The Big Picture is a monthly PESTLE analysis to give you an overview of innovation environment. Today, we look at politics and economics.
Let there be digital
Henri Verdier has been nominated Chief Data Officer of France, as reports TechCrunch, as a will to make Open Data a central part of the French Government. He and his team will work with government to handle important and multiple tasks, placing open data as a strategic lever for growth. The Government has opened a $160 million budget to innovate in the public sector “when it makes sense”. Henri Verdier will for sure be of great help to Emmanuel Macron who is about to review the 34 industrial plans France has on the roadmap to streamline and simplify actions. Following article from L’Usine Nouvelle mentions he is ready to spend $3 billion of investments on key projects, including using more digital technologies. This might start new 5P projects in France, a strategy as defined by Boyd Cohen in following article. The Ps stand for Public-Private-Professors-People-Professor partnerships that give smart cities projects a matrix support model where all parties are engaged. Several projects including Amsterdam Smart City show how important it is to include universities in partnerships as a way to create, share and develop innovation.
Uneven risks and uneven rewards
The number of institutional funding sources in EU and US have increased by 85% between 2009-2013, according to TechCrunch. The EU added to over 900 seed-stage deals per year. But the average amount of investment at seed stage has been decreasing in EU between 2010 and 2013, when it has increased in the US, a possible signal of under-capitalization of European companies. As the writer explains, “the reduced time between rounds in Europe unfortunately signals that entrepreneurs are being forced to refocus on fundraising more quickly at the expense of building and scaling a product and the business.” Meantime in the UK, an Office for National Statistics confirms that knowledge intensive industries have driven important job growth between 2012 and 2013, as The Work Foundation explains. Out of 410,000 jobs created between these two years, 360,000 jobs, nearly 90% were in knowledge economy. Scientific and technical group has added 135,000 jobs in the year to 2013. As countries want to spur innovation to sustain (or create) growth, the will need to “focus on innovation through increased investments in high-level skills, science base, research & development, creativity and design.”