Investment In Digitalization And Telecos In Spain Will Be Multiplied By Six In 2021, Up To €4.230 Bn

The weight of investment in intangible assets draws attention in modern worldThis expenditure will be used for connectivity, 5G, cyber-security, digitalization of the productive network and the administration, promoting the ecosystem of startups

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation will next year have a budget for investment in digitalization and telecommunications of 4.230 billion euros. This is almost six times more than the 718 million euros earmarked for these items in 2020, according to Europa Press.

The main objective of the telecommunications and digitalization budget is the deployment of the Spain Digital Agenda 2025, for which an investment of 3.750 billion euros is allocated in 2021. This strategy, presented by the Government last July, includes ten guidelines and nearly 50 proposals to promote the digitalization of the productive structure and society as a whole.

Specifically, this expenditure will be used for connectivity, 5G, cyber-security, digitalization of the productive network and the administration, promoting the ecosystem of startups. In addition, the national strategy of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the promotion of Spain as a development pole for the audiovisual and video game sector, the digital training of the population and the protection of digital rights.

This “historic increase” is supported by the financing of the new EU Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, which will provide 3.650 billion euros for this purpose.

About 583 million euros will be earmarked for guaranteeing an adequate digital connectivity for 100% of the population, closing up the digital gap between rural and urban areas. A further 300 million euros will make it possible to boost the deployment of 5G.

For the promotion of the Digital Competences, aimed at developing the technological skills of the citizens, the budget amounts to 1.097 billion euros. Over 213 million euros will be invested in the area of cyber-security in order to provide citizens and companies with the appropriate tools to carry out their digital activities safely. This item also includes the promotion of the Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem in the area of cybersecurity. In addition the commitment to convert Spain into an international hub in this area with the support of the National Institute of Cybersecurity (INCIBE).

The digitalization of the public sector is another of the key elements of Digital Spain 2025. An investment of 369.8 million euros will be made in order to guide the General Administration towards a digital environment to provide service to citizens and promote the use of data to enable the provision of proactive and customised services.

Additionally, 109 million euros will also be allocated for developing the Spain Audiovisual Hub plan, to reinforce Spain’s role as a pole of attraction for investment in the audiovisual sector, including the video game industry.

The budget also addresses the deployment of disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and data economics, for which more than 330 million euros will be allocated. The future National Strategy of Artificial Intelligence will consider a series of specific lines of action around the development of green algorithms, supercomputing, the development of natural language technologies or the creation of shared data spaces, amongst many others.

Finally, more than 15 million euros will be assigned to digital rights. The aim is to make the necessary digitalization compatible with the protection of the fundamental rights of citizens. In this regard, the Ministry has promoted through a group of experts the development of a Declaration of Digital Rights to be submitted for public consultation soon.

About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.