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H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L

I S S U E S E V E N

89

D I G I TA L E C O N O M Y

The Intel VP added that it is also important for Europe to focus on data-

driven innovation: “We have a lot of activities and innovation taking place

on the Cloud, on storage, on Big Data, on IoT, analytics, security, privacy

… but we have to keep focusing on it because this is very important to

keep on being competitive, and also using the data as a competitive

advantage, because collaboration, co-operation and innovation is based

on data nowadays.”

Competitiveness

Morales also outlined his final topic of investing for competitiveness: “It’s

about investing in people, in business and in networks. The vice-president

[Andrus Ansip] talked about accelerating investments in new enterprises,

in start-ups … I want to highlight that whether it’s central-eastern

Europe, whether it’s western Europe, middle-eastern Africa, through Intel

Capital, we have invested in 250 companies which are very competitive

and very innovative.

“There are a lot of new entrepreneurs and people who are taking risks

and who are setting up their own company, so it is very important that

we keep supporting them.”

Morales’ emphasis on three components that are crucial to the future

of Europe’s digital economy is a simple recipe for innovation

investment success.

A

top priority of the European Commission led by Jean-Claude

Juncker is building a leading, globally competitive, digital

European economy. In May, Portal attended the European

Business Summit 2015 in Brussels and heard from Christian Morales,

Intel Corporation’s corporate vice-president and general manager for

Europe, the Middle East and Africa, on how to realise this goal.

During the ‘Digital Economy – Remaking business for a digital Europe’

seminar, Morales discussed three key topics, namely “optimism in doing

business in Europe” (adding that he is “very positive about what is going

on in Europe” after the continent last year was the “fastest growing region

in the world”); “the role of innovation in Europe’s digital transformation”;

and “the importance of investing to remain competitive”.

Europe’s strength

The Intel VP began by highlighting a range of strengths that Europe has,

notably in manufacturing, the automotive sector, machinery, equipment,

and pharmaceuticals, though added that the continent now needs to

quicken the pace of its digital revolution.

“European business needs to accelerate its digital transformation. It is

not about saying there are digital companies in the world and there is

the industry; it’s that everything is digitalising – every economy, every

part of the economic activity we have in the world is digitalising.”

Morales said that such a transformation is a “big challenge” and the race

is on to see who is the fastest. Yet he is hopeful regarding Europe’s

position, saying “we have a very good opportunity to make it happen”.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is now proving an important avenue in

digitalisation given increasing connectivity with the Cloud. Morales

commented that over 40,000 companies in Europe are working on

solutions on the IoT and that the continent is playing a “leading” role.

Innovation

Morales then turned his attention to the importance of innovation to the

future of Europe and how it is “the best alternative to stagnation”. He

highlighted that “ten of the top 20 most competitive countries in the world

are in Europe”, according to the Global Competitiveness Index from the

World Economic Forum, adding that “12 of the top 20 most innovative

countries in the world are in Europe.

“Interestingly, the number one for the last four years is both the most

innovative and the most competitive country in the world, and it is the

one with the highest

per capita

income in Europe … over three times

the average European

per capita

income”. The country leading the way

is Switzerland.

Three priorities

Attending the 2015 European Business Summit in Brussels,

Portal

carries the

thoughts of

Christian Morales,

Intel corporate vice-president, on the importance

of optimism, innovation and competitiveness in the digital economy

B R OW S E

www.ebsummit.eu www.intel.com

H O R I Z O N

2 0 2 0

Key progress in digitalisation rests on investment in cloud computing