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Factsheet for measure ES-2016-28/2697 – measures in Spain

Connected Industry 4.0

Industria Conectada 4.0

Country Spain , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 05 July 2016
Context Digital Transformation, Restructuring Support Instruments
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Reorientation of business activities
– Change of production/Innovation
Author Jessica Durán (IKEI) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 June 2022 (updated 08 November 2022)

Background information

The digitalisation of society and industry poses challenges and creates opportunities for the industrial sector, which will have to adapt its processes, products and business models. Meeting these challenges successfully will generate a new industrial model in which innovation is collaborative.

In order to increase industrial added value and skilled employment in the industrial sector, and to promote the industrial model of the future in Spanish industry, the General Secretariat for Industry and SMEs has been designing a series of support programmes for industrial companies in order to face their digital transformation with more guarantees.

Companies that (will) develop productive industrial activity within the NACE activities framed in Section C (10 to 32) are eligible to take part in these programmes.

Content of measure

The Spanish government strategy ‘Industria Connectada 4.0' (Connected Industry 4.0) responds to a triple objective:

  • Increasing industrial added value and skilled employment in the industrial sector.
  • Promoting the future industrial model for the Spanish industry, in order to develop the next industrial sectors of the Spanish economy and increase its growth potential, while increasing the local offer of digital solutions.
  • Developing differential competitive levers to enhance Spanish industry and boost its exports.

Two instruments have been made available:

  • HADA (advanced digital self-diagnosis tool): An online tool allowing the evaluation of the level of digitalisation of companies.
  • ACTIVA INDUSTRIA 4.0: A specialised and tailored advisory programme, carried out by accredited consulting entities with experience in implementing Industry 4.0 projects. This programme allows companies to have a situation diagnosis and a transformation plan that identifies the digital enablers necessary in this process. Furthermore, it establishes the roadmap for its implementation.

Use of measure

The programme has managed to get nine young start-ups to sign commercial agreements with large industrial companies to design Industry 4.0 solutions. In that way, the start-ups Icommunity, GreeMko, PayMark Fast, Siali,, Inar Tecnología, Intensas, Xabet and Donax have worked for six months with the large companies AENOR, Airbus, IECA, BSH, BASF, Presto Ibérica, CAF , Cereal Siro Foods and FINSA to solve challenges of these firms such as automatising product traceability, control of manufacturing processes and calculation of the carbon footprint ( Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism 2020 ).

Strengths: The programme facilitates mutually beneficial collaborations between young start-ups and well-established large industrial companies. In addition, the Ministry of Industry has given continuous support through mentoring and training actions of the School of Industrial Organisation. Moreover, the programme has offered to the start-ups a virtual acceleration space ( Blanco, 2018 ).

Weaknesses: Despite the programme developed by the ministry, there are still many industrial companies that do not consider digital transformation necessary in their business strategies. Thus, the ministry should increase the coverage an accessibility of the programme ( Blanco, 2018 ).

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Local / regional government
National funds
Regional funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Informed Informed
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


The Connected Industry 4.0 initiative involves the participation of a large number of actors to ensure its success: research centres, technology parks, industry, clusters, social agents, public administration and other public bodies. The Connected Industry 4.0 strategy involves the implementation of different lines of action, under a predefined governance model determined by the Public Administration. Social agents can form part of this governance system. Specifically, most of the governance bodies include a representation of the main agents involved: central and local public bodies, industrial and technological companies and associations, research and teaching centres, social agents, and all those experts in the development of Industry 4.0 from the business world, the Public Administrations or the scientific and university spheres.

There is no information available on the specific social partner organisations that have expressed views and/or have been involved.

Views and reactions

Broadly speaking, although the social partners generally see the Industry 4.0 revolution as an opportunity, some trade unions have some fears. From the trade union side, in general, there is some fear that robots will replace people and reduce employment. Machines can achieve a drastic reduction in costs, with higher productivity; this leap could generate a great social divide, with more inequality and injustice, but also a new renaissance for humanity, with an intelligent distribution of work and the liberation of long working hours.

No particular views from employers’ organisations side have been identfied.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      C - Manufacturing C10 Manufacture of food products
      C11 Manufacture of beverages
      C12 Manufacture of tobacco products
      C13 Manufacture of textiles
      C14 Manufacture of wearing apparel
      C15 Manufacture of leather and related products
      C16 Manufacture of wood and of products of wood and cork, except furniture; manufacture of articles of straw and plaiting materials
      C17 Manufacture of paper and paper products
      C18 Printing and reproduction of recorded media
      C19 Manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products
      C20 Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products
      C21 Manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations
      C22 Manufacture of rubber and plastic products
      C23 Manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products
      C24 Manufacture of basic metals
      C25 Manufacture of fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment
      C26 Manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products
      C27 Manufacture of electrical equipment
      C28 Manufacture of machinery and equipment n.e.c.
      C29 Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers

This case is not occupation-specific.


  • 01 January 2018: Blanco Diaz, R. (2018), 'Industria Conectada 4.0: un nuevo impulso'. Calidad: Revista mensual de la Asociación Española para la Calidad, Vol. 2, 2018 (
  • 28 October 2022: Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (2020), 'Industria Conectada 4.0', web page (
  • 28 October 2022: Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (undated), 'HADA - Herramienta de Autodiagnóstico Digital Avanzada', web page (
  • 28 October 2022: Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (undated), ACTIVA Industria 4.0, web page (
  • 28 October 2022: Escuela de Organización Industrial (2019), 'Programa Activa Industria 4.0. Convocatoria 2019', web page (


Eurofound (2022), Connected Industry 4.0, measure ES-2016-28/2697 (measures in Spain), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.