In an increasingly uncertain world, Europe is facing profound questions about how it should position itself to secure its values, address societal challenges effectively, and ensure prosperity and opportunity for our citizens. Technology has proven it can keep our societies and economies going in the most difficult of circumstances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst holding the promise of major breakthroughs in areas such as personalised health care, smart energy and mobility and precision agriculture, which help tackling climate change. However, increasing reliance on technology has also underscored Europe’s dependencies on other regions for raw materials, energy, and crucial components.
- Europe produces less than 10% of the world’s semiconductors. It is heavily dependent on third-country suppliers to the point that production in important sectors such as automotive had to be suspended because of shortages. In areas such as cloud, AI or virtual reality, Europe is being out-invested and European companies hold low market shares. How can we best build up a thriving ecosystem in Europe for advanced technologies that can help reduce our vulnerabilities?
- It has been estimated that the ICT sector is emitting about 3% of global CO2 emissions, and the trends point to an increasing environmental footprint. At the same time, technology can help reduce emissions by 15-20% in sectors such as energy, transport or agriculture. How can we maximise the positive effects of ICT and reduce its environmental downsides? What incentives work best?
- Whilst the war Ukraine is bringing great suffering to its population and has changed the world order for many years to come, it also raises the question as to how the country’s infrastructure can be repaired and rebuilt. How can Europe help Ukraine to unlock its great digital potential?
- The metaverse is a concept that is mesmerising to many digital experts and is attracting significant private and public funding. What is the metaverse, and why should it matter? Does Europe need to prepare a strategy to shape the metaverse and play a leading role in its design and operation? If so, what issues should it particularly focus on?