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Upskilling human capital critical to European industry’s digital transformation

April 20, Brussels - EIT Digital CEO, Willem Jonker welcomes Vice-President Ansip and Commissioners Oettinger and Moedas’ announcement of support for digitising Europe’s industry, and further underlines how upskilling the European workforce will be critical to the initiative’s success.

The €50 billion package of measures include a European-wide skills agenda to ready employees for the digital age focussing on leadership and entrepreneurship, alongside more traditional learning. This aligns with work EIT Digital has been pioneering in human capital development in Europe, sourcing and training entrepreneurial digital talent to drive digital innovation through its Master, Doctoral and Professional schools. The basis of EIT Digital’s entrepreneurial education efforts combines Education, Research and Business (ERB) activities to deliver T-shaped training for our students to acquire deep technical knowledge with entrepreneurial skills. These activities breed young technical entrepreneurs and digital leaders and keep the existing professional workforce at the forefront of digital trends.

“There is no innovation without education. We have an urgent need to make significant investment in our human capital. This needs to be done in parallel with developments in digital infrastructure if we want to enable change and position Europe as a leader in the digital industrial revolution. No matter how smart current and future technology is, we need people able to drive the digital transformation.” commented EIT Digital CEO, Willem Jonker.

“We’re keen to support and deploy the European skills agenda and to share our experience from our existing programmes to help deliver on these goals,” he added.

EIT Digital currently has 1,500 students enrolled in its various education programmes and aims to increase this by a factor of five to 10 in the coming years.

In addition to its education programmes, Digital Industry is one of four priority areas for EIT Digital’s €1 billion investment to drive Europe’s Digital Transformation announced last week. The focus for investment in Digital Industry will include decentralised production, data driven production management and logistics, consumer trends and customer experience, and cyber security solutions.

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