We are a group of over 100 successful tech startups, scaleups, unicorns, think tanks and trade associations from across the “Digital 9” nations
We believe our own countries must do more to lead tech policy Europe. The D9 countries must create a ‘fast lane’ for AI in Europe, and provide a successful blueprint for all of Europe to follow. These countries are showing how to make tech work, and all of Europe can benefit from their approach. We are driving forward ideas to put Europe on a path to a digital future, which will transform the European economy, and create a more sustainable, innovative, and equitable society.
Worksome is a Danish platform which uses AI and machine learning to connect businesses with AI specialist consultants.
It was founded in Denmark in 2017 and has grown across Europe. They have used AI to great effect, matching the needs of freelancers and potential clients.
Worksome CEO Morten Petersen believes that policymaking is too influenced by fear of AI and machine learning, treating it like a monster rather than an opportunity. This holds back AI innovation, and startups are in urgent need of political allies.
These are our policy priorities:
A digitised single market, not a digital single market.
The single market needs completing, and it needs to be fully digitised in its function and scope. Artificial intelligence must be at its heart. Digital technology will be most effective and most transformative when it is applied to the whole economy, and it is digital technologies which enable the single market to operate.
Developing a digitised single market will allow the free flow of innovation and ideas around Europe, and revolutionise the economy in the 21st century, as the Single Market revolutionised the European economy at the end of the 20th.
The D9 must lead by example.
Europe’s digital frontrunners can show how harmonising regulations and sharing data between nations offers huge benefit to the digital industries and the wider economy.
For example, the data-sharing and cooperation between Estonia and Finland, and the digital collaboration between the Benelux states can be used as a blueprint for the D9 and the EU at large. This way, we can create a ‘fast lane’ for the digital industries in Europe, and show how successful and practical innovation can be.
The public sector must be much better used at domestic and EU level to support European SMEs and innovation.
This should include embracing open data principles in the public sector, to encourage innovation in public services, and significantly lower the barriers to entry for start-ups and scale-ups who want to compete for public contracts. The public sector accounts for nearly half of Europe’s buying power, and it can provide Europe’s digital ecosystems with the support they need.
Skills and talent are two of Europe’s greatest assets, and a key to future growth.
They must be pushed to the top of the economic reform agenda. As talent becomes more competitive the EU must focus on three things: educating the next generation for a digital era; supporting the current workforce to reskill; and ensuring Europe attracts and retains the talent its digital industries sorely need.
Open up public sector datasets in the D9 countries to automate government processes.
Learn from each others’ work and aim to invest in automation in the public sector, in a range of priority areas, such as transport, clean energy, education and healthcare.
Introduce the free movement of data and data interoperability between D9 states.
The D9 can and should be a trial area for new innovations with data. D9 nations Estonia and Finland are leading the way with the unification of their government data, and the group should follow. This will allow AI companies to expand across Europe, and pull down electronic barriers within the Single Market.
Lobby the EU to conduct an AI ‘refit’ of existing and future legislation.
The EU has a ‘refit programme’ to improve its legislation, and make it more efficient and effective, particularly for small businesses. An AI refit would amend laws like GDPR, and help put the needs of SMEs and startups at the heart of EU policy
Dutch startup Connecterra shows how even Europe’s most traditional industry can be revolutionised by AI.
Connecterra is using AI to help farmers feed growing populations more efficiently, more sustainably, and with greater care for animal welfare.
Connecterra’s intelligent technology offers dairy farmers real-time data about the health and happiness of their cows. Its platform is designed to help make the entire agricultural value chain more efficient, more humane, and more sustainable through machine learning.
While the United States and China have the edge when it comes to investment and scale, Europe has its advantages too.
Europe has a highly educated population, great public services which are ripe for transformation, and strong stable democratic governments. It also boasts world-leading businesses in transport, energy, food and drink, and telecommunications. It must exploit these strengths better.
We believe Europe’s strengths could be better harnessed. To succeed in the age of AI, it must promote innovation, embrace smart regulation, and strive to attract talent from abroad, and develop talent from home.
Europe can become more competitive. It’s not enough to think about those companies that exist today. The goal should be to create an ecosystem for the companies and technologies of the future to develop and thrive in Europe. It is technology that fuelled the historic wealth of Europe – from the printing press to antibiotics – and it is technology that will drive its future.
Our publications and policy positions are informed by the experiences of coalition members. We are grateful to everyone who gives us the time to offer their thoughts and expertise. Our campaign is kindly supported by Google.
Einride has developed a new form of AI-powered transport, called Autonomous Electric Transport.
The company has developed self-driving trucks – known as pods – which offer businesses a smart and efficient way of transporting goods.
Sweden is one of the world’s leaders in technological innovation in transport. Since in was founded in 2016, Einride has made an impact in a competitive field. Its self-driving pods are said to be 60% cheaper than conventional, driver-operated freight transport.
Artificial intelligence is in the spotlight. It is the next all-pervasive technology which will change the economy as much as the printing press and the combustion engine before it. The digital industries no longer exist in isolation to the mainstream economy. Good policies for AI will be good policies not just for our economy but for society too.
Solita is a digital transformation company driven by data and human insight. Established in Finland in 1996, it supports businesses to use AI to improve their operations.
It is a technologically-driven consultancy, which offers services and tech solutions that help us reinvent businesses and society for the better. Solita has customers in almost every sector imaginable, and shows how AI is an all-pervasive technology, which will benefit every industry.
If you’re a startup or business that shares our aim of a positive, ambitious and innovative digital agenda for Europe, now is the time to join us.
We can only succeed by working together. If our governments are to create the conditions for thriving tech ecosystems and healthy startup cultures, they need to hear from companies like ours. It’s a big challenge, but an even bigger opportunity. This group exists to help Europe seize that opportunity.