Digital Innovation for Regional Growth

European UnionIt is strongly believed that digital innovation for regional growth is able to radically improve people’s lives as well as help stimulate growth throughout Europe.

During a high level event, which took place on the 29th of April in Thessaloniki (Greece), there were discussed ways of increasing digital innovation in different European regions and also the information about available support from the EU was provided. In particular, the event consisted of presentations and interactive workshops to discuss with the European Commission, the S3 Platform, European regions and local stakeholders, on Innovation Procurement and Innovation Vouchers and their application in boosting regional digital growth.

The current economic growth of Poland is considered to be in transition, changing from being efficiency-improvement driven to innovation-driven. Undeniably, the information and communications technologies (ICT) sector has an increasing impact on this transition. A full utilization of new technologies can lead to creation of conditions for strengthened growth.

Rafal TrzaskowskiRafal Trzaskowski, Poland’s minister of Administration and Digitization, describes the past decade in Poland as the digital decade, since the number of Internet and social media users has risen dramatically. Furthermore, the number of sites with Polish domains (.pl) has increased tenfold (from about 250,000 to almost 2.5 million) over the past 10 years and the Polish version of Wikipedia is now one of the world’s largest non-English editions. It is worth mentioning that the value of the Polish internet economy has doubled in the past six years, reaching PLN 93 billion (€22.5 billion), or 5.8% of GDP.

According to Trzaskowski, there are three ways in which Poland can boost its digital growth, including:

  1. building human capital
  2. identifying opportunities given by technology
  3. preparing conditions for the development of a strong and secure ICT European market.

Connected peopleIn order to achieve these goals, the Polish population ought to strengthen its computer skills. Therefore, digital literacy and an awareness of digital possibilities are of high importance. Also, a higher number of Polish SMEs should use Internet as a main channel to attract sales, since online trading offers companies a chance to be a global player in the international market. Trzaskowski argues that with the support of Polish citizens and coordinated action by the European authorities, the best possible conditions for the growth of a prosperous and secure ICT single market can be provided.

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