18 Jul 2023

"Digitalisation is an unstoppable process: Europe must play a leading role amongst the world's major economies"

The Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU is underway. Ahead of the Spaniards, six challenging months in which digital policy is set to play a pivotal role. While EU policymakers may have already reached an agreement on the Data Act, another critical file for Europe’s digital future is still to be resolved: the Artificial Intelligence Act.

What role will Spain’s Presidency play in this law? And how can Spain work towards attracting more technological talent in Europe, or towards securing a bright digital future for Europeans? We’ve talked to AMETIC’s President Pedro Mier, leader of one of our two members representing Spain’s digital industry, about these topics and more.

Pedro Mier, President of AMETIC

Question: What should Spain’s EU Presidency priorities be?

Answer: It should be everything related to strategic autonomy and a green and digital re-industrialisation. Digital technologies will play a fundamental role in this.

Q: What role should they play regarding the Artificial Intelligence Act?

A: We’ll have to follow artificial intelligence carefully. We have to focus on everything regarding its control, so it develops to benefit people, above all, and companies

Question:Q: How can Europe retain and attract more technological talent?

A: European businesses compete on a global stage. If we want to be able to compete from Europe we must have, as a bare minimum, equal or similar conditions to those of our competitors in other countries, and especially in the leading countries, or blocks, like the USA, China, Korea, etc…

“There must be a smart reindustrialization that uses innovation and digital technologies to move forward”

Q: And what about Spain? What’s doing good and what it could do better on the digitalisation front?

A: Many things are being done well. For example, dedicating a substantial percentage of the EU recovery funds to digital technologies. It’s also a good decision to launch programmes such as ‘kit digital’ to help small businesses digitalise. However, in the end, competitiveness is linked to innovation. Without innovation, there’s no competitiveness. Without industry, there is no innovation. There must be a smart reindustrialization that uses innovation and digital technologies to move forward.

Q: Is Spain’s Startups Law going to boost innovation?

A: The solution doesn’t just come from startups. Yes, it’s good that Spain is aiming to have an empowering environment for startups, but we must also aim to scale medium-sized companies, which are at the core of our economy. Innovation must be present at all levels.

Q: How does the future of digital look like for both Europe and Spain?

A: Digitalisation is an unstoppable process. In the face of a process like this, you have two options. You are going to digitalise one way or another, there’s no doubt about that. But you can be a “passive recipient”, or you can be an actor. If you stay as “passive recipient” you’re quickly heading towards irrelevance and towards the problems of losing positions, losing good jobs, talent, etc… If you aim to become an important actor then it’s exactly the opposite.

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