Neelie Kroes: Stimulating Europe’s App Economy

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This report is certainly a wake-up call. It shows a European app economy worth hundreds of thousands of jobs, and generating billions of euros a year. That’s not bad for an economy that, 5 years ago, didn’t even exist. Somehow, I suspected this result. In fact, the Commission has launched its own study, Eurapp, to determine the size of the app economy in Europe — so that economy can be further supported by the Digital Agenda and other initiatives. I am convinced it will confirm these findings presented today!

The appp economy is a growing global market. And with 22% of the world’s production, the EU is certainly holding its own.  But the important thing isn’t just the size of the industry; it’s also the structure and variety. Big giants like Facebook and YouTube alongside cottage industries and one-man bands. Full-time professionals and traditional “technology producers” alongside first-time entrepreneurs. Great ideas that fulfil everyday needs alongside niche solutions to specialised problems.  In a time of unemployment that gives me a lot of hope, with opportunity for all.  It’s no wonder this ecosystem attracts such variety. There are few barriers to entry, and no limits to innovation. Transformative innovation from your kitchen table. Ideas that can disrupt and improve pretty much any kind of business model, from television to tourism.  And so it’s no wonder that, here in Europe, a place with great creativity and expertise, we have such a vibrant app economy.

Indeed this model of open platforms is spreading into new areas – even into the area of hardware and devices. And that gives me a lot of hope that we can continue to see innovation in that sector too – and hopefully European leadership.  And I also note that this platform, these apps, are trans-national; ideas can be readily spread, shared and sold across national borders. I wish the same could be said for other areas of the digital ecosystem – as in many cases borders and barriers remain, obstructing innovation.  For me, the app economy is a great example of what happens if you create the right environment; give people the framework to create. Borderless, open, and as innovative as your imagination. Now we need to bring that philosophy to other levels of the digital ecosystem. To support the app economy to the full.  And this report also sets out how we can do that. Here to read more.

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