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Sectoral e-Business Watch

Mission and objectives

The mission of the Sectoral e-Business Watch is to support the work of the European Commission's DG Enterprise and Industry in the field of ICT and e-business policies. In this policy area, DG ENTR itself has a twofold mission: "to enhance the competitiveness of the ICT sector, and to facilitate the efficient uptake of ICT for European enterprises in general".

The services of the SeBW are expected to contribute to these goals. This overall mission can be broken down into the following main objectives:

  • to study and assess the impact of ICT on enterprises, industries and the economy in general;
  • to highlight barriers for ICT uptake, i.e. issues that are hindering a more effective use of ICT by enterprises in Europe;
  • to identify and discuss public policy challenges stemming from the observed developments, notably at the European level;
  • to engage in dialogue with stakeholders from industry and policy institutions, providing a forum for debating relevant issues.

By delivering evidence on ICT impact and barriers to uptake, the SeBW is to support informed policy decision-making in ICT-related fields in several policy domains including innovation, competition and structural policy. In this way the SeBW is to contribute to the widespread adoption and effective use of ICT across the European economy.

These strategic objectives are to be realised by a systematic monitoring and analysis of ICT adoption and e-business activity in European firms from different industries and their impact, as well as by assessing the implications of these developments for stakeholders. Stakeholders include enterprises, their employees, suppliers and customers – be it other businesses, consumers or the public sector –, and policy institutions with a responsibility for ICT and e-business related issues.

ICT impact assessment is perhaps the most important goal for the future SeBW.

Contractual basis

The Sectoral e-Business Watch (SeBW) is based on a Framework Contract and Specific Contract between the European Commission, Enterprise and Industry Directorate General, and empirica GmbH, running until December 2009. The implementation of the contractual services involves, besides empirica GmbH, the following main service providers: DIW Berlin, GOPA-Cartermill, IDC, and Ipsos GmbH .

The Framework Contract was issued to continue the work of the preceding "e-Business W@tch" observatory. The European Commission's DG Enterprise and Industry had initially launched the "European e-Business Market W@tch" in late 2001 under the "MultiAnnual Programme (MAP) on Enterprise and Entrepreneurship 2001-2005". e-Business W@tch was operational until the end of January 2007.

Work programme 2009

The 2009 study period of the SeBW project will run until December 2009. It is divided into five main phases.

  • The preparation period runs from December 2008 until January 2009.
  • Data collection, analysis of secondary data, the conduction of two CATI surveys and the collection of case studies will take place until June 2009.
  • In parallel to data collection, analyses and reporting will take place, lasting until September 2009.
  • Dissemination activities take place throughout the study period but will reach their peak time towards the end of 2009, when the study reports and the European e-Business Report 2009 will become available.
  • Events and networking activities will include advisory board meetings, two roundtable workshops on special subjects, and a final conference in October or November 2009.