Uma análise executiva da Beta-i sobre as propostas do Orçamento do Estado 2022 (OE)para a inovação está disponível para download, com a intenção de apoiar e contribuir para o entendimento de tópicos estruturantes da proposta orçamental para o ambiente de negócios do ecossistema Português.
O documento percorre diferentes nuances do Orçamento do Estado, sumarizadas e acompanhadas pela nossa análise. Entre elas, três medidas de política económica associadas ao ecossistema de inovação emergem enquanto iniciativas de impacto:
(i) A revisão do regime fiscal das stock options para as startups tecnológicas como mecanismo alternativo de remuneração, e a intenção de introduzir um marco legal para as startups – o que pode abrir caminho para toda uma nova forma de participação destes modelos de negócio ágeis e orientados ao crescimento em escala no ambiente macroeconômico do país;
(ii) A medida de apoio às Empresas no Investimento, Inovação, Tesouraria e Simplificação – onde se destaca a majoração fiscal, no âmbito do regime das receitas com patentes, que se mostra potenciadora da competitividade e contribui para a desmobilização de rendimentos;
(iii) O estímulo fiscal à inovação das empresas, favorecendo a exploração de patentes – onde, apesar do ordenamento jurídico português assumir a natureza de benefício fiscal com o aumento da taxa efetiva de IRC de 50% para 85%, tornando assim as receitas de patentes portuguesas competitivas ao nível da União Europeia (UE), existe ainda espaço de ação.
Algumas das nossas análises, sobre estes e outros temas, também inseridas no documento:
# O marco legal das startups é uma necessidade há muito discutida. Esta não será necessariamente uma definição simples de ser conseguida, mas é um elemento importante para a integração das startups no tecido empresarial e no apoio Português a ambições europeias como a implantação das Startup Nation Standards.
# Saudamos o reforço da Startup Portugal e do papel das incubadoras, assim como as iniciativas de apoio à testagem e à integração dos produtos por parte dos agentes económicos. Além disso, iniciativas como os testbeds e as zonas livres tecnológicas, bem como os Vales Startups verdes e digitais, os Vales Incubadoras, as mudanças na ‘patent box’, os Digital Innovation Hubs e as agendas mobilizadoras criam todo um conjunto de frentes de atuação decisivo para acelerar a lógica de inovação no mercado.
# Por outro lado, o OE poderia seja capaz de reforçar a sua atratividade fiscal através de iniciativas associadas à inovação aberta e à colaboração. Os modelos contemporâneos de gestão de inovação, abertos e permeáveis ao envolvimento de parceiros externos especializados, não são um fator de risco para qualquer entidade – pelo contrário, são a sua melhor hipótese de crescimento e sobrevivência. O desenvolvimento conjunto de projetos e pilotos, e de acordos comerciais ligados a patentes e soluções digitais, representam uma visão importante e um entendimento mais abrangente sobre o papel da Investigação & Desenvolvimento na economia, tanto no que diz respeito aos seus processos quanto na sua orientação para o mercado final. A cultura de gestão rumo à inovação e à colaboração pode ser efetivamente acelerada com contrapartidas fiscais, com os ganhos de médio e longo prazo a compensar sensivelmente o investimento associado ao benefício de curto prazo.
# Consideramos que uma dimensão igualmente estruturante para as necessidades económicas portuguesas para a próxima década, as chamadas competências digitais, estão de alguma forma sub-representadas. Sem dúvida, a abordagem do Orçamento revela múltiplos eixos de intervenção e envelopes financeiros; porém não parece haver ainda uma hierarquização clara destas medidas. Este tema se relaciona diretamente com o reforço das cadeias de valor e a produção de bens com maior incorporação tecnológica, de modo a aumentar o perfil de especialização das empresas nacionais. Uma visão mais sistêmica e integrada no tema traria mais ganhos de escala, uma vez que as competências digitais também se conectam a necessidades políticas e sociais como a Coesão Territorial.
Temas como a Energia, a Saúde, a Economia do Mar e, definitivamente, a Sustentabilidade enquanto elemento transversal para a desejada Transição Verde, também seriam inescapáveis no contexto da nossa análise das propostas do OE associadas à inovação. Contudo, optámos por analisá-las ao detalhe após a aprovação final do Orçamento. A Transição Verde, que anda lado a lado com a Transição Digital, será a lente norteadora desta análise posterior uma vez que afeta a todas as indústrias, exigindo uma alteração de incentivos, investimentos, modelos de negócio e comportamentos.
