No doubt our guests welcomed cool drinks on a particularly warm evening, but the buzz making this event such a success was all digital.
Ms Bonefeld-Dahl first introduced herself and how her international IT background led her to understand the importance of bridging the divide between the digital technology industry and policy-making. She then highlighted how the association, representing 25,000 tech companies in Europe, uses its relationships in Brussels and with national trade associations as a key player in preventing and dismantling fragmentation in the Digital Single Market.
She emphasized the importance of overcoming the perception of the industry as the “big bad IT sector. People need to see how digital transformation works for the benefit of society and business and the welfare of citizens. We need to promote the data economy as the main driver for sustainable growth in Europe and the development of digital skills as the best opportunity for jobs for its young people,” she said. However, Ms Bonefeld-Dahl warned that “Two-thirds of the unicorns, the companies who can really create jobs, are leaving the EU. This is down to a lack of risk capital, scale, and skills.”
Turning to data privacy and cybersecurity, she stressed that “There is much the industry can do to support regulation creating a safe environment for data. However the framework we adopt must also avoid holding back innovation and the development of the infrastructure people need to take full advantage of their devices, the IoT and connected cars.”
Ms Bonefeld-Dahl concluded that “Macron and Merkel understand digital. We as an industry need to understand their agendas and make sure we are bringing everyone along.”
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