25 Feb Perspectives: What is your vision for 2021? #2
I had the privilege to interview Jean-Christophe Barth, Co-founder of the ECA, we discussed the issues of European tech in 2021. We focused our interrogations around European collaboration, their competitors, the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic among other European issues. I recommend you sincerely to read his interesting perspective.
Emma Neige – Strategic Partnerships and Communication at the ECA
Jean-Christophe Barth – Deal Mediator and Co-founder of the European Champions Alliance
2021 is a crucial year for European Tech and we need to seize the opportunities offered in this unprecedented crisis to build forward better. The pandemic has left a feeling that the European economy has become too reliant on American or Sino Tech, and needs to re-regionalize and build capacity to ensure a robust strategic European tech autonomy. There is an undeniable acceleration of digitization in all areas of life, e.g. the future workforce has to be transformed and reskilled for the future. We have more and more AI facilitated processes but have failed to come up with universal standards and ethical compliance frameworks. Our European population is ageing, birth rates are low thus we need to compete on the qualification level with other country’s relatively young and growing populations.
The current situation has benefited the companies that have invested in digitalisation before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, and it is hard for other companies to catch up and compete at the same time.
Yet, Europe taken together, has an amazing talent pool, excellent infrastructure and one of the largest free markets in the world. Paired with harmonized competition policy and robust IP-protection it makes Europe a worldwide innovation powerhouse. It also has ambition and we at the European Champions Alliance believe it is high time to support the European Tech ecosystem systematically so that it can thrive. We need more combined innovation and real collaboration between European tech companies. To overcome the fragmented national start-up scenes, the European Champions Alliance creates a European narrative and facilitates cooperation to foster complementarity and innovative approaches that spur European growth. Europe is already leading the way in areas like data protection, ethical, and sustainability issues (e.g. GDPR, EU Competition Law framework, Green Deal) that make it stand out in the domain.
In order to help entrepreneurs become European champions, we have set out to identify, assess their potential and match them with potential partners in Europe through focus groups that create bonds between companies that might be perceived as competitors merely because they are from another country. There is a threat that Europe is playing not to lose rather than playing to win. The European ecosystem by increasing the level of transparency, funding and collaboration will help build meaningful projects with mature companies who are seeking to rejuvenate their own tech approach e.g. with innovative technology, green tech initiatives or smart mobility etc.
Our call for action is that the pan-European innovation drive must be fortified and hyper growth companies supported out of Europe through the European Champions Alliance Business-driven approach to unify European Tech in the bloc. We’re in the same boat and it is in our best interest to sail the winds of globalization so the European ecosystem exits the shallow waters of national ecosystems.