100,000 data jobs forecast as EU and IT industry agree €2.5bn plan

13 Oct 2014

European Commission vice-president Neelie Kroes

The European Commission has entered into a pact with Europe’s data industry to invest €2.5bn to put Europe at the forefront of the global data race and create 100,000 new jobs by 2020.

European Commission vice-president Neelie Kroes said mastering big data could enable European suppliers to tackle 30pc of the global data market.

If the European data industry succeeds, as many as 100,000 new data-related jobs could be generated in Europe by 2020.

The benefits for Europe through mastery of big data could include 10pc lower energy consumption, better healthcare outcomes and more productive industrial machinery.

“Data is the motor and foundation of the future economy,” Kroes said.

“Every kind of organisation needs the building blocks to boost their performance, from farm to factory, from the lab to the shop floor.”

The European Commission has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Big Data Value Association, a consortium of companies that includes ATOS, Nokia Solutions and Networks, Orange, SAP, Siemens, and research bodies, such as Fraunhofer and the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence.

The EU has earmarked more than €500m of investment over five years (2016-2020) from Horizon 2020, which private partners are expected to match at least four times over (€2bn).

How fast the data industry is growing

The public-private partnership (PPP) is due to begin on 1 January 2015 and will focus public, private and academic research efforts on game-changing big data ideas across industries, including energy, manufacturing and health.

The PPP will also support ‘innovation spaces’ that will offer secure environments for experimenting with both private and open data.

Every single minute, the world generates 1.7m billion bytes of data, equal to 360,000 DVDs. This works out at more than 6 megabytes of data for each person every day.

This information comes from many sources, such as people, machines and sensors. This could be climate information, satellite imagery, digital pictures and videos, transaction records or GPS signals.

As a result, the data sector is growing by 40pc per year, seven times more quickly than the overall information and communications market.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years