IT & Innovation in Europe

09 October 2013 Author: EIFonline

The 5th European Innovation Summit gathered a wide range of policy makers and leading stakeholders from industry and academia to participate in 25 events in order to reflect on the crucial steps to be made in the implementation of policies and instruments in order to put Europe back on the map of the strong innovation economies.

To help find answers the European Internet Foundation and Knowledge4Innovation (K4I) invited EIF members, friends and summit participants to this joint dinner debate “IT as a tool for driving Innovation”. Pilar del Castillo, MEP, EIF Chair and K4I Forum Political Member, and Lambert van Nistelrooij, MEP, Chair of the Governing Board of the K4I and EIF Governor, hosted this widely attended event at the European Parliament’s Presidential Salon and opened the floor to the high level speakers’ panel. 

Dr. Burton Lee, PhD MBA – Lecturer on European Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Stanford School of Engineering took the floor first to give his observations and recommendations on how Europe could improve its competitiveness. He noted that at the moment Europe as a region does not understand the strategic importance that software has for innovation. Europe has not developed as a major software region for the most important areas of software: consumer and enterprise software. Today this area of software is dominated by the US. Europe is still dominated by hardware and this causes European governments and industry to discount the value of software as a source of national competitive advantage. This situation causes major losses on software related jobs and an inability to generate very large levels of new value and capital for Europe.  Dr. Burton Lee concluded with a recommendation for policy makers and industry to give serious attention to this issue. 

Listen to Dr. Burton Lee’s full speech: 

Harry van Dorenmalen, IBM Europe Chairman, took the floor next and presented a perspective from the European IT sector. To use the full potential of IT in Europe we need to exploit the region’s strengths: strong university systems, smart youngsters, technology, trade and the single market. He also called for the development of all layers of IT in Europe: infrastructure, data, and appliances. Mr van Dorenmalen also cited cognitive computing as a key trend for the future of ICT technology. He concluded by asking for more leadership to fully use Europe’s potential. 

Listen to the full Harry van Dorenmalen’s speech: 

Thibaut Kleiner, Advisor in the Cabinet of European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes, was the last speaker and spoke about the emerging culture of start-ups in Europe and presented the Startup Manifesto, a 22 point plan produced by The Startup Europe Leaders Club – an independent group of founders in the fields of tech entrepreneurship –tasked by Ms. Kroes in March 2013 to develop a series of recommendations to support entrepreneurship and drive the growth of the internet economy across Europe. Mr. Kleiner also elaborated on more Commission’s activities to promote start-ups and entrepreneurship in Europe. He concluded his speech with VP Kroes words, “let’s startup Europe, let’s shake up Europe and let’s connect Europe”.

Listen to the full Thibaut Kleiner’s speech: 



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