The data economy is offering to Europe a tremendous opportunity for growth and jobs. Digital technologies are thus increasingly seen as an opportunity to innovate, grow and thrive to remain competitive in the global marketplace. For instance, 80% of CEOs say data mining and analysis is strategically important to their organisation.
However, the old continent seems to struggle compared to its competitors. The state-of-play of the data economy shows that Europe is lagging behind in terms of digital transformation. The speed and magnitude of digital transformation are still largely insufficient. This is shown by the limited uptake of data models by businesses. Also, Europe would need to invest annually around EUR 90 billion over the next 15 years, to position itself as a trailblazer in Industry 4.0.
Four major areas of action for a strong data economy in Europe were identified (see next page). These areas all share one characteristic: they require quick and large-scale efforts to be tackled. Forward-looking policies at national and European levels are urgently needed. These challenges can only be met if all relevant stakeholders work together.
A mobilisation of all European public and private stakeholders to launch and achieve digital infrastructure, skills, regulatory and business projects is urgently needed to reposition Europe at the forefront of international digital leadership. Only concrete projects will have the power to catalyse available funds, people skills and leaderships to make Europe a leader in the new digital era.