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Timo Leimbach

Assessing national policies to support software in Europe

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  • Timo Leimbach
  • Michael Friedewald, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research

Purpose: Software and software-based services (SSBS) are a major domain of the European ICT industry and are recognised as a key element in developing the information society. This article aims to shed light on the various strategies, policies and activities pursued by the EU and its member states. Design/methodology/approach: The article is based on a survey of national programmes that are aimed specifically or in substantial part at the software sector. This analysis and assessment usually faces two challenges: unlike other technologies that have the same significance and/or the same attractiveness, the SSBS industry is a very dynamic one, due to several specific characteristics; and there are increasing inter-dependencies between the European and national levels as well as between supply-side and demand-side policies, which require a more detailed analysis of the different national policies for the EU member states. Therefore a comparative analytical framework is used that takes account of the different composition and structure of the SSBS industries in EU member states. Findings: The analysis shows that there are still great differences among the EU member states, but in general there is relatively little activity in European member state governments targeted specifically at fostering SSBS producers. However, as a result of the EU activities virtually all member states have implemented policies to foster the development towards an information society. Originality/value: The paper highlights that normally these overall policies address and integrate both the supply side as well as the demand side. This is at least an improvement compared to recent years, when adaption, diffusion and application were taken for granted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-55
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Communications technologies, Computer software, European Union, Innovation, Public policy

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