ICT, the economic crisis and climate change: empirica analyses the ICT potential and business impact

European companies are confronted with huge challenges on several fronts: they have to cope with the consequences of the financial crisis, increasing pressure from global competition and compliance with tightening environmental regulation – all at the same time.

At first sight, ICT and e-business may not seem a priority issue in such a demanding business context. On the other hand, it is proven that ICT is a major tool for innovation, to reduce costs and to facilitate market reach – in short, to strengthen companies' competitiveness, notably in times of distress. ICT could also hold a considerable potential for improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse emissions, but this is uncertain and not yet well understood, as there is little empirical data available.

The "Sectoral e-Business Watch" project of the European Commission's DG Enterprise and Industry is committed to provide new and improved evidence in these areas to support decision-making. To this end, several studies are currently in progress:

  1. ICT and e-business in the glass, ceramics and cement industry
  2. ICT and e-business in the energy supply industry
  3. The ICT impact on greenhouse gas emissions in energy intensive industries
  4. An economic assessment of ICT-related industrial policy
  5. e-Skills demand, developments and challenges in manufacturing industries

The final study reports are expected for December 2009.

The Sectoral e-Business Watch study programme is implemented by empirica GmbH, on the basis of a service contract with DG Enterprise and Industry, in cooperation with DIW econ, IDC Italia and other service providers.