miércoles, 10 de junio de 2015

Not late for Smart Europe

The greatest benefits from digitalisation come from the application of ICTs in traditional industry. The European Commision highlights this undeniable fact in its document "A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe" pointing that "75% of the value added by the Digital Economy comes from traditional industries". Once the European Commision recognises the fact, it quickly forgets it and no measures for speeding up the creation of smart environments (e.g. Industry 4.0, smart cities, ...) are included in the new roadmap towards a digital Europe. 

To begin with, there are gaps in the measures that measures are foreseen for laying the need framework condition for the flourishing of smart environments. There is a vague commitment that "The Commission will address digital skills and expertise as a key component of its future initiatives on skills and training". No specific action to tackle the the regulatory issues that surge with the combination of Internet of the Things, Big Data and Cloud in Smart Environments. Nevertheless, the latter gap could be understood as an act of faith in the new data protection regulation under development. However, it should be recognised a right approach towards the issue of standards through the identification of the critical missing pieces and the push for a plan for its development.

But the creation of the framework conditions is not enough. As I wrote in a previous post, believing in the confidence fairy is not a good recipe for digital policies. A more active approach should be taken if we want Europe to be a leader in the development of smart environments. A quite effective direction to explore is the creation of large scale pilot initiatives with a strong European value. Examples in the fields of transport, agriculture, assisted living, buildings and work safety are provided in the recently published "Benchmark Study for Large Scale Pilots in the area of Internet of Things". The development of Large Scale Pilots (LSP) in the eGovernment arena have been the basis for the digital service infrastructures that are under consolidation for production within the CEF-Digital programme. LSPs in Smart Environments might be the cornerstone for the digitalisation of the different economic sectors.

According with IDC, IoT revenues in the EU28 will increase from more than €307 billion in 2013 to more than €1,181 billion in 2020, including hardware, software and services. European institutions should be more active for grasping the opportunity. It could be the last train for avoiding a definitive delay in the development of the digital economy in Europe. It is not late for creating a Smart Europe.

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