Nov 10, 2015 - 11:30am

Big Data and the Internet of Things: Unleashing Europe’s Digital Single Market

NOTE: The European Commission in May launched a strategy entitled the Digital Single Market (DSM) – a plan to create “better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across Europe,” along with leveling the playing field in the digital economy and maximizing its growth potential.

Cameron F. Kerry writes that “the use and flow of data is a vital component of the US-EU economic partnership.”

He continues: “My Brookings Institution colleague Joshua Meltzer found that ‘cross-border data flows between the U.S. and Europe are the highest in the world’ and include an increasing business transactions, supply chains, and trade in services and open new markets and opportunities for research and collaboration.”

So all eyes are on Europe’s Digital Single Market (DSM) plans and what it could mean for continued growth.

The Chamber is running a series of guest commentaries to take a closer look at the initiative. Starting with more from Kerry, here are some excerpts:

Cameron F. Kerry 

Ann R. & Andrew H. Tisch Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution's Center for Technology & Innovation, a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Media Lab, and Senior Counsel at the global law firm Sidley Austin LLP.  Kerry is the former General Counsel and Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce. 

The use and flow of data is a vital component of the US-EU economic partnership.  My Brookings Institution colleague Joshua Meltzer found that “cross-border data flows between the U.S. and Europe are the highest in the world” and include an increasing business transactions, supply chains, and trade in services and open new markets and opportunities for research and collaboration.

A more vibrant and more digital economy in Europe will depend on even greater flows of digital information across the Atlantic and around the globe.  Digital information – data – is a key element of the Commission’s focus on investment in cloud computing and Big Data.  It identifies Big Data as “central to the EU’s competitiveness” and “a catalyst for economic growth, innovation and digitization across all economic sectors […] and for society as a whole.”  Its research estimates that the use of Big Data by the top 100 EU manufacturers could lead to savings worth €425 billion and that, by 2020, data analytics can increase EU economic growth by 1.9%, equivalent to a GDP increase of €206 billion.  The Commission believes Big Data not only will boost growth and jobs, “but also improve the quality of life [for] Europeans.”

The European Union has an opportunity to advance the building a data-driven economy as it conducts the Trilogue on the proposed EU General Data Protection Regulation (the “Regulation”).  The Commission’s Digital Single Market communication identifies the Regulation as a “key enabler of the Digital Single Market.”  American companies no less than European ones welcome the prospect of dealing with one set of consistent rules across the EU and a single lead data protection authority rather than 28 so long as the rules are workable and the consistency mechanism streamlined.

Read more from Cameron F. Kerry.

Intel

The Commission’s Digital Single Market (DSM) proposal recognizes that the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and big data are central to EU competitiveness, an enabler for innovation and a catalyst for economic growth and jobs.  When it comes to data technologies, the EU should not limit its ambition. If policy-makers and industry agree on the direction of travel and work together with velocity to implement the DSM, the EU has a real opportunity to transform Europe’s economy and establish a leadership position for the EU in IoT. …

Intel commends the Commission on its initiative to set up the Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation (AIOTI) to build strengths across the IoT ecosystem and we will play our part in that process. As industry continues to design and build secure IoT solutions, the Commission’s focus to drive large scale IoT testing and deployments is the right one in order to bring about economic and social benefits to consumers, governments and business.

Read more from Intel.

S. Joe Bhatia

President and CEO of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

The Digital Single Market is a bold and exciting strategy aimed at boosting the growth of Europe’s digital economy and creating new opportunities for trade and investment.

A critical, but often overlooked, component of this strategy is standardization: the guidelines, standards, and conformance measures that drive manufacturing and services the world over. …

In order for Europe’s vision for a Digital Single Market to truly take hold, their strategy will have to embrace the importance of international standards and global approaches to conformity assessment.

Read more from S. Joe Bhatia.

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About the Author