Europe must stop thinking in a digital economy and understand that the economy is digital.
The Lisbon Council, the think tank based in Brussels gathered together digital entrepreneurs, policy makers and industry representatives to launch the European Digital Forum and Startup Europe Partnership. These two initiatives aimed to improve the current entrepreneurial environment in Europe and to boost the digital economy.
Both projects were initiated and launched by Telefonica, in collaboration with other corporations. The Digital Economy needs to be at the forefront not only in business but also in the policy agenda.
The European Digital Forum is a first-of-its kind think tank dedicated to empowering tech entrepreneurs and growing Europe’s digital economy. The European Digital Forum gives a voice in public policy to the continent’s most enterprising and innovative entrepreneurs. The Lisbon Council will lead the EDF together with Nesta. Their function will be analyse the different issues of the digital economy in order to provide knowledge and data to solve the problems that startups and other stakeholder face in the digital era.
On the other side, Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) aims at offering an integrated pan-European platform to help the best startups emerge from these local ecosystems and scale-up. One of Europe’s biggest challenges for startups is to grow enough to provide the jobs and wealth the European economy needs. For such purpose SEP has been created, to get connected the relevant actors in Europe: Startups, corporations and knowledge centres (Universities and Business Schools).
In the launching event of both initiatives EC President Barroso and Vice President Kroes highlighted the importance of a digital strategy for Europe. Both highlighted the importance of further collaboration between entrepreneurs, corporations and institutions to build a digital Europe.
José María Álvarez Pallete, Telefónica COO pointed out that “a more properous and innovative Europe is only possible joining the strengths of the European industry, SME’s and institutions through projects as the ones launched today”.
To make this happen, the EU will allocate €80B up to 2020 to fund R&D&i, to fund cutting edge research and innovation over the next six years.