Brussels keen to push high tech and innovation for a united Europe
Thursday, 25 June 2015
John Higgins, Director General at DIGITALEUROPE
DIGITALEUROPE reiterates that European companies would miss out on significant growth opportunities if the EU were to not fully exploit the potential of the digital technology. John Higgins, director general of the organization which represents the digital technology industry in Europe, emphasized the importance of the single digital market during his keynote speech at Huawei Innovation Day last week in Munich.
According to Higgins, the largest opportunities from the digital economy lie in the digitalization of the existing industries and companies. DIGITALEUROPE estimates that up to 75% of the GDP growth contributions would come from digital adoption of existing businesses. This would be as a result of higher productivity, greater competition, job creation and a more efficient and wider market in Europe under the single digital market.
“When American bank robber Willy Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, his answer was simple: ‘Because that’s where the money is.’ The same applies to the digitization of our economy”, Higgins humorously noted.
DIGITALEUROPE recently published a research report which contains 13 recommendations in order to assist and speed up the digital transformation. He argued that Europe’s high tech sector was still lagging US, although it has made good progress in recent years.
The main obstacle for Europe in his opinion was the lack of a fully functioning single market. Unlike in the US, European companies are limited to their own home countries, and cannot reach as many potential customers compared to a high tech company starting in the US market.
Higgins was however overall optimistic that the EU will be successful in improving the digital business climate in Europe. The latest measures announced last month already go a long way to improve the situation, he argued. Europe has also recently seen an increase in the number of tech start-ups that have reached billion-dollar valuations.