I’ve been recently participating in some Industry 4.0 projects, mostly related to global wine companies, where they actually have the need and the will to transform themselves, look into data platforms, IoT and have sensors to better calibrate and accelerate crops. It’s a connected world for them and since most of the overall industries are still on the 1.0 version of things, it will be a huge transformation step for all of them to actually get their ‘data’ together and build a newer house.
But in Portugal, the land of the blind, the Government decided to open their funds and invest €12 million in the “vale Industria 4.0“, which stands for “Industry 4.0 voucher”. It’s a €7500 cheque that SME can apply for, in form of an investment.
Now the trigger here, says the Government, is to promote processes and move small and medium industries into the 4.0 age, which in fact sounds quite interesting. But the catch all is that it’s only for digital projects, which sounds even sweeter. Most of them don’t are even digital at all, they use old machinery, old processes and software to work.
The funny thing is that this investment is only for those SME’s to invest in social media (promoting themselves), on websites (to sell more) and on content (to put the message out there). Now, that’s Industry 2.0, not 4.0. Remember? It’s like putting lipstick on a pig.
But looking at the instructions to apply for this program, I wonder if actually the €12 million wouldn’t be more wisely spent on building a good platform for SME’s to apply for these kind of things.