Europe plans €500m on 5G and cybersecurity innovation

19 April 2016 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


The European Commission has launched a project to promote common standards in 5G networks and cybersecurity. The move, by the executive arm of the 28-nation European Union, is part of a set of measures to link up individual national initiatives for the digitisation of industry.

It says it plans to invest €500 million in a pan-EU network of digital innovation hubs – centres of excellence in technology – where businesses can obtain advice and test digital innovations.

The main focus is research and development. The Commission will set up a European cloud that will give Europe's 1.7 million researchers and 70 million science and technology professionals a virtual environment to store, manage, analyse and re-use research data.

Andrus Ansip, the Commission’s vice-president for the digital single market, said: “The industrial revolution of our time is digital. We need the right scale for technologies such as cloud computing, data-driven science and the internet of things to reach their full potential.”

The Commission points out that several member states have already launched strategies to support the digitisation of industry. But it wants to develop this into a comprehensive approach at European level.

The Commission says it wants to adopt future-proof legislation that will support the free flow of data and clarify ownership of data generated by sensors and smart devices. The Commission will also review rules on safety and liability of autonomous systems.

“As companies aim to scale up across the single market, public e-services should also meet today's needs: be digital, open and cross-border by design. The EU is the right scale for the digital times,” said Ansip.