existing Digital Agenda for Spain, there are two active initiatives that are supporting IoT development and adoption within Spain. These are the Plan for Smart Cities and Connected Industry 4.0.

The Plan for Smart Cities, enacted in 2015 [4], has the objectives of increasing the contribution of ICT to the industrial sectors GVA, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of Local Bodies in the provision of public services through ICT, advancing the governance of Smart Cities system and boosting the standardisation, regulation and legislation of Smart Cities. This is being achieved through cooperation and collaboration of cities, supporting new projects through low-interest loans, grants, public-private cooperation, the purchase by local bodies of innovative solutions from SMEs and start-ups, development of internationalisation plans and supports.

The Connected Industry 4.0, was launched in 2017 in collaboration with key industry players such as Indra, Banco Santander and Telefonica and is a cross-section of the Agenda for the Strengthening of the Spanish Industrial Sector and the Digital Agenda for Spain. [5] The plan aims to accelerate the digitalisation of Spanish industry and manufacturing through the adoption of cyber-physical systems and automation, considered digital enablers. A previous report remarked IoT as a key enabler for the progress in the Industry 4.0 and the digital transformation. An analysis tool is offered to companies in order to evaluate their digital transformation status [6].

The plan will develop competencies and knowledge sharing through cooperation and training, support open platforms for multidisciplinary collaboration, foster the development of digital enablers, provide financial support to technology companies, create a regulatory and standardisation framework for the adoption of Industry 4.0 and the development of new projects. The technologies to be supported will be embedded systems, advanced robotics, 3D printing, cloud computing and platforms, connectivity solutions, cybersecurity, big data and artificial intelligence. Under the plan, SMEs in particular will be supported with financing for R&D projects, subsidies for training and for the development of a personalised digitisation strategy and action plan. This is in addition to the approval of an €80 million competitive internationalisation fund for projects involving SMEs in. Big Data, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, Cyber Security and 5G, that are available to companies directly or under the EUREKA network of clusters.

AMETIC is the industrial body for IT and Electronical companies in Spain, leading the national field. It is in charge of representing business interests with an strong positioning on private research funding. This association is also aligned with the “Industria Conectada 4.0” initiative collaborating from the very beginning and helping companies to achieve a smooth digital transformation with, creating working groups, coaching, consulting, learning, etc.

References

  1. The Internet of Things, Today and Tomorrow, HP Enterprise 2017
  2. COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS on the Mid-Term Review on the implementation of the Digital Single Market Strategy A Connected Digital Single Market for All. COM/2017/0228 final
  3. Public Consultation: A Digital Strategy for a Smart Spain (in Spanish) Available online: http://www.minetad.gob.es/telecomunicaciones/es-ES/Participacion/Paginas/consulta-estrategia digital.aspx
  4. Ciudades Inteligente, Agenda Digtal para España – Plan Nacional de Ciudades Inteligentes, 2015, Ministerio de Industria, Energía y Turismo (in Spanish). Available online http://www.agendadigital.gob.es/planes-actuaciones/Paginas/plan-nacional-ciudades-inteligentes.aspx
  5. http://www.industriaconectada40.gob.es/Paginas/index.aspx
  6. https://hada.industriaconectada40.gob.es/es/register/0ff89de99d4a8f4b04cb162bcb5740cf/industria_conectada_40/