The Aragon government have recently invested €12 million into funding Industry 4.0 technologies. Reports suggest that the amount was a result of the government’s collaboration with the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is double what was originally proposed.
The main objective is to finance local small and medium-sized enterprises, particularly the 320 companies who requested additional funding from the government. The money will go to further develop industry technologies including automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), with an emphasis on blockchain technology. The growth of blockchain technology has been particularly strong in Aragon with the government incorporating it into public administration. Coin Telegraph stated that Aragon’s aim with blockchain is to “improve the transparency and efficiency of the administration, which in turn will attract business and investments.” The plan is to use the tech to combat corruption within the region by controlling the bidding process on public contracts, intercepting fraud and deals done under the table.
Aragon is a very modest city in Spain but to its credit it is one of the few cities that are looking to develop Industry 4.0 concepts to help economic stability. Technologies such as the IoT, AI, and smart manufacturing processes are already integrated into industries worldwide including in Spain, but they aren’t without their challenges. In a conference held about Industry 4.0 in Bilbao, conference chair Albert Planas talked about the current state of the industry in terms of innovation. He said, “It is very important to implement industrial automation as a start to the world of digital manufacturing and industry 4.0 to improve the competitiveness of production plants.” Those who refuse to adapt to these changes, will be left behind by a marketplace that continues to be transformed by technology.
These innovations allow for optimisation whether it’s during planning, execution, performing maintenance or with a company’s hardware. Aragon has done a fantastic job of embracing emerging technologies and the government allocation will go towards advancing the region further. This is important during a time where the global economy is facing adversity and people are losing their jobs. The economic calendar on FXCM shows that unemployment rates in Europe are currently quite bearish, which indicates a weakening European economy. There is a growing concern in some places in the continent, such as Germany and Italy, which are facing recessions. The primary reason is a drop in the performance of the manufacturing sector.
Spain is well aware of a potential slowdown that could continue throughout this year. However, FDI Intelligence indicated that Aragon continues to perform well economically due to its “favourable location, highly skilled workforce, and expertise in sectors.” Automotive production is huge in the region and it also serves as a centre for renewable energy. Aragon’s president Javier Lambán highlights the importance of preparing students for the digital age in universities. It helps that the University of Zaragoza is renowned for taking big leaps into tech and innovation. Hopefully, these institutions will continue to produce professionals who will help to improve industrial technologies in the autonomous region.