24. únor 2014 / IDE

The Czech Digital Economy Can Employ 5% of the Population by 2020

Press release about the recently published Study on Potencial of the Digital Economy and Cultural and Creative Industries for Future Development and Competitivness of the Czech Republic.

Prague, October 24, 2014 - The Czech digital economy is leading towards dead end. The Czech republic has a long tradition of industrial productions. The traditional sectors are being destabilized due to fast technological changes.

"The worlds of the cultural and creative industries intertwine and the state must respond to that. The emerging industries can create thousands of jobs in the following decade. New technologies are movers of the whole economy. The Czech Republic is not responding to this developoment," sais Alexandra Rudysarova, the Institute's expert on emerging industries. It results from the study "Potential of Digital Economy and Cultural and Creative Industries - Challanges, Benefits and Impluses for Governmental Policy," elaborated in the Institute for Digital Economy.

The current state aid and investments are focused on areas that do not support to the growth of the digital economy, i.e. areas based on innovations, creativity and digital content. "The existing state interventions focus mainly on investments into the tangible property and infrastructure and to IT control systems. Other areas are being ignored, that can have a huge impact on innovation and new jobs. In the last period of the EU structural funds design innovations haven't been considered to be an innovation," adds Ms. Rudysarova.

In 2012 the IT experts ratio of the employed part of the population was 2,7% only. It mainly contained competences in data analytics and software developers. There is a huge space for massive development of the digital sector. The IT experts ratio can be doubled by 2020. Many professions can be upgraded by adding skills in digital technologies and IT. That can happen in all sectors, such as machinery, automotive or manufacturing industry. "An advanced digital economy doesn't only offer jobs to programmers or engineers. It goes much further and includes new types of professions, for example interdisciplinary experts who combine engineering and programming skills," explains Marek Jetmar, co-author of the Study.

New professions and innovative industries will originate

The wave of technologic innovations in the field of digital economy and the Internet enabled a new type of culture to emerge: "The state policy completely passes over the creative part of the digital economy, such as the digital content platforms developoment or the ongoing merger of television and the Internet, speak nothing of the connection of the cultural and creative industries with the digital economy," he adds.

The emerging industries and services in the field of the cultural and creative industries and the digital economy must respond to a new enquiry. Products based just on functionality are no longer sufficient. More and more products that originate in individual or collective aspirations are being prefered. To be competitive doesn't mean to produce more now. Marketing and services are as important as production itself.

Creativity offers a chance to excel in a tough competition. The initially passive consumers are becoming active producers thanks to online platforms. "Newly, the cultural enables innovation in economy to happen. The companies can respond more flexible to the change of enquiry and adjust the products parameters to the needs and wishes of the clients," explains Alexandra Rudysarova. 

Therefore, the Institute of the Digital Economy suggest that the state administration identifies one concrete unit/section that would be in charge of the digital economy. So far, the agenda is split between the Minstry of Interior and the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The Ministry of Interior deals with the IT as a backoffice of the state operations, while theh Ministry of Industry and Trade focuses on electronic communication and post services. The rest of the digital economy stays out of reach and competence of both of these state bodies. 

The state should check the contribution of the digital champion of the Czech Republic to the development of the digital economy. This office was established by the European Commission in all member states to support and promote emerging industries. At the moment lot of companies have no idea that there is a person in the coutry who should care for them and support them. 

The Institute recommends to prepare a Government strategy that would help to create conditions for future development of emerging industries and their connection to the economy.

Digitální ekonomika