The "Sectoral e-Business Watch" studies the impact of ICT and e-business on enterprises, industries and the economy in general. It highlights barriers for a wider or faster uptake of ICT and identifies public policy challenges arising from these developments. In this way, e-Business Watch supports the work of the European Commission's Enterprise and Industry Directorate General in the field of ICT (> policy context).
In 2009, the overarching themes of the studies are ICT & energy, ICT skills and ICT policy. In line with the prevailing e-Business Watch approach, two sectoral and three cross-sectoral studies are being carried out.
The Sectoral e-Business Watch is based on a service contract between DG Enterprise and Industry and empirica GmbH, involving the following main service providers: DIW Berlin, GOPA-Cartermill, IDC EMEA, and Ipsos GmbH (> project team).
There is much hope that ICT will help increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This study provides the first comprehensive economic analysis of the relationship between ICT and GHG emissions in European energy-intensive industries. Against the confounding presence of structural differences and structural change, the study identifies a limited but significant impact of ICT on GHG emissions and production sustainability of European energy-intensive industries.
In the glass, ceramics and cement (GCC) industries, companies use ICT mainly for optimising their internal processes rather than for data exchanges with suppliers and customers. A central objective of ICT use is the support of production processes. The digital divide between large companies with their advanced ICT systems and SMEs is more pronounced than in other sectors. The study warns that small companies are often not able to take informed decisions about their ICT strategy, due to a lack of e-skills. Thus they could underestimate the relevance of ICT for their own business and competitiveness.
Supplying energy to consumers requires a series of complex interactions between generation, transmission, distribution and retail facilities. ICT can greatly facilitate these interactions. This study also shows how ICT can contribute towards the EU objectives related to the security of energy supply, environmental sustainability, and the creation of an efficient, reliable and competitive European energy market.
ICT-related industrial policy comprises policies for ICT innovation in ICT-producing companies and ICT adoption in ICT-using industries. These two issues should be seen as two sides of the same coin when it comes to enhancing the competitiveness of European industry. This study analysed how such policies could be refined, and it advances a concept for developing ICT-related industrial policy that distinguishes between policy themes and counterparts.
A lack of ICT-related skills ("e-skills"), in particular a shortage of ICT professionals, could hamper the competitiveness of European enterprises. This study explored the current and anticipated demand for different types of e-skills, covering ICT practitioner skills, ICT user skills and e-business skills.
The Sectoral e-Business Watch has published its 7th Synthesis Report. The report presents an empirical assessment how ICT can contribute to innovation and sustainability objectives, for example by reducing the energy and emissions intensity in production processes and transport.
The synthesis report summarises the results of the studies conducted by the Sectoral e-Business Watch in 2009 and offers a synopsis of the main results. It discusses implications for policy and industry.
Printed copies can be ordered (free of charge, as long as still on stock) from:
Enterprise & Industry Directorate General
Unit D4 - ICT for Competitiveness and Innovation
e-Mail: [email protected]
Transport and logistics related emissions are responsible for a significant share of environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union and worldwide. This study explores the potential of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) for reducing these emissions. It is based on an extensive literature review and case studies.
Changes in the electricity market are mostly expected to affect distribution. The extent to which smart metering will be introduced is still unclear, and depends heavily on customer acceptance and on agreement on standards for communication and data management. However, changes regarding network operation and services are likely.