News & Analysis

EU is facing skills gap in technology space

20th June 2024
Caitlin Gittins

Europe's technology sector is experiencing critical deficiencies in skills, investment, and innovation, particularly in areas such as AI, quantum computing, and space technology, according to a DIGITALEUROPE report. 

The study, titled 'The EU's Critical Gap: Rethinking Economic Security to Put Europe Back on the Map,' reveals that Europe is significantly trailing in seven out of eight key technologies, with the exception of advanced connectivity where the US leads in major investments and profits.

The report highlights a considerable shortfall in both public and private investment across critical technologies. For instance, investment in AI startups in Europe is only one-seventh of that in the US.

Roman Kucera, Chief Technology Officer, Ataccama said: "AI has become increasingly integral to business decision-making, but businesses still often struggle to get high quality data outputs from AI models. Addressing data quality with investment in AI, especially in enterprises handling vast amounts of data, can significantly improve productivity among data teams and promote a data-driven culture that is scalable."

Europe is also facing a significant skills gap in key areas like AI engineering and quantum computing, which hampers its ability to compete and innovate. 

Stuart Munton, Chief for Group Delivery at AND Digital said: "Digital skills are crucial to empowering staff and maximising the benefits of technologies, yet the skills gap remains rife. Businesses need to take an innovation AND people approach to technology development and adoption, investing not only in the technology itself, but the people that are using it."

The study points to complex European regulations as a factor behind the lack of growth and scalability, often driving engineers to seek more favourable markets. 

John Kirk, Deputy CEO at Inspired Thinking Group argued: "Ensuring a well-managed governance model to support the development of AI and content operations in the creative industries can help mitigate risks and any hesitancy towards the adoption of AI in day-to-day applications."

 "Building digital skills to lead innovation in the workforce is essential for driving the EU's commitment to technology and innovation. The impending skills shortage calls for collaboration between government, educators, and industry to provide the necessary training and investment to create an EU-wide digitally proficient workforce," added Sridhar Iyengar, Managing Director, Zoho Europe.

The study underscores the necessity of strategic collaboration to bolster the EU's position, advocating for stronger partnerships with global leaders to stabilise supply chains and build competitive technology ecosystems.


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