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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure IT-2019-19/2727 – measures in Italy

Vouchers to cover for innovation consultancy

Voucher per consulenza in innovazione

Country Italy , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 07 May 2019
Context Digital Transformation, Restructuring Support Instruments
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Reorientation of business activities
– Change of production/Innovation
Author Lisa Dorigatti (University of Milan) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 June 2022 (updated 02 November 2022)

Background information

The ministerial decree of 7 May 2022 sets out the provisions of the intervention aimed at facilitating the acquisition of managerial consultancy aimed at supporting the processes of technological and digital transformation of SMEs and business networks, in implementation of Article 1, paragraphs 228, 230 and 231 of Law No.145/2018 (Budget Law 2019).

Content of measure

The Voucher for innovation consultancy is the intervention that, in line with the 'Impresa 4.0' national plan, supports the technological and digital transformation processes of SMEs and business networks throughout Italy through the introduction of managerial figures capable of implementing the enabling technologies envisaged by the Impresa 4.0 national plan, as well as modernising the company's managerial and organisational structures, including access to financial and capital markets. Eligibility criteria are:

  • micro, small or medium-sized enterprise in accordance with current legislation; respect the 'de minimis' criterion;
  • registered office and/or local unit active in the national territory and registered in the business register of the territorially competent Chamber of Commerce;
  • paid social security contributions;
  • not subject to bankruptcy proceedings and not in a state of bankruptcy, liquidation, even voluntary, controlled administration, arrangement with creditors or any other equivalent situation pursuant to current legislation;
  • not having received and subsequently not repaid or deposited in a blocked account aid on which a recovery order is pending, following a previous decision by the European Commission which declares the aid illegal and incompatible with the common market.

The voucher value amounts to:

  • 50% of the costs up to €40,000 for micro enterprises;
  • 30% of the costs up to €25,000 for SMEs;
  • 50% of the costs  up to €80,000 for business networks.

The budget allocated for the implementation of the measure is €75 million divided for each of the years 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Use of measure

In total 3,615 applications were presented for the 2019 call. Small business presented 3,063 applications, medium-sized companies presented 537 applications, and business networks presented 15. The total amount of the projects presented was above €205.4 million, a sum higher than the total amount allocated for the period 2019-2021.

Out of the 3,615 applications, 1,831 were awarded while 1,784  were considered eligible but there was no funding available. With the decree of 15 January 2020 the Minister of Economic Development allocated financial cover, amounting to €46 million, for these too.

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
National funds

Social partners

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

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

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

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions



  • 07 May 2019: Voucher for innovation consulting (
  • 13 December 2019: Innovation manager, 3,615 applications submitted by SMEs and business networks (
  • 15 January 2020: Innovation manager: decree signed for an additional 46 million euros (


Eurofound (2022), Vouchers to cover for innovation consultancy, measure IT-2019-19/2727 (measures in Italy), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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