EU sets digital goals including 20% global chip production
The European Commission has announced its plans for digital transformation in Europe in the current decade.
People, infrastructure, business, services
The plan contains four key tenets. The first is to equip 80% of European adults with basic digital skills by 2030. The second relates to digital infrastructure, with gigabit connectivity in every household and total 5G coverage of populated areas. The third includes doubling the number of EU unicorns (a tech startup worth $1bn) and the last will see all key public services digitised.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen : “Europe has a lifetime opportunity to build back better. With the new multi-annual budget and the Recovery and Resilience Facility, we have mobilised unprecedented resources to invest in the digital transition. The pandemic has exposed how crucial digital technologies and skills are to work, study and engage – and where we need to get better. We must now make this Europe's Digital Decade so that all citizens and businesses can access the very best the digital world can offer. Today's Digital Compass gives us a clear view of how to get there.”
The semiconductor snafu
As part of its digital infrastructure efforts, the plan also set out a desire to manufacture 20% of the world’s semiconductors by 2030.
The ambitious 20% target reflects the in the semiconductor sector. A perfect storm of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, ever increasing manufacturer demand as more things are made digital, and an explosion in customer demand following the pandemic’s easing have led to huge problems. And, as chips are integrated into everything from appliances to cars, it’s not just the digital sector that is suffering. Ford, for instance, was to cut production on its F-150 pickup trucks for precisely that reason.
It’s in this context that the EU is seeking to build its own chipmaking capacity, pivoting away from existing leaders such as Taiwan, who on top of supply demands often find themselves caught between the geopolitical struggles of China and the US.
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”