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News 09.12.2022

RRF for Digitalization in Spain: Opportunities and Challenges.

Spain invests massively into digitalization with the support of the Next Generation EU funds. For Finnish companies, this opens new business opportunities. Business Finland together with the Team Finland colleagues provide support for seizing them.

As countries are aiming to become more resilient, sustainable and modern, investing in digital technologies will be a key component in managing a successful green and digital transition. The financial support that will be provided to Spain within the scope of Next Generation EU represents the largest investments ever made into digitalization, prioritized by Spain in its respective Recovery & Resilience plan.

The key investment opportunities in Spain include:

  • Sustainable, safe and connected mobility with budget of €13.2 bn
  • Housing and governmental buildings rehabilitation €7.8 bn
  • Renewable energies and green hydrogen €6.1 bn
  • 5G and digitalization €4 bn

Spain will mobilize the grants' part from the EU Recovery Fund between 2021 and 2026 – investments will be made into nine selected areas. Up to date, Spain has received three payments with a total of €31 billion leaving the amount of grants not yet disbursed at €38.5 bn.

Spain´s digitalization plans

Digital Spain 2026 is the roadmap for Spain’s digital transformation. It includes eight specific plans already approved for its deployment with national, regional, and local investment plans, among which we especially highlight:

  • Plan for the Digitalization of Spain’s Public Administration with a total budget of 3,16Bln €
  • Digital Infrastructure and Connectivity Plan €1.96 bn
  • Strategy for the promotion of 5G technology €1.5 bn
  • National Cybersecurity Plan €1 bn
  • National Artificial Intelligence Strategy €0,6 bn

One of the main cross-cutting financial instruments implemented by the Government is so called PERTE or strategic projects for the economic recovery transformation. The Spanish national government has already launched the following digitalization related PERTEs:

  • PERTE for development of electric and connected vehicles with the total budget (public and private contribution) of €24 000 Millions
  • PERTE for microelectronics and semiconductors with the public budget of €12 250 Millions
  • PERTE for cutting edge healthcare system with the total budget (public and private contribution) of €1 469 Millions

Ways for taking part in the investment opportunities

It is extremely important to highlight the complexity of dealing with large scale digital investments. There are two main ways of getting to the Funds:

  • Finnish companies can apply directly via tenders which is a tedious and resource-demanding process. All tender related information is only available in Spanish and scattered around different Ministries responsible for PERTEs;
  • Alternatively, by partnering with local private/public stakeholders that benefit from the funds.

Based on Business Finland in Spain ground experience and openings with the local stakeholders, we would strongly recommend getting engaged with the large private Spanish companies playing strategic role in the national economy. Many of them have Open Innovation departments that serve as a gateway for introducing highly innovative Finnish solutions and technologies that might be considered for PERTEs.

An inspiring example is Sacyr, multinational private company from Spain that publishes annually Innovation Challenges aiming to transform and improve their services. Last year some Finnish companies could apply thanks to support and information provided by Business Finland in Spain.

People in the group photo from the left: Manuela Stierna, Business Sweden, Rebecka Svensson, Business Sweden, Giorgio Moschetto, City of Catania, Cristina Alvarez, City of Las Rozas, Madrid, Harri Mansikkamaki, Gofore, Santiago Graña, Spanish Ministry of Economy and Digital Transformation, Daria Mashkina, Business Finland and Lotte Engels, NBSO

Smart City Business Forum provided a venue for public-private exchange of information and partnering

In November 2022 Business Finland co-organized an interactive session on RRF for Digitalization in Spain and Italy within the framework of Smart City Business Forum. The session was designed as a dialogue between the Spanish and Italian authorities represented by Mr. Santiago Graña from the Digitalization department of the Spanish Ministry for Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation; Ms. Cristina Álvarez, Director of the Projects and Financing Office of Las Rozas municipality of Madrid; and Mr. Giorgio Moschetto, Digital Transition Manager, City of Catania.

Among the participating private companies from Finland were Gofore, Business Technology Forum, HeadAI, VTT.

Harri Mansikkamaki, Head of International Business Development in Gofore, said: “We see a lot of potential in digitalization of general administration in Spain where Finnish technologies fit nicely into their current needs. Team Finland has been very helpful with introductions to decision making public authorities in Spain where it would be difficult to get otherwise.”

Cristina Alvarez confirmed Las Rozas dedication to become one of the most innovative, smart and sustainable municipalities of Spain and to EU collaboration: “In Las Rozas we are open towards EU projects. In fact, we have applied for 29 projects of total consortium budget €70.5 Mn, and Las Rozas budget of €44.5Mn, some of them are withing EU collaboration with entities from Finland”.

Business Finland also publishes the relevant market opportunities in order to activate the interested Finnish companies and help them out with contacting of the local public and private stakeholders. 

Further information

Daria Mashkina
Senior Advisor
+34 603 645 130
daria.mashkina (at)