European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

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 PT-2022-14/2975 – measures in Portugal

Enterprises 4.0

Empresas 4.0

Country Portugal , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 April 2022
Context Digital Transformation, Restructuring Support Instruments, European Semester
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Support for spending, stimulus packages
Author Paula Carrilho (CESIS)
Measure added 04 November 2022 (updated 16 February 2023)

Background information

Under the Recovery and Resilience Programme (Programa de Recuperação e Resiliência - PRR), a set of investments and reforms aimed at restoring sustained economic growth after the pandemic was defined with several components: resilience, climate transition and digital transition.

The Ordinance 135-A/2022 of 1 April approves the regulation of the Enterprises 4.0 incentive system.

Content of measure

The Enterprises 4.0 component has the specific goal of enhancing the digitalisation of enterprises, aims at catching up with the digital transition process, allowing access to knowledge and digital technological means that promote modernisation of work and production processes, elimination of workflows, mitigation of skills deficits in the use of digital technologies, balanced inclusion of women and men, incorporation of remote working tools and methodologies, creation of new digital channels for marketing and selling products and services, adoption of a culture of experimentation and innovation, strengthening of the national entrepreneurial ecosystem, and incorporation of disruptive technologies in enterprises’ value propositions.

Through the implementation of the specific measures of the National Plan for the Digital Transition (Plano de Ação para a Transição Digital - PATD), the Enterprises 4.0 has an investment of €650 million divided in three pillars:

Digital Empowerment of Enterprises (€100 million)

This investment, led and coordinated by the Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (Agência para a Competitividade e Inovação, IAPMEI, I.P.) in association with the public entities responsible for employment, vocational training and qualifications, foresees the creation of two interconnected training programmes - _Portugal Digital Academy– platform and large-scale digital skills development programme; and _Digital Jobs 2025 – programme for digital technologies skills building), using innovative approaches that aim to fill gaps in the digital skills of workers (employees and entrepreneurs) and enterprises.

Digital Transition of Enterprises (€450 million)

This investment, which is being coordinated by IAPMEI in close collaboration with various public bodies and associations, will contribute to the transformation of Portuguese SME business models and their digitalisation. It incorporates the promotion of business digitalisation through the acceleration and automation of decision-making and execution based on artificial intelligence, the redesign of value and supply chains, optimising speed and resilience and the use of cross-sectoral data spaces, supported by European cloud and edge computing infrastructures that are innovative, secure and energy efficient, providing enterprises with a way to reposition their businesses in a digitally advanced ecosystem. Four programmes are covered by this investment:

  1. National Test Beds Network: aims to create the necessary conditions for enterprises to develop and test new products and services, and accelerate the digital transition process, either in a physical space or via a virtual simulator;
  2. Digital Commerce: aims the digitalisation of SMEs, with a focus on micro-SMEs in the area of commerce.
  3. Support for Digital Transition Business Models (Coaching0): Framed within the national programme for Industry 4.0, this initiative seeks to encourage the integration of technology within enterprises in support of the development of organisational processes and skills promoting the digital transformation of organisations’ business models;
  4. Entrepreneurship: enhancing the strategic focus on the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, which involves directly supporting start-ups, usually during the seed phase that is aimed at developing new products and services with a strong digital and green component, consolidating existing entrepreneurship support structures (Start-up Portugal) and supporting the development of incubators and accelerators.

Catalysing the Digital Transition of Enterprises (€100 million)

It is made via public technological catalysation projects that seek to reduce the use of paper through the dematerialisation of invoicing, creating a more secure and reliable digital business environment through a set of certifications, and generally reducing context costs. The investment is structured through the following three programmes:

  1. Digital Innovation Hubs: seek to centralise a set of support services for the digital transition of enterprises under more accessible conditions, focusing this process on three disruptive technologies: AI, HPC and Cybersecurity. This programme aims to extend and develop a national DIH network, enhancing the investment forecast by complementing the network that is already under development within the framework of the Digital Europe Programme to reach a total of 126 additional hubs;
  2. Dematerialisation of Invoicing: an initiative that aims to automate the process of affixing a qualified electronic signature and to increase the use of digital invoicing by providing a solution that uses the Unique Digital Address, enabling invoices to be sent to the customer (citizen or company) by email;
  3. Certification Seals for Cybersecurity, Privacy, Usability and Sustainability: investment in four new certification platforms involving cybersecurity, privacy, usability and sustainability, as well as a promotion campaign and training of conformity assessment bodies and technical assessment laboratories, and the award of seals.

Use of measure

Through the_Digital Empowerment of Enterprises_ is expected to reach 800,000 trainees with digital skills diagnostics, individual training plans and access to online training, of which 200,000 will attend face-to-face or blended training.

Among other objectives, the Digital Transition of Enterprises investement is expected to support more than 50,000 SMEs, set up 50 digital commerce districts, 10 digital accelerators, support the creation of 30 Test-Beds and reach 4,000 enterprises with theoretical training and consultancy focused on Industry 4.0, and issue vouchers for 3,000 start-ups.

Through the_Catalysing the Digital Transition of Enterprises_ is expected to reach 4,000 enterprises impacted by the spread of key technologies, complementing those integrated into the DEP’s European Hubs; reach the goal of sending 250,000 users one million electronic invoices in digital format; and achieve 15,000 certifications across all four platforms.

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
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
Public employment service
Public support service providers
European Funds
National Recovery and Resilience Facility

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies

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

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


The trade union confederations - General Confederation of Portuguese Workers - National Trades Union (Confederação Geral dos Trabalhadores Portugueses - Intersindical Nacional – CGTP-IN) and General Workers’ Union (União Geral de Trabalhadores - UGT) and the four employer confederations Confederation of Portuguese Industry (Confederação Empresarial de Portugal - CIP), Portuguese Confederation of Farmers (Confederação dos Agricultores de Portugal - CAP), Portuguese Trade and Services Confederation (Confederação do Comércio e Serviços de Portugal - CCP) and Portuguese Confederation of Tourism (Confederação do Turismo Português - CTP) represented at the tripartite Standing Committee for Social Concertation have been consulted.

CIP and CCP play a relevant role in the process of diagnosing the qualification level in the digital area of the companies.

Views and reactions



  • 21 April 2020: Resolution of Council of Ministers 31/2020 of 21 April (
  • 01 April 2022: Ordinance 135-A/2022 of 1 April (


Eurofound (2022), Enterprises 4.0, measure PT-2022-14/2975 (measures in Portugal), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


Eurofound publications based on EU PolicyWatch

30 January 2023


Measures to lessen the impact of the inflation and energy crisis on citizens

Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.


12 September 2022


First responses to cushion the impact of inflation on citizens

Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


12 September 2022


Policies to support EU companies affected by the war in Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.


5 July 2022


Policies to support refugees from Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses of EU Member States, including those of the social partners and other civil society actors, enabling refugees to exercise their rights under the Temporary Protection Directive.


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