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Shaping Europe’s digital future

Supporting industry

The EU supports businesses across Europe to adapt to the digital world by coordinating initiatives, focusing investments, and boosting skills.

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There are two million companies in the EU, representing 33 million jobs, and contributing a significant amount to economic growth. Chances are, if you don’t work in industry yourself, you know someone who does. And, changes to industry affect us all.  

One big change that is sweeping through EU and global industry right now is digitisation – business and industry finding digital answers to their challenges. This change is affecting how businesses do business and how people do their jobs.

The EU leads the digitisation of industry on many fronts but not everyone is at the same level. Smaller businesses, food and drink businesses, crafts, construction and publishing are among the types of businesses that are falling behind in using digital technologies to help their customers, and to manage what they do.

Global competition is also heating up, so to keep EU jobs safe and EU products and services at the high standards of quality and safety that we expect, EU industry cannot be left behind.

The EU is here to support businesses to adapt and move with the times. It has identified 5 strands to focus on to unlock the full potential of digitisation for businesses:

  1. establishing a European platform of national initiatives on digitising industry
  2. creating Digital Innovation Hubs
  3. strengthening leadership through partnerships and industrial platforms
  4. introducing a regulatory framework for the digital age
  5. preparing Europeans for the digital future

The EU’s support in digitising industry won’t only make life better for business – it will also help people and the environment. The EU supports projects that bring together technologies that can make sci-fi a reality. For example, EU projects are being developed to give you smart control over your energy use to help you to save money, to give you the self-driving car of your dreams, and to keep the food we grow and eat clean, green, and safe.

As we head further into the 2020s, the EU’s support for the digitisation of industry and businesses will be guided by the vision of the Digital Decade, where thinking will focus on how technology can help people.


New European Partnerships launched to deliver on the EU's ambitions for the Digital Decade

To boost research and innovation investments in digital, the Commission has launched new European Partnerships together with industry and academia, under the Horizon Europe programme.
The Partnerships will pursue innovative solutions on a large scale, pooling in efforts, resources and investments which will generate long-term positive impact, boost European competitiveness and technological sovereignty, as well as create jobs and growth.

Digital Day 2021: EU countries commit to key digital initiatives for Europe's Digital Decade

Today, at the online Digital Day 2021, Ministers representing EU Member States signed three Declarations to pool efforts and resources to promote international connectivity, incentivise the rollout of clean digital technologies and improve the regulatory environment for start-ups and scale-ups. These tangible commitments will help accelerate Europe’s green and digital transformation and will contribute to the vision and goals of Europe's Digital Decade.

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