Seeker Spotlight: “Crowdsourcing on what are the new sources of ICT-enabled growth and jobs to take into consideration in the follow-up to the Digital Agenda for Europe”

Posted by jartese on Mar 2, 2014 4:43:00 PM

Introduction:

The Digital Agenda for Europe was introduced four years ago as a directional communication to reboot Europe's economy and help Europe's citizens and businesses to get the most out of digital technologies. These technologies and European business circumstances have evolved greatly over this time and the European Commission is now looking to update the DAE to reflect the current situation and future trends: one method of renewal is through open innovation competitions.

Running two Ideation Challenges, the European Commission is seeking innovative insights into what the new sources of ICT-enabled growth and jobs are in Europe and how public policy can utilise these to maximum effect. We’re very pleased to be joined today by a representative from the policy unit responsible for this, Mr Bror Salmelin from the European Commission. For more information on both Challenges and context overview, please follow the links Current Barriers and How to Overcome Them, Business Model Innovation and Innovative Policies, EUROPE 2020 and Digital Agenda for Europe                                                                       

1. Hello Bror, thanks for joining us today. Could you start by giving us a bit of background information to the Digital Agenda for Europe and how these Challenges came to be?

The "Digital Agenda for Europe" was designed to allow the European Union and its Member States to reap the benefits of a competitive digital single market. Faced with the fragmentation of European markets, preventing the European Union from grasping the advantages of the digital economy in terms of increased productivity, employment and growth, "Digital Agenda for Europe" aims to unleash the digital potential and diffuse the digital culture widely across the European Union. In its present form it contains over 130 actions, most of which have been completed.

In 2010, the European Commission proposed the Europe 2020 strategy which was launched as the EU’s strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.  Coming out of the financial crisis and with growth prospects returning, now is the perfect time to delve deeper into future job and economic opportunities within the ICT and tech sector – these Challenges represent a search for possibilities and trends that can be used to enhance the European economies of today and tomorrow.

2. So as we move through the 21st Century, what are the main technological challenges that the EU are seeking to tackle?

After a December 2012 Communication that reviewed and refocused the DAE to drive EU growth further digitally, the following seven key areas were identified for further investigation with the aim of stimulating the conditions to create growth and jobs in Europe:

The EC believes these technological challenges present great opportunity for economic growth however submissions should not be limited to looking purely in these fields. With a continual pursuit of technological advancement, new fields of interest may appear that present economic growth and job opportunities.

3. What are the key objectives of the Challenges – what do you seek to get out of the submissions and how will the solutions provided be used?

In its policy-making, the European Commission has plenty of consultations with different stakeholders which provide a very valuable input. What we are looking for in the two challenges is alternative or lateral thinking: ideas we have not considered and that will be relevant in the future to generate growth and jobs in the digital economy in Europe. This may imply out of the box thinking and ideas that challenge a linear extrapolation of the past.

The policies we will take on board are those that are or could be operational as of now, but also have a longer term structural impact on the economy and society. The answers will help shape future EU directives and policy - your input could help build the EU economy of tomorrow.

4. So what are the key points that you would like to see in the winning submissions?

There a four main points we would like to see:

  • Excitement, potential and scalability.
  • New thinking of value creation and wealth creation.
  • Ideas leading to concrete measures.
  • Business and societal models mashing up to create a strong drive for jobs and growth that extends beyond solely monetary values.

Within the Challenge description is an outline of previous policies and projects implemented that take advantage of new technologies; examine these to avoid repeating what has already been done. Innovative, out-of-the-box ideas are what we are looking for.

5. Do you have any final advice for potential solvers who find these Challenges interesting?

Think out of the box! Be creative and present alternative suggestions that take into account the changing societal and technological landscape and can lead to catalytic actions for jobs and growth. Question the past; constructively look at the extrapolations of past policies to spot the trends and possibilities of tomorrow. Good luck!

Thank you very much for speaking with us. We’re really excited by the two Ideation Challenges, and we hope potential Solvers are too!

Take the Challenges now!

  1. Current Barriers and How to Overcome Them
  2. Business Model Innovation and Innovative Policies

Topics: Innovation Insights, Seekers

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