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#MoD2021 by Mind Map: #MoD2021

1. Setting ambitious digital goals, and investing in the right areas

1.1. During the conference, DIGITALEUROPE unveiled its digital KPIs dashboard. These are over 30 success indicators that we want Europe to reach by 2025. In her opening speech, Ms Bonefeld-Dahl talked about the need to grasp the opportunities of the digital decade, outlining our investment priorities and the vital importance of international collaboration, as well as our work supporting the next generation of European tech giants. On day two, DIGITALEUROPE President Hilary Mine from Nokia focused on the transformative role of connectivity. She then singled out a number of individual projects from our members as examples of what European governments should be investing in.

2. Digital is at the heart of the green transition

2.1. We heard from German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze, as well as experts from industry and civil society, on the enormous potential that digital has for cutting our emissions. Whether you are a large company or an SME, regardless of your sector, you need access to technology to boost energy efficiency. This was explored in further detail by our industry panel, which looked at use cases from our Digital Manufacturing Executive Council. Regulation is one side of the coin, but we need to have coherent policies to boost innovation. Digitalisation must also be at the service of our society. As Minister Schulze said, there will be a ‘just transition or no transition’.

3. The future of healthcare is digital

3.1. The second day of the conference fell on World Cancer Day, and a day after the Commission presented its Beating Cancer Plan. It was therefore fitting that we heard from Commissioner Stella Kyriakides on her plans to integrate digital into the EU’s healthcare systems, not least the European health data spaces. Digital technologies can improve detection and treatments of cancer and other diseases, like COVID. But as our top panel discovered there are a huge number of challenges and opportunities. For Europe, the key challenges for healthcare innovation are data access, fragmented rules, and a lack of standards and interoperability. The race is on to save lives! Patients are waiting for us to take action. Watch the healthcare sessions replay here.

4. Governments must support businesses, and vice versa

4.1. "It's time for the public and private sectors to join forces and make a world of difference for small businesses and start-ups." – President Ursula Von der Leyen. We fully agree! This is most evident in the national recovery spending plans, where industry input will be vital. We announced on day one of the conference that only 15 of the plans have been made public. This needs to change. Digital investments are complicated and they need business input, and timing is tight. DIGITALEUROPE’s suggestions are in our Digital Investment Plan for Europe. The digital sector can also support governments. We learned on day two about the potential of digital transformation of the public sector, and the vital importance of open innovation.

5. Political commitment to a digital recovery is clear

5.1. The presence of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel at Masters of Digital underlines the political commitment at EU level to leveraging digital in Europe's recovery and delivering on the digital single market. Our Director General Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl also awarded our first ever ‘Master of Digital’ prize to Spanish Vice-President Nadia Calviño, because of Spain's trailblazing digital strategy. A large proportion of the Spanish plan is devoted to digital skills – a subject that we explored in detail when launching our video series partnership with BBC StoryWorks.

6. Europe should help scaleups become future unicorns

6.1. Commissioner Mariya Gabriel has put her political weight behind European scaleups this year again, being the champion of our Future Unicorn Award for the fourth year in a row. Congratulations once again to Oncompass Medicine who won the award this year, and to Exeger and Ocean Sun for making it all the way to the final! See the full list of our 21 amazing nominees here. In addition to celebrating the potential of tech scaleups, we have also presented a survey report on what European scaleups see as priority investment areas and key recommendations for structural changes to tackle barriers to growth – check out our report here!

7. Europe can lead on tech, but we need allies

7.1. On day one, President Michel delivered his vision for European strategic autonomy, with digital technologies at their centre: "To me it means more resilience, more autonomy and less dependency. It is about being able to make choices in an open and global environment. It has nothing to do with protectionism. On the contrary." Our Director General Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl then discussed what this might mean for the transatlantic relationship with EU Ambassador to the US Stavros Lambrinidis. As the world's two largest democracies, the EU and the US need to cooperate together on rules, regulations and standards on things like artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. They also discussed the future of EU-US data flows, and how to avoid a Schrems 3 or a Schrems 4.

8. 2021: The year of data

8.1. Data was a subject that came up again and again across the conference. DG Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl spoke to Hubert Tardieu CEO of Gaia-X, the European cloud infrastructure initiative. As a member, DIGITALEUROPE is committed to helping them reach their goal of doubling cloud use in Europe in the next 5 years. Following that, we heard from a panel of experts on what Europe needs to do to tap into the potential that data offers. 2021 will see several important pieces of legislation on AI and data governance, and it is vital we get it right. To succeed, we not only need access to high quality data and the right infrastructure, but we also need the expertise to leverage it and importantly, trust.