Progress Report: European and German IT Expansion

Attacking American control of the Internet economy

Europe has a dream to be the motherboard where entrepreneurs and innovators set up, grow internationally, and remain headquartered.

Last December we reported on the unveiling of the European Commission’s agenda for digital expansion through 2014. The goal was to breathe fresh air into the Continent’s sagging economy, with job prospects in the millions. Brussels calculated the European Union’s collective digital wealth was outpacing all other sectors by “seven times.”

At the press briefing, the EC vice president, Neelie Kroes, presented a two-year “to do” list. The bloc has been enticing greater venture capital in broadband and cloud technologies, redefining far-reaching perimeters in fields of e-governance, security and copyright.

Kroes went on to claim the current structure renders the Continent unable to attain its “full digital potential,” and that these announced priorities would save over a million employment vacancies over the next three years.

The EU’s “Digital Agenda” established a 10-year plan using information and communication technologies to enlarge the Union’s economic clout, and also identified and addressed social objectives. The project offered a €160 billion boost to Europe’s economy.

So what is the progress so far? The Commission’s scoreboard detailing 13 target sectors shows growth—such as, 45 percent of Europeans are purchasing items online, 70 percent are using the Internet regularly, and 95 percent have broadband coverage.

This month the EC announced that its member states and industry will invest over €22 billion within seven years in innovation technology for aeronautics, bio-based industries, medicines, fuel cells, hydrogen and electronics, all in an effort to boost competitiveness and add to these market segments, which already produce millions of jobs.

In April the Continent’s leading entrepreneurs were honored in Amsterdam at the first Europioneers awards. Start-up innovators of Berlin-based SoundCloud won European Entrepreneurs of the Year while London-based SwiftKey creators were presented Young European Entrepreneur of the Year.

The Wall Street Journal reported, “In making the award in Amsterdam Wednesday, EC Vice President and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes made clear her ambition to tackle U.S. domination of the Internet economy. ‘When people think about start-ups, they often think about America, and the American Dream,’ she said. ‘Well, I have a European Dream, too. That Europe becomes a place where entrepreneurs and innovators start and stay—before growing globally.”

As evidence of the ongoing impact of this growing expansionism, Klaus Wowereit, mayor of Berlin, “said the digital economy has now overtaken the building industry in revenue and is getting close to that of the tourism sector” (Venture Village, July 2).

As with many other industries in Europe, Germany, with 20 percent of market share, boasts the biggest tech mart on the continent. Last year, information technology income was €137 billion, and indicators forecast more growth, particularly in cloud computing, where predictions of income are staggeringly bullish within the next three years, spiking from €3.5 billion to a mammoth €13 billion!

The establishment of the Microsoft Center in Berlin, aimed at helping start-up companies in speed of establishment and funding, in addition to Apple’s recent announcement during its worldwide developer conference of its completion of a unique store and theater in the city, which opened to spectacularly large throngs, underscores the present and future growth potential for Europe and its leading economy.

Additionally, the German Silicon Valley Accelerator program in California gives entrepreneurs three months of training and instruction to help international start-ups. Every four months German tech start-up founders return to Silicon Valley to speed up and expand their business models. Perhaps the most notable factor of the program is the introduction to U.S. market strategy and venture capital prospects.

For Europe’s tech dream to become a reality it needs more growth from its most powerful and dominant economy—Germany. Keep watching its economic fortunes as they rise, driven by corporate, imperialist motives geared more directly to gross domestic product.

Bible prophecy declares the short-lived reality of the European dream, as captains of industry first rejoice in their economic success, and later mourn their losses at the economy’s catastrophic collapse (Revelation 18:3, 11-15). To understand more of this prophecy and how it will impact your very life, request your free copy of Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast?