Next Commission’s ambitious digital agenda is a chance to focus on scaling up

EIT Digital CEO encourages EU to take ambitious steps in regulating new technologies.

Brussels, September 10, 2019: About 1,000 European innovators, decision makers and technology enthusiasts gathered today in Brussels for the fourth edition of the EIT Digital Conference, titled ‘For a strong Digital Europe’, to discuss pressing issues for the digital sector and experience 50 demonstrations of disruptive next generation products and services.

Speakers included, amongst others, Eva Kaili (MEP, Chair of the European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment – STOA - Panel 2014-2019), Andreas Kunze, (CEO, Konux), Nuria Oliver (Chief Scientific Advisor, Vodafone Institute) and Gry Hasselbalch (Co-Founder of the ThinkDoTank DataEthics and member of the European Commission's high-level group on AI and ethics).

Willem Jonker, EIT Digital CEO, declares: “Europe has great potential to draw level with its American and Asian competitors and win the race on data platforms for industry and ethical AI applications. At EIT Digital, we believe that only a concerted effort of all stakeholders can sustain the competitiveness of a sector that is vital for Europe’s economic success. Our mission, is to bring tech ‘makers’ (i.e. tech firms and universities) and ‘shapers’ (i.e. regulators) together to create the digital world that respects European values.”

EIT Digital is an efficient delivering machine in Europe when it comes to digital innovations, skills development, support for entrepreneurs and connecting the diverse European ecosystems. “Since our launch in 2010, EIT Digital has equipped more than 1,500 students with the skills to innovate and become entrepreneurs; supported more than 300 scaleups to grow internationally, created more than 120 new ventures and launched more than 380 products and services commercially”, continues EIT Digital CEO Willem Jonker.

EIT Digital CEO also encourages EU to take ambitious steps in regulating the tech industry: “We cannot prevent disruptive technologies from emerging, such as the deployment of cryptocurrencies as a daily payment tool. But what we can do is to prevent major firms to freely control technologies that shape the world we and future generations will live in. We believe there should be a democratic control of those tools and therefore see the needs for balanced regulation at EU Level."

In her “agenda for Europe”, incoming European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen outlined as one of six priorities her plans for a “Europe fit for the digital age”. These include proposals for legislation on Artificial Intelligence, 5G standards, or a Digital Services Act. Willem Jonker comments: “We applaud Commission President-elect von der Leyen for her determination and encourage her to partner up with those who successfully deliver on our joint ambitions. Together we can work for a strong Digital Europe!”


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