EC launches IT taskforce

EC launches IT taskforce

Summary: Commissioner Viviane Reding wants to crush the barriers that are preventing Europe becoming a technology powerhouse

TOPICS: Tech Industry

The European Commission has set up a taskforce designed to make Europe's IT industry more competitive.

The taskforce will organise a five-month long debate on the barriers holding European tech companies back from world domination and then come up with some policy ideas on how to overcome them before the end of the year.

The board will be made up of executives from European tech's largest companies, including Nokia, Philips and SAP, as well as venture capitalists and academics.

Convergence in particular will come under the EC's microscope as Brussels tries to assess how to squeeze opportunities from the coming together of digital networks, devices and content.

The EU will study several areas in its attempt to give European IT a jump-start. Education will be looked at in an effort to interest young people in technology, and to make sure businesses have the skills to cope with changes in technology.

Small businesses will also be examined to see if they can contribute to improved tech competitiveness, and to look at how patents and financing affects them.

The taskforce will also consider research and development and intellectual property issues.

Information society commissioner Viviane Reding said in a statement: "With the ICT Task Force, we want to ensure that Europe's ICT industry keeps its leading role in the world. Jointly, we will focus our work on facilitating cross-border competition in Europe, on removing barriers for a true internal market for online content services, and on combining more effectively public and private research efforts to spur ICT investment."

Around five per cent of GDP across the 25 EU nation states comes from the tech industry.

Topic: Tech Industry

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  • If the EU wants a leading role in ICT then the first thing to do is to do something entirely different then what has been done before.

    For starters, the Microsoft way of things enjoys to much protecting US wise. So best to move on to something not so US protected (anything Microsoft, software patents, DRM, Patriot Act related, etc). That is, if you want to keep a head start not striken down once it looks promising.

    Until then, good luck. Obviously you don't have a real clue.
  • The barrier has a name: it's called Microsoft.

    Move it out of the way and you remove problems to trade and innovation like closed APIs, protocols and data formats.
  • Step 2 - invalidate all past and future software patents and their validity in the eu.
    How can anyone do anything innovative if they are constantly worrying that someone out these two lines in that order before?
    Same goes for standards. If someone wants to put forward a standard for everyone to use then it should be either freely available or chargable from the outset, with only a move from chargeable to free allowed, which will stop people like MS, SCO etc making interfaces freely available and then trying to cash in later when everyone is commited.
    If a charge is payable from the outset, then the best technology will go forward, the rest will get dropped.
    I also believe these standards should be freely available as the old rfcs were.
    If the US want to continue with their goldfish view on IT and seek world domination, let them fight it out in their backyard and either accept they have no patent or IP right other than normal copyright protection etc outside of the US or keep out of our market. The US patent system would soon be sorted out.
    Can I apply for a position?