News story

New boost for digital economy

Joint UK-France Data Taskforce created.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne and French Economy Minister, Emmanuel Macron, today (27 July 2015) in Paris announced the creation of a new joint UK-France Data Taskforce to unlock up to €60 (£42) billion of untapped economic growth across the European Union.

The new taskforce will support the flourishing digital sector in the UK, one of our largest wealth creators, with over 250,000 new businesses set up each year.

The fresh move reaffirms both countries’ commitment to the European digital single market and significantly advances the body of work needed to deliver it. The taskforce will report back to both governments by the end of the year on the following agreed objectives, to:

  • enhance UK-France cooperation on open data where the UK is a world-leader in making government data available for public use, including by tech entrepreneurs
  • establish a set of principles for improving SMEs’ use of data and data science to develop new services/compete with larger players
  • look at ways to provide greater consumer control of data and improved data portability - where UK and France are market leaders and make recommendations to promote greater competition between new entrants and established data-based service providers.

Being at the forefront of digital innovation is essential for business and key to economic competitiveness. In recent years data-driven innovation has become one of the main new sources of global economic growth, with access to ‘big data’ swiftly becoming a company’s main assets in entering new markets as well as creating significant economic advantages.

This new taskforce will specifically consider ways to boost data access for small and medium-sized enterprises who make up over 99 per cent of UK and French private sector businesses. The taskforce will also report on ways these businesses can harness the global opportunities that data science can bring, including how best to create safe and fair frameworks what allow data to be shared internationally.

The Chancellor said:

I am delighted to announce the creation of a new joint UK-France Taskforce to lead the way in unlocking the significant economic benefits offered by the digital economy. In the UK our digital industries contribute over £113 billion to the economy and this taskforce will consider ways to accelerate growth in this flourishing sector

Emmanuel Macron said:

France and the UK are at the forefront of the digital economy. We need to join forces to unleash its potential by setting up a fair and balanced framework which benefits innovators, companies and consumers.