Senate approves EUR 30 million package for "Hamburg Digital Bonus"
The senate approved EUR 30 million in late February for the “Hamburg Digital Bonus” targeting SMEs that seek to increase their degree of digitalisation and boost data security as part of the Corona Protective Shield. The funding programme launches on March 15, 2021 until late 2022 initially. Together with the measures already adopted to ensure the local economy is equipped for the future, Hamburg is spending almost EUR 100 million of its own funds on innovation.
Hamburger Digital Bonus to boost SMEs
The degree of digitalisation in the economy has accelerated enormously in recent months, according to Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics. However, not all entrepreneurs can keep pace. "We are giving SMEs the innovation boost so that they can be equipped and advised accordingly. We are enhancing the locational factor for individual companies and for our modern city, which competes with other big cities worldwide,” he added.
Challenge of digital transformation
Digital transformation is a huge challenge for SMEs and the skilled trades. The "Hamburg Digital" programme complements IFB Hamburg’s funding tools and the German government’s "Digital Now" programme. Developed in co-operation with the Chamber of Crafts and the Chamber of Commerce, "Hamburg Digital" is being operated with the Mittelstand 4.0 Kompetenzzentrum Prof. Norbert Aust, President of the Chamber of Commerce, said: "The Chamber of Commerce is pleased that our long-standing call for a 'digital bonus' based on the model of other federal states is finally being implemented in Hamburg.”
"Digital Check" and "Digital Invest" modules
The "Hamburg Digital Bonus" consists of two modules. As part of the "Digital Check" module, consultations on implementing concepts are eligible for grants of up to EUR 5,000. The "Digital Invest" module, on the other hand, covers investments of up to EUR 17,000 in hardware and software and the cost of external service providers. The funding rates come to 50 per cent for the "Digital Check" and 30 per cent for the "Digital Invest" grant. Applications for funding can be submitted to IFB Hamburg.
IFB Innovation Funds to be increased
Plans are also being laid to raise the IFB Innovation Funds by EUR 10 million to EUR 20 million. The funding includes grants, loans and equity capital. Innovative founders and companies are eligible to apply for the programmes.
The Hamburgische Investitions- und Förderbank (IFB Hamburg) supports housing and economic development as well as environmental protection and innovation projects. IFB Hamburg is the main point of contact for private individuals, companies and institutions in Hamburg and advises about all of Hamburg's funding offers and those of the German government and the European Union. More information can be found on: www.ifbhh.de