In the context of building closer ties with the Southern Mediterranean countries, the Commission has launched a number of initiatives that together open the perspective for greater cross-Mediterranean connectivity for data.
Digital4Med Conference 2019
With the participation of State Secretaries and CEOs from EU Member States and from the Southern Mediterranean, this event identified types of cooperation, from regulatory harmonisation to transfer of best practices, and from capacity building to infrastructure investment to trigger political engagement at ministerial level.
Digital4Med offered the occasion to promote the European External Investment Plan (EIP) as one of the tools for supporting the digital transformation of the Southern Mediterranean countries and the EIP's five priority areas, Digitalisation and Financing for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and agriculture are the most suitable.
This high-level conference was built around two sessions: Connectivity and Supporting the data economy.
To support the deployment of digital services and technologies and move towards a data-driven knowledge economy requires underlying infrastructure. Access to broadband is one of the biggest constraints faced by citizens and companies in the region. The EU’s External Investment Plan (EIP) will mobilise €44bn of investments for Africa and the EU Neighbourhood, through an EU contribution of €4bn. Twelve EU guarantees worth around €800m have been approved, including technical assistance funding of €74m for a Digital Transformation Platform & Broadband Investment Programme, designed to increase the use of digital technologies, and widen rural access to broadband.
Supporting the data economy
The EU’s current effort to boost its domestic capacity in high performance computing (HPC), big data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to act as a major multiplier for its engagement in addressing today’s challenges. Initiatives in this area will show how the EU's capacity can support its neighbours in building data research capacity, and in linking up nascent digital innovation hubs in the region. There is increasing interest in the super-computer community to work with the EU on modelling big data applications for agriculture, health, migration and water management, among others.
Digital4Med was webstreamed! If you missed it, you can follow the recorded conference below or on the Digital Single Market YouTube channel.
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