Com este documento, esperamos poder contribuir para os interesses do ecossistema de inovação e startups em Portugal – uma comunidade definitivamente relevante para o futuro do país – e para um ambiente de negócios tecnológico orientado à inovação cada vez mais profissional, informado e envolvido no debate público. Este compromisso também está patente noutro projeto da comunidade digital Portuguesa e europeia no qual a Beta-i está diretamente envolvida: a Portugal Tech League.
Boa leitura! E o seu feedback é bem vindo, através do nosso formulário de contato no site ou do email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this report produced by Beta-i both for the tech community and their policy-makers in Europe, we share analysis and recommendations on a crucial, yet unexplored, topic: the Digital Markets Act (DMA) systemic impact on European startups and scale-ups, with special emphasis on the direct or unintended consequences on venture capital investment.
Available for download here, the document summarizes what the DMA is about and how it can impact European digital companies growth. But above all, shares contributions to the legislative discussion being held on the topic, such as:
# The DMA’s message that growing too much will come at the cost of being regulated ex-ante is still not enough for Europe’s ambitious digital and green transformation goals over the next decade;
# The proposal skips some necessary guiding principles for the single market’s future competitiveness. The DMA could better anticipate ways to support and prepare European startups’ journey towards a “gatekeeper” position within Europe’s digital single market;
#European companies may choose to fragment themselves to avoid reaching the “gatekeeper stage”, which will inhibit their ability to compete on the global stage;
# By being mainly focused on existing large players rather than unleashing innovation from within, the DMA proposal lacks the connection with other EU initiatives to reinforce Europe’s entrepreneurial vision;
# The DMA debate could explore the topic from a more positive perspective, establishing a competitive and inclusive vision, capable of foreseeing scenarios based on collaboration between different business stakeholders, of different sizes;
# Net VC numbers could plunge in Europe for a period still to be estimated, asthe impact of the DMA on the ecosystem and the uncertainty it can generate keeps under assessment. The impact could be greater and deeper in more risk-averse investment models such as corporate ventures and regular M&A;
# The theme of mergers, acquisitions and the so-called killer acquisitions should not be framed under a “one size fits all” logic. Each merger and acquisition is the result of differing sets of circumstances which means that not every acquisition is a to-be-controlled killer one;
# The proposal of centralizing within the DMA gatekeepers’ deliberations in the European Commission is interesting and pragmatic, as long as the Commission set upminimum instruments for the Member States to provide timely context and information;
# In regard to data processing and usage, a proposal with a greater focus on what happens at the very beginning of commercial relations between the current gatekeepers and their business users (and then their final consumers/users), would be a simpler way to nudge compliance and neutralize future conflicts of interest;
# The European Commission could double-down in a systemic economic consultation to further preview and anticipate DMA’s consequences on the investment market, and the impact it will have on up-and-coming European players in the digital marketplace.
Commissioned by Google, the report actually translates Beta-i’s perspective from the inside of innovation, digital and entrepreneurship spaces in Europe. The Digital Markets Act is relevant and necessary but could improve its understanding of the interconnected nature of the tech ecosystem. This would be a way to better design any transition towards Europe’s digital competitiveness ambition. We believe it is possible to promote a free market alongside regulatory tools to ensure fair, equitable access to B2B opportunities – while giving consumers choice.
Portugal takes over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union next January with several challenges and opportunities, capable of making this six-month term a memorable season. Especially when it comes to common market’s digital legislation, the bustle is already guaranteed: it’s the temporary Portuguese leadership that will deal with the first developments towards the implementation of new rules replacing others created 20 years ago – that is, a near-eternity for the tech cluster. Formally presented this Tuesday (15), the Digital Services Act (DSA) intends to introduce new rules in areas ranging from content moderation, online advertising and algorithms configuration transparency, while the Digital Markets Act (DMA) intends to anticipate potential illegal practices and provide an audit tool for companies that have more than 10% of the market within the common economic space. Both propositions can be checked on the European Council’s website official announcement.
DSA announcement landing page
It has been known since before her inauguration, that the current President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, wishes to modernize the digital legislation of the common market. Something that was crystal clear, for example, in her recent opening speech at Web Summit 2020 – a definitely global event, but whose opening narrative was decisively European. Ambitiously, the German politician opened the world’s largest technological meeting by recognizing there are still many obstacles to digital entrepreneurship in the European Union and many startups end up leaving the European space to ensure their growth. For this reason, she reiterated three fundamentals of change that, in her understanding, will make the EU the global leader in digital excellence in the “20s” that are coming. Such pillars affirm that the (European) practices and values of the offline world must also be respected online; that companies must have a unique set of fundamental digital rules across the European Union; and that they must have equal conditions and opportunities.
All of these principles are reflected in the brand-new proposed legislation. DSA aims to strengthen the EU’s single market, facilitate the expansion of startups and scale-ups through unifying rules in the economic space and clarify the responsibilities and obligations of digital services, while DMA will directly address the economic power of major online platforms with the intention of restraining (and demanding) certain behaviours, even before regulators have evidence of real damage to the market.
The proposals point to unquestionable benefits for society and democracy in Europe (reduction of fake news, illegal products and services and hate speech), but it is too early to know what their systemic implications will be on people’s daily lives and, above all, on businesses’. These are epic challenges in political, legal and geocorporate terms, capable of generating an impact both in large technological companies and in early-stage startups.
Although the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, stated (also) at the Web Summit 2020 that this debate “is not about where you come from, but about what you do and the role you have in the market”, the potentially geopolitical discussion it’s already set. The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), positioned at the top of the North American ranking of the Global Go To Think Tank Index, published last November the study “Digital Services Act, Digital Markets Act and the new competition tool – European initiatives to face US technology companies“, whose approach highlights how the different international perspectives and interests on the subject will be heard with a huge echo while Portugal leads the temporary presidency of the European Council.
CSIS (left) and Oxera / Allied for Startups (right) studies
On the other hand, the study “The Impact of the Digital Services Act on business users”, released last October by the British consultant company Oxera in partnership with the international association Allied for Startups, suggests another angle: that the emerging digital entrepreneurs in Europe have a vision on defending their autonomy and free initiative similar to that of North American big techs. After collecting the perspective of 1,000 startup & SME founders from the travel and tourism, gig economy and creative industry segments in Germany, Bulgaria, Ireland and Spain, the study concludes that DSA can achieve positive results if 1) it continues to limit the platforms’ direct responsibility for content and products made available by third parties; 2) it allows platforms to take their own voluntary actions to detect harmful or illegal content; 3) it elaborates obligations with known penalties, in order to increase customer confidence and provide legal certainty; 4) it expands the consistency of rules applied across the EU; 5) it avoids overloading discouraging information to users, such as detailed verification of product lists, qualifications or content copyrights; 6) it doesn’t prescribe governance solutions that prevent platforms from implementing scalable technical solutions, such as artificial intelligence tools; and 7) it avoids rules based on the size of each platform, such as numbers of users or the value of facilitated transactions.
These are perspectives both legitimate and potentially fracturing when facing the Council of the EU intentions, ready to feed a lively debate right at the moment of Portugal’s protagonism in its rotating presidency. So the question emerges: how will the well-known Portuguese pro-innovation and digital transformation position, expressed so favourably over the past few years, be used as a parameter in the legislative developments of the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act? A theme that we’ll closely follow-up throughout 2021.
* Beta-i’s Co-Founder, Communication & Knowledge Principal
The Lisbon Tourism Summit (LTS), organized by Beta-i and sponsored by Turismo de Portugal, will take place on Sep 30th and goes fully online. The 2020 edition focuses on a more sustainable approach on the tourism sector, “a segment that more than ever requires deepening in strategic themes such as circular economy, mobility, artificial intelligence and energy efficiency so that it is possible to actually talk about sustainability“, emphasizes Gonçalo Faria, one of Beta-i’s Innovation Programs director.
LTS counts on the participation of several national and international speakers, with the emphasis on the sustainability designer, sociologist and businesswoman, Leyla Acaroglu. Awarded as Champion of the Earth by the United Nations, Leyla is also author of several books and TED Talks. Check what she has to say as, in her own words, a sustainability provocateur:
The Lisbon Tourism Summit is an integral part of Turismo de Portugal’s innovation strategy to manage the growth of this industry in the country over the past few years. Beta-i is a strategic partner in this because, in addition to LTS, it also organizes The Journey – an open innovation program that facilitates collaboration between leading companies in the tourism industry (such as Grupo Barraqueiro, Vila Galé, Parques de Sintra – Monte da Lua and Unicre) with technological solutions from startups around the world. The results of its latest edition will be presented within the LTS: there will be more than a dozen project presentations, involving startups from Europe and Asia.
Digital transformation still has a long way to go before becoming ubiquitous in society and companies. The belief that all the market is fully on digital mode, is actually a myth.
B2B relations might consider more environmental, social issues in their procurement and compliance processes;
Core business technological reinvention is an unavoidable must. Really. At last.
These are some of the key impressions from “Learnings in times of a pandemic – A quick poll on personal mindset changes” ran by Beta-i during the peak of quarantine and self-isolation stress in Europe (May to June). We’ve asked some of our corporate clients, closest startups and other stakeholders (investors, think tanks) about these new perspectives. And you can access the full results here: