Europe’s technology start-ups would benefit from the use of open ICT standards by public services, according to a report by the European Parliament’s Directorate-General for Innovation and Technological Support. The report on a tech study tour to four EU Member States, published this week, also suggests making it easier for small and medium sized companies and start-ups to take part in public procurement.
The study tour by a delegation from the IT departments at the European institutions aimed to assess the maturity of Europe’s tech industries, and to see how the institutions can work with these companies as partners in innovation. Between April and June the delegation visited ICT start-ups, telecom firms, Internet service providers, university technology parks and government IT innovation programmes in Spain, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
The delegation also looked at the role of the EU in fostering innovation and supporting European ICT start-ups and SMEs. “It would help start-ups if public procurement procedures dictated that a certain market volume should be set aside for SMEs and start-ups,” the report says. “Start-ups feel that public procurement is biased towards large established companies.”
The report notes that Europe’s technology sector is widely diverse in scale, typology, organisational set-up and financial arrangement. “It appears that a locally rooted, ‘small valleys’ model, including universities and networks, could define the EU ICT landscape of the future,” the authors write. Many start-ups are working on cloud services and mobile, data-driven services.