Fifteen national initiatives for digitising industry have been launched across Europe in recent years. With value chains increasingly distributed across Europe, the further digitalisation of industry brings challenges that can only be addressed through a coordinated EU-wide effort.

Building on and complementing the many national initiatives for digitising industry, the Commission plans to use its policy instruments, financial support, coordination and legislative powers to trigger further investments in all industrial sectors.

This includes working with Member States to focus investment in public-private partnerships pooling resources for developments in digital technologies and digital industrial platforms, including high-performance cloud infrastructure for science and innovation, as well as large-scale test-beds to accelerate standards setting.

It is only at EU level that the pooling of public resources can reach the critical mass needed to attract large private investments. EU level coordination is needed also to address standardisation, to examine the regulatory fitness of legislation for the digital single market, and to support the sharing of best practices in areas like skills and jobs for the digital change.

European Commission's actions

Since the first half of 2016, the Commission, together with Member States and industry, has set up a governance framework to mobilise stakeholders, exchange best practices, and support the coordination of EU and national initiatives.

The European Platform of national initiatives, launched in March 2017, is at the core of the coordination effort. The Platform plays an essential role in the roll-out of digitalisation of industry across Europe, where:

  • experiences can be shared,
  • collaboration and joint investments can be triggered,
  • common approaches to regulatory problems be explored, and
  • means for re-skilling of the workforce be further exchanged.

The objectives of the European platform of national initiatives are to jointly build a critical mass of initiatives and investments for digitising industry, and to ensure the commitment of Member States, Regions and private sector to achieving the Digitising European Industry goals.

Although the Platform builds on and complements the 15 existing initiatives (read below), it will expand to welcome and support new upcoming national initiatives as they are launched. The need for a platform of national initiatives at European level emerged from broad consultations with all stakeholders at a roundtable in September 2016 with former Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Günther Oettinger, and was further welcomed at the Stakeholder Forum in Essen on early 2017.

The other elements of the governance framework are the high-level roundtables, where representatives of Member States' initiatives, industry leaders, and social partners meet twice a year with the European Commission, and a yearly European stakeholder forum. The first European Stakeholder Forum took place on 31 January & 1 February 2017, and gathered around 500 participants from all over Europe.

The Commission will regularly report on the progress of the actions, and update a catalogue of national and regional initiatives and priorities, on a yearly basis. A preliminary analysis of the 15 national initiatives that already exist across Europe also maps the national measures along the action lines of the DEI strategy.

List of National Initiatives active as of June 2017