The rapid decline in computing costs, the emergence of the Internet as a communication tool and the proliferation of day-to-day applications have profoundly affected the organisation of businesses and of personal life. Consequently, it has also affected greatly the functioning of the economy.
It has brought many benefits to consumers and businesses, but it has also generated new problems and policy issues. Policy makers struggle to respond to these new challenges.
JRC is investigating several areas in which this digital revolution and the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) are affecting the economy and the policy issues that digitation is bringing.
ICT R&D and Innovation
The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry and ICT-enabled innovation in other industries and services make an increasingly important contribution to the economic growth of advanced economies.
ICT industry contribution to growth and jobs creation was highlighted in the Digital Agenda for Europe and Innovation Union flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Indeed, ICT R&D and innovation are key to future developments.
Under the generic wording of Big Data, scientists develop new analytical tools for very large datasets to address research challenges. The Digital Economy research team is developing a range of Big Data projects that impulse new insights in ICT-related issues, some of those in direct response to customers' demand.
The Digital Single Market, Platforms and Copyright
While online services in digital markets are expected to be free of borders, this research programme examines the legal, regulatory and commercial obstacles that still generate geographical market fragmentation in online services delivery in the EU Digital Single Market. A topic that has drawn a policy attention is the reform of the EU copyright regime market to adapt it to the requirements of this digital age. A specific issue there is how to overcome geographical fragmentation in digital media (music, film, e-books) that piggy-backs on the territoriality of the copyright regime in the EU. We also study vertical market fragmentation induced by the decline in information costs that leads to the emergence of new online market places such as large platforms or multi-sided markets and collaborative platforms that enable more direct forms of exchange between individuals.