Digitisation, connectivity and social innovation

Network infrastructure as an enabling platform for developing the digital economy and increasing the competitiveness of the country

[G4-EC8a]  The latest OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook1 report provides a very clear summary of the aspects that determine the different levels of competitiveness of countries and outlines the “recipes” that economies should implement to overcome the crisis:

  • promoting innovation, particularly by offering training systems geared above all to stimulating talent, disseminating the new skills required by production systems, extending the segment of the population susceptible to new technologies;
  • increasing the productivity of labour, which explains the different rates of growth in the wealth of countries most open to new technologies and other economies;
  • identifying new growth opportunities in solutions that address environmental protection, the ageing population, improving quality of life in urban areas;
  • increasing the effectiveness of local and national research and development systems, connecting them to international research networks and to the main reservoirs of knowledge, increasing opportunities for interaction between research and businesses.

As General Purpose Technologies (GPTs), i.e. enabling technologies needed to activate new services and solutions and disseminate digital culture, the broadband and ultrabroadband infrastructure is one of the main drivers that will enable the developments advocated by the OECD. Since 2009, a study by Waverman in fact indicated broadband as a vehicle for increasing the efficiency - and therefore the competitiveness - of an economic system by improving the productivity derived from the greater use of ICT technologies. Naturally, the more the economic system is open to using new technologies, the wider this impact will be.


1 Science, Technology and Industry Outlook, OECD73