COOPERATION, KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS EUROPEAN INVESTMENTS IN INDUSTRY AND INFRASTRUCTURE

The development of Artificial Intelligence opened a new stage of network and industry digitization

The changes that take place in the industry must be followed by changes in the regulatory environment.
This, in turn, will translate into greater efficiency in resource management for companies.
In fact, it’s another stage in the development of the network economy and a business goal of investments in 5G networks and technologies related to Industry 4.0.

The TIME