Digital as the only post-COVID response

Digital as the only post-COVID response

Economic reconstruction necessarily goes digital. And we are 15 years behind Europe.” This is how forceful Carme Artigas, Secretary of State for Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence has been in one of the most followed presentations at the 34th AMETIC Digital Economy Meeting. This event, with which the professional course in the technology sector has been inaugurated de facto since time immemorial, has been carried out in a hybrid format due to the imperative of COVID-19 but, not because of this or perhaps because of it, it has not lost interest but has highlighted the importance of incorporating the digital revolution as the heart of the plans and strategies in the face of the economic reconstruction that we so urgently need.

Right now, around 19% of our Gross Domestic Product is due to digital. If it were a sector, we would speak of the second pillar of our economy, only behind construction. But it is not: we are facing a cross-cutting element, which affects all traditional sectors and which, as Artigas explained, is causing the very dissolution of the barriers between verticals and the emergence of ecosystems as a new unit of measurement. In any case, that 19% may seem very high, but it is very far in relation to the 40% of weight in the economy that is forecast for the Old Continent in 2021.

How to multiply the impact of technological innovation in our country? “We have won the battle of the discourse on investment in R&D; now we have to make it a reality,” acknowledged Pedro Mier, president of the digital industry employers’ association. “We already had a huge challenge ahead of us before COVID-19, which was the most important change since the second half of the 20th century: the transition from the internet of people to that of things, so we should not decontextualize these purposes “, added David Cierco, general director of Red.es, reminding us that digital transformation is not the answer to the current economic crisis, but the product of trends that have been making their place in the market for years and that perhaps, only maybe,The pandemic has made us see as a solution to build a productive model of more value and more sustainable than the tourism of “sun, beach and drunkenness” or large-scale construction with no more meaning than speculative.

Materializing this commitment to digitization as a pillar of the long-awaited economic reconstruction will have some extraordinarily relevant breeding grounds. One of them is industry. ” Recent history has taught us that the industrial environment is more resilient than other economic areas in the face of macro events such as the 2007 financial crisis or the current pandemic ,” explained Javier Rodríguez, Head of Industry X.0 for Spain, Portugal and Israel at Accenture. “The industry is the one that really fixes the economy and employment. But we must reindustrialize with a clear investment in innovative industries, such as the connected vehicle or the electro-intensive, in addition to improving existing infrastructures and encouraging the consumption of ICTs,” he admittedGalo Gutiérrez, general director of Industry and of the Small and Medium Enterprise of the Government.

The other scenario that takes center stage in this productive reconstruction process is health. “The health sector is not only a key pillar of the welfare society, but also an engine of our economy. Health is not only a value in itself; it also represents a productive ecosystem with social value”, highlighted Salvador illa, minister of the branch, who has advanced a digitization strategy in the health system, although without specific details beyond the inclusion of specific sections for the promotion of “data analytics and information exploitation.”

Two pillars of all the tractor macroprojects that AMETIC has been demanding and that the Executive now embraces. The economic vice president, Nadia Calviño, was in charge of ensuring the umbrella that aspires to promote all of the above: the new Digital Agenda for 2025 that Pedro Sánchez presented before the summer and that marks the ten main lines of action in terms of digital transformation , including the modernization of the AAPP itself, of inclusive technology, the promotion of the entrepreneurial fabric and startups (with Francisco Polo, High Commissioner, as the spearhead), the digital transformation of tourism, commerce or mobility, in addition to the conversion of León into an international cybersecurity pole or the embrace of the data economy.Many ambitions, now it remains to make them come true.

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