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Sustainable investments 4.0 and blockchain financing, MiSE call

The announcement 'Sustainable investments 4.0'- promoted by the Ministry for Economic Development (MiSE) and managed by Invitalia - aims to support the technological and digital business transition, also through technology financing blockchain. (1)

The measure is defined in Ministerial Decree 10.2.22, the terms and methods for submitting applications are set out in the subsequent directorial decree 12.4.22 (2,3). However, references to SMEs are plethoric, in the face of the substantial minimum investments required.

Available funds

The funds total expected for the call is € 677.875.519,57, divided into:

1) € 250.207.123,57 for the Central-Northern Regions (Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardy, Marche, Piedmont, Tuscany, Valle d'Aosta, Veneto, Umbria and the Autonomous Provinces of Bolzano and Trento),

2) € 427.668.396 for the Southern Regions (Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, Puglia, Sicily and Sardinia)
25% is reserved for micro and small businesses. The beneficiaries are the SMEs, defined as follows in Recommendation 2003/361 / EC:

Sustainable investments 4.0, the beneficiaries

The investment thresholds eligible are the following, with the following concessions:

Sustainable investments 4.0, the investment thresholds
In both cases, investments must not exceed the80% of the turnover of the last approved and filed financial statements. Only for zones A, there is a 5% increase on the subsidy if the programs are concluded within 9 months of the concession date. Higher amounts may be provided for the submitted programs, but are not covered by the subsidy. The concessions cannot be combined with other public concessions that take the form of State aid. (6)

Eligible programs

The programs which provide for the implementation of innovative, sustainable investments with a high technological content consistent with the national plan Transition 4.0, through the use of technologies listed in Attachment 1 to the announcement. (7)

The programs characterized by a high level of sustainability will be subject to specific evaluation criteria, which allow the proposing company to obtain a additional score. The parameters subject to specific assessment are:

- transition to the circular economy, as required in Annex 2,

- improvement of energy sustainability, as indicated in Annex 3, with a energy saving for a production unit no less than 10% of the consumption of the previous year (date of submission of the application).

They are not eligible the programs adopted to adapt to regulatory constraints or administrative requirements, except in cases where these do not generate energy savings additional up to 20% of the values ​​envisaged by constraints and prescriptions.

Economic activities to which the funds are intended are indicated in Attachment 4. It is important that the investments are directed to one of the following functions in the national territory:

- expansion of production capacity,
- diversification of functional production to obtain products never previously manufactured,
- fundamental change in the production process of aproductive unit or making a new one productive unit (taking into account the aspects on the energy saving).

Eligible Expenditures

Expenses admissible are those functional to the purchase of new tangible and intangible fixed assets, which concern:

- machinery, plant and equipment, together with computer programs and licenses for their use (if applicable),
- masonry works (maximum 40% of the total eligible costs),
- acquisition of environmental certifications. (8)

They are not allowed expenses:

- incurred through the financial leasing system,
- connected to internal contracts,
- relating to second-hand machinery, plant and equipment,
- relating to the purchase or lease of land and buildings,
- operating, including those for stocks of raw materials, semi-finished products, finished products and consumables of any kind,
- for consultancy and professional services, including notary fees, without prejudice to the provisions on consultancy aimed at defining energy diagnosis with the aim of implementing energy saving solutions,
- relating to the training of the personnel employed by the proponent, even where strictly related to the fixed assets envisaged by the program,
- attributable to taxes and duties,
- related to assets whose installation is not foreseen at the production unit involved in the program,
- related to the purchase of registered vehicles,
- attributable to expenditure titles whose amount is less than 500 (five hundred) euros net of VAT.

Presentation of the application

Programs must be started subsequently upon submission of the application and does not provide for a dates subsequent 12 months from the date of the provision for granting the facilities. L'starting the program is considered in the following cases:

- date of commencement of construction works relating to the investment,
- date of the first legally binding commitment in relation to the acquisition of fixed assets or other commitment that makes the investment irreversible.

Annex 5 shows the list of scores assigned to the proposals. An enterprise can submit only one application for facilitation, unless it has been rejected.

The application for facilitation in Italian it can be presented exclusively through the IT procedure on the website page of Invitalia dedicated to 'Sustainable investments 4.0'- from 10 to 17, from Monday to Friday - starting from 18.5.22.
The terms and procedures for submitting applications for subsidies, together with the documentation to be presented accompanying them, as well as the additional elements to define the correct implementation of the subsidy intervention, are contained in a specific provision and its annexes. (9)

Sustainable investments 4.0, the blockchain

La blockchain is one of the 11 enabling technologies that have been identified in the Transition 4.0 plan, to favor the technological and digital transformation of the company. Failure to implement one of these technologies will result in immediate exclusion from the facilities provided for in the announcement. The definition shown inside is the following:

'Technologies and protocols IT technicians who use a shared, distributed, replicable, simultaneously accessible, architecturally decentralized registry on a cryptographic basis, such as to allow the recording, validation, updating and storage of data both in clear text and further protected by cryptography verifiable by each participant , non-alterable and non-modifiable. '

WIISE Chain and the blockchain public able to fully respond to the requirements of the call and to fully comply as a technological solution capable of making production processes more sustainable and circular, such as the strengthening of industrial symbiosis for a systemic approach aimed at reduction, recycling and reuse of food waste, recycling of raw materials or making the production cycle more efficient (as reported in attachment 2 of the Ministerial Decree of 10 February 2022).

Final notes

'Sustainable investments 4.0'it is an opportunity not to be missed, to facilitate the transition to new technologies more efficient and sustainable, and to avoid being left behind in a context of recovery and continuous market evolution.

In the food system la blockchain is an innovative, economical and efficient solution, in which the great pioneer Walmart has been investing for several years and is now widely promoted directly by Food & Drug Administration (FDA, USA) as a new paradigm to guarantee food safety and quality. (10)

Andrea Adelmo Della Penna

Footnotes to the story

(1) Ministry of Economic Development. Sustainable investments 4.0https://www.mise.gov.it/index.php/it/incentivi/impresa/investimenti-sostenibili-4-0

(2) Ministry of Economic Development. Decree 10 February 2022 - Establishment of an aid scheme for the support, throughout the national territory, of innovative and sustainable investments proposed by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, aimed at favoring, in particular, the technological and digital transformation, the transition towards the paradigm of circular economy and energy sustainability. OJ 2.4.22, General Series n. 78, https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2022/04/02/22A02042/sg

(3) MiSE. Directorial decree 12 April 2022 - Sustainable investments 4.0. Terms and procedures for submitting applications https://bit.ly/3OtncEi

(4) Regions of Molise, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Puglia, Sicily and Sardinia

(5) Regions of Abruzzo, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardy, Marche, Piedmont, Tuscany, Trentino Alto-Adige, Umbria, Valle d'Aosta and Veneto

(6) Refers to aid notified pursuant to art. 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)

(7) See note 2

(8) See civil code, article 2432

(9) See note 3

(10) Dario Dongo. Agri-food blockchain, from Walmart to the FDA in the USA, Wiise Chain in Italy. To the Web 3. GIFTS (Great Italian Food Trade). 9.2.22/XNUMX/XNUMX, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/blockchain-agroalimentare-da-walmart-alla-fda-in-usa-wiise-chain-in-italia-verso-il-web-3

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Graduated in Food Technologies and Biotechnologies, qualified food technologist, he follows the research and development area. With particular regard to European research projects (in Horizon 2020, PRIMA) where the FARE division of WIISE Srl, a benefit company, participates.

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