EU Science Hub

Digital Economy

The rapid decline in computing costs, the emergence of the Internet as a communication tool, the rapid development of the mobile internet, the proliferation of day-to-day applications, and the increasing role of internet-based social networks and commercial platforms, have greatly affected the functioning of the economy and have profoundly affected businesses, public organisations, and personal life.

Emerging digital technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and Big Data, will lead to further disruptive innovation, and create new opportunities and challenges.

Digitalisation has brought many benefits to consumers and businesses, but it has also generated new problems and policy issues. Policy makers are struggling to respond to these new challenges.

JRC is investigating how the on-going digital revolution and Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) are affecting the economy and what are resulting policy issues in the following areas:

ICT industry and ICT R&D in Europe

ICTs underpin the development of the digital economy and make an increasingly important contribution to economic growth.  JRC analyses the supply of ICT and R&D in ICT in Europe, with comparison to major competitors worldwide, and provides a permanent monitoring of the ICT economic sector since 2006.

This research serves to assess the impact of EU policies and to guide future policy developments in the digital domain: the 3% R&D target (Lisbon Agenda and EU2020), the Digital Agenda for Europe, Member States ICT supply and R&D policies in the context of European Semester (EDPR), and more generally the European Digital Single Market (DSM).

Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the Digital Economy

Digitalisation makes information and knowledge easy to store, access and modify. Digital technologies create a media and communications system that increasingly links all parts of social and economic life.

This, and the interactivity between the user and the content, facilitates the proliferation of creative re-combinations of knowledge and technologies.

The JRC is investigating the processes in which digital innovation and entrepreneurial activity take place and what framework conditions facilitate them, including the role of Intellectual Property Rights and standardisation of complex and interdependent technologies. This research supports policy initiatives such as the Innovation Radar under H2020; Start-up Europe and the Digital Single Market.

Economics of the Digital Single Market

JRC provides economic analyses for the implementation of some aspects of the European Digital Single Market (DSM) agenda.

In particular, it does a comprehensive assessment of online platforms, it examines the economic impact of (big) data collection & analytics, EU data ownership and access regulation. Finally, JRC analyses cross-border geo-blocking in online services and digital media content, in particular audio-visual media content.