There is a growing interest in the EU in the data economy, in IoT, robots and autonomous systems and in the emerging challenges they pose for EU policy makers. The purpose of this study was to identify the most important barriers to the development of the data economy and the use of IoT, robots and autonomous systems. It looked in particular at the extent to which issues in the areas of liability, (re-)usability of and access to (third party) data, and interoperability are impediments to the development of these markets.
These are markets that are still in their infancy, i.e. what is known as an ‘emergence phase’. To be entirely active in these markets, EU companies need to be intensive data users, but that is the case of only 6.3% according to a study for the European Commission . The fact that most companies have not yet engaged with these markets has been borne out by the qualitative assessment of the business models of more than 100 European firms as part of this study. Most companies have not yet completely integrated these new realities into their business models and approaches. But for the small number of companies which are currently proactively engaged in the data economy, there are genuine uncertainties and barriers to them moving forward, and which may well be acting as deterrents to companies want to enter the market.
Quantifying the barriers is much more difficult, precisely because the market and the barriers are both still emerging. This report should therefore be seen as a first attempt to provide indicative evidence of what barriers exist, their current and likely future impacts on businesses and citizens, and the implications for policy makers. A number of policy options were developed and tested to obtain an indicative ranking of relevant solutions for the short and medium term.