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Boosting the Industrial Digitisation in Europe

Telefónica welcomes the first Industrial Digitisation European initiatives and the support for FIWARE open platforms, open data and standards.

The European Commission is unveiling a set of initiatives regarding its first industry-related package under the Digital Single Market strategy.

Telefónica welcomes this package as it sets a new milestone on the reshaping of the EU policy towards digitisation of the economy and industry as a whole.

We consider key the support for Open platforms in general and FIWARE in particular, that will cut across sectors and accelerate innovation by companies and communities of developers, building new services and advancing the Internet of Things in Europe.

We believe that European leadership on open platforms like FIWARE-based platforms and data economy is a way to foster digital transformation and a whole ecosystem of digital hubs and organizations for innovation and growth. In the same way, EU actions supporting competence centres and accelerators as FIWARE lab have shown not only an increase of competitiveness of existing industries, but also additional business creation in new digitised products and services, of creating an open innovation-driven ecosystem.

Digitization is one of the strongest drivers for increasing growth, strengthening competitiveness and boosting employment through the renaissance of European industry. It offers opportunities for existing and new businesses in all sectors.

Telefónica believes that in order to succeed in the digital transformation of the European industry a comprehensive approach is needed, where digital technologies particularly Connectivity, Cloud, Data analysis, Security, Internet of things and Open Platforms play a fundamental role.

A robust connectivity forms the backbone of a digital industry. Devices, plant and machinery must be connected as extensively and securely as possible in order to avoid disruptions and downtime costs in fully automated processes and to foster full digitalisation. Consequently, ubiquitous, available and reliable high speed networks are the key to enabling technology for the full realization of an ‘Industrial Internet’. Strong incentives for continued investment in the EU on broadband infrastructure will be essential to meet the exponential connectivity demands associated to an Industrial Internet.

The profound transformation that is taking place in all sectors, and in the industrial sector, as a result of this digital revolution, is mainly driven by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). 

As part of this approach the European Commission will help coordinate, at a European level, national and regional initiatives on digitising industry, like the Spaniard “Industria Conectada 4.0” supported by Telefónica or large-scale pilot projects like Smart Cities.

In this regard, Telefónica views Smart Cities as an opportunity to leverage the city as a platform for digital transformation of the European economy, industry and society.

The Commission will focus investments in EU's public-private partnerships and innovation hubs, as well as set up large large-scale pilot projects to strengthen internet of things, advanced manufacturing and technologies in smart cities and homes, connected cars or mobile health services.  It will adopt legislation to support the free flow of data and present an EU skills agenda. It plans to mobilise over €50 billion of public and private investments for the digitisation of industry.

In short, we believe that providing an appropriate regulatory framework, investing in education, training programs and innovation hubs, addressing privacy and security, fostering open common standards and technological collaboration are some of the most important actions that governments and industry can take to accelerate the adoption of Industrial Internet. 

The package launched by the European Commission should be a step in the right direction that needs to be reinforced by the forthcoming actions within the DSM strategy.  

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Lourdes Tejedor / @madrid2day

Carlos Rodríguez Cocina, Director, Head of Telefónica's Brussels Office
Nuria Talayero, Public Policy and Regulation Manager of Telefónica