The rapid rise and accessibility of smartphones and social media platforms, and the multitude of apps running on them, is considered as one of the biggest economical and technological phenomena over the past five years. Europe has become a strong player in the global app economy, with companies like Rovio, SoundCloud and SwiftKey leading the way. A forthcoming workshop in Brussels, “Eurapp: Shape the Future App Economy of Europe”, will bring together stakeholders and experts to brainstorm how the ecosystem of companies, platform providers and other stakeholders in the European app economy can grow in the future, and how companies can be guided towards future success in the app “aftermarket”.

Eurapp is a part of the 'Startup Europe' Initiative of the European Commission' to help tech entrepreneurs to start, to grow and to stay in Europe.

Almost a million apps have been created for various devices and platforms; for each app to be developed, sold and maintained, a set of jobs needs to be introduced and fulfilled. Recent studies on the app economy in the US said that it was responsible for the creation of nearly 500,000 jobs since 2007. The Eurapp project is organised by the European Commission, - being run by top web research institute DERI in conjunction with leading tech industry analyst firm GigaOM - is looking at the app economy in Europe, carrying out interviews and surveys with stakeholders to determine its characteristics and using a series of workshops and innovation challenges to crowdsource proposals for how growth can be stimulated in the future. It is within this project that the Shape the Future workshop is being organised.

The workshop will have as its format a series of lightning talks featuring experts in this space, followed by mapping sessions to probe attendees’ collective thinking and examine some of the issues to be tacked in growing the app economy in Europe. These include identifying the bottlenecks (environmental, technical, financial, resource limited, etc.) experienced by apps developers that the European Union could develop policies to overcome or mitigate, and mapping out the best measures of success for an app company, such that they can be guided towards successful business outcomes.

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