What fate awaits industry 4.0 in the programs of the parties

What fate awaits industry 4.0 in the programs of the parties

Industry 4.0 is now firmly at the center of economic transformation in Italy and around the world. In 2016, the then government led by Matteo Renzi launched an ad hoc government plan designed to facilitate investments in the digitalization of companies, which over time has undergone evolution and revisions, from the Industry 4.0 Plan to the 4.0 Business Plan up to Transition 4.0.

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During the pandemic, the importance of having companies capable of operating digitally also proved to be fundamental. Industry 4.0 is a label that took off from a German government program to modernize the country's production system and has become synonymous with a business transformation that rewards automation, the use of big data and artificial intelligence for preventive maintenance and production optimization, digital work environments, virtual reality applied, for example, to the training and use of 5G networks to connect plants. If the most direct image is that of a fully automated factory, industry 4.0 translates into various applications, from crafts to services. Let's see how (and if) the issue is addressed in the electoral programs of the parties running for the elections on 25 September.

Center-right League Democratic Party Italy Viva and Action 5 Star Green Movement and Italian Left More Europe Possible Popular Union Elections 2022 The electoral campaign for the September 25th vote gets underway

Arrow Center-right (Brothers of Italy, Forza Italia and Lega) The joint program of the center-right does not explicitly refer to the issue. There is talk of "enhancement and development of digital infrastructures and extension of ultra-broadband throughout Italy" in chapter 2, dedicated to strategic infrastructures, and the promotion of university courses for the Stem professions in chapter 14, dedicated to schools, universities and research , which are measures that indirectly affect the development of an industry 4.0, but there is nothing more.

Lega The individual program of the party led by Matteo Salvini devotes more space to the issue. In the chapter dedicated to production activities, we talk about investments in new technologies, such as broadband (broadband), ultra-broadband (ultra broadband) or satellite-based communication networks, and in new sales models such as e-commerce, as well as a qualified training in digital technologies.

Further on in the text, among the proposals designed specifically for industry 4.0, there is talk of amortization of costs in new machinery of production processes that make the main components of a plant powered by renewable sources, and of the '' facilitating the modernization of production processes, allowing, for example, the free replacement of old machinery that is no longer up to standard with machinery that is ten years less. Finally, there is talk of reforming vocational schools and making them highly specialized schools, in order to provide students with the skills necessary to work in industry in the future. No specific figures are given on investments or on the objectives to be pursued.

Democratic Party (Pd) The proposals of the Pd are rather vague and minority. The electoral program of the party led by Enrico Letta is limited to promoting the transition 4.0 "in a scenario that combines innovation, competition and sustainability". There is also talk more extensively of digitization, infrastructure, mobility, taxation, product labeling and others, and there is talk of inserting the so-called "digital literacy" in schools, measures that would indirectly support the development of industry 4.0.

Those doing private 5G In Europe there are 55 trials of fifth generation private mobile networks. Especially in Germany and in the industrial field. The advantages for companies, who dream of a business worth 8 billion Italia Viva and Action Slightly more elaborate are the proposals in the joint program of the parties led, respectively, by Matteo Renzi and Carlo Calenda, who already claim attention in the premise of the program posed on the subject when they were in government together. The Industry 4.0 plan, defined as "the main industrial policy initiative of the last 30 years", was in fact introduced in 2016, when Renzi was head of the government and Calenda was head of the Ministry of Economic Development. The electoral program therefore focuses on the strengthening and expansion of this instrument.

There is talk of strengthening industry 4.0 by updating the list of subsidized goods, increasing the cap for investments - at the moment of 20 million euros - and extend the industry 4.0 mechanism to investments for the ecological transition. Later, in the chapter dedicated to innovation, digital and space economy, we talk about strengthening the regulatory framework of Industry 4.0 to more effectively support the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises. No precise figures are given on investments.

Movimento 5 Stelle The few proposals on the subject included in the electoral program of the movement led by Giuseppe Conte are rather vague. In the section dedicated to companies, there is talk of "10-year strengthening and stabilization of transition 4.0", thanks to an extension of the tax credit system experimented with the 110% super bonus - which Prime Minister Mario Draghi has repeatedly criticized - to the plan of Transition 4.0. Then, in the section dedicated to agriculture, there is talk of an undefined enhancement of the Transition 4.0 plan which increases investments for the agricultural sector.

Verdi and the Italian Left The theme is not explicitly mentioned even in the joint program of the parties led, respectively, by Angelo Bonelli and Nicola Fratoianni. We vaguely speak of digitization, defined as “a serious and profound process not to be faced with propaganda or impromptu interventions”, but there is no explicit connection with industrial activities and the Industry 4.0 fund is not mentioned.

Another 2.5 billion to the National Innovation Fund The Ministry of Economic Development allocates the sum to support startups and SMEs and entrusts the treasury to Cdp venture capital PiĆ¹ Europa The issue is almost completely absent in the electoral program of the party led by Emma Bonino. There is talk of investments in digital technologies and of accelerating the infrastructure of 5G networks, which would help the development of the industry, but there are no explicit references to the topic.

Possible The party's proposals are also quite minority by Giuseppe Civati, who practically does not mention the topic but proposes the establishment of a single national Observatory on tax breaks that will coordinate all tax relief measures for businesses, including industry 4.0. The idea is therefore to place all tax reliefs granted to companies under the control of the same body, which would act in coordination with the Study Services of the two chambers, the National Council of Economy and Labor, the Revenue Agency and the Chambers of commerce.

Popular Union In the electoral program of the party led by Luigi De Magistris, the theme is completely absent.

[This article will be updated following the publication of the programs]

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