Digital technologies know no borders; innovation and communication is global, in real time, and pervasive throughout all aspects of our communities. There are many prevalent technologies coming, for example artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain (cryptography) and quantum.

The Digital Future of Europe

The EU needs to be able to develop and lead, not only adapt and follow.

Supercomputers

  • The EU wants to build a top-ranked supercomputer by 2023

It is now looking to build a supercomputer, which involves machines capable of analysing billions of pieces of data in real-time, performing calculations thousands of times faster than a normal computer. The EU has proposed to boost Europe’s scientific capabilities and industrial competitiveness: converging High Performance Computing, Big Data and Cloud Computing technologies; aiming to hold one machine ranked in global top 3 by 2020/2021 and by 2022/2023 one that is based on EU technology only.

Artificial Intelligence

  • The European Commission has drafted AI ethics guidelines

AI has also become an area of strategic importance and a key driver of economic development. It can bring solutions to many societal challenges from treating diseases to minimising the environmental impact of farming. However, socio-economic, legal and ethical impacts have to be carefully addressed, which is why the European Commission put forward a European approach to artificial intelligence and robotics. It deals with technological, ethical, legal and socio-economic aspects to boost EU's research and industrial capacity and to put AI at the service of European citizens and economy.

Blockchain

  • The European Union has established the European Blockchain Partnership to ensure collaboration across Member States

Blockchain may bring great improvements for the European industry - from start-ups to large corporates, administrations and citizens. It can enable the provision of more efficient services and the emergence of new ones by:

  • improving business processes in governments, companies and organisations;
  • enabling new distributed business and interaction models based on direct peer-to-peer exchanges without the need for centralised platforms or intermediaries.

Digital Innovation Hubs

  • A network of support centres developed by the European Union helps businesses to integrate technology 

To support businesses in how best to use these new digital technologies to improve their business we are developing a network of one-stop shops [so called “Digital innovation hubs”] in every region. These do much more than advise; Not only can businesses learn about technology, but experts can help develop improvements to products and service through technology, and even run some testing. Across Europe, there are over 250 of them already.

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