Towards a European software strategy

In response to Ms. Reding addresses of 17 November 2007, nine NTAs (National Trade Associations) representing nine of the most dynamic national packaged software industries have worked together to produce a position paper summarising their observations and propose 9 realistic and achievable measures for a European software strategy. These NTAs are : AETIC (Spain), AGORIA (Belgium), ASSINFORM (Italy), BITKOM (Germany), ICT-OFFICE (The Netherlands), INTELLECT (United Kingdom), IVSZ (Hungary), SYNTEC INFORMATIQUE (France) and TEKNOLOGIATEOLLISUUS (Finland).In Europe, software has recently gained recognition as being vital for innovation, competitiveness, sustainable growth, welfare and high quality jobs creation.

The European software industry deserves strategic attention. In each of the 27 countries of the European Union, packaged software companies have been created and contribute a great deal to growth and job creation, both directly, and through innovation and increased productivity throughout all market sectors.

In her speech delivered 19 November 2007 (“Towards a European Software Strategy”), Ms. Viviane Reding, Commissioner of Information Society and Media, provided both recognition to this industry and demonstrated her willingness to discuss how to leverage its contribution to the Lisbon strategy. She rightly pointed out some strengths and weaknesses of the European Industry. Despite an excellent level of skills and research, companies founded in Europe have rarely become large global leaders. Europe is a massive producer of in house software and embedded software, but remains a large net importer of packaged software despite substantial production figures. Commissioner Reding explained that the shift towards Software as a Service (SaaS) opens up a “window of opportunity” that could lead to a European success story. She also invited the industry to submit concrete ideas to help put together the above mentioned European Software Strategy,

This position paper aims to answer the following questions:

  • How software specific should our policies be?
  • Why do we need them now?
  • Where should we focus the effort?
  • Which concrete measures could be implemented first?

Three issues where a strong impetus from the European institutions can make a real difference, and 9 recommendations have been presented.

These three issues are:

  1. Addressing the skills challenge
  2. Designing a suitable framework to unleash the creative energies of software companies
  3. Better financing for innovation and development of software companies.

We need action now. We believe that the Open Method of Coordination is the appropriate instrument to implement them as part of the European Software Strategy within the framework of the revised Lisbon Strategy.

Nine ICT National Trade Associations produced and support this position paper: Those NTAs (National Trade Associations) represent nine of the most dynamic national packaged software industries in Europe 81% of European packaged software companies ranked in the 2007 Truffle 100 Europe study come from these nine countries.

Source: IVSZ

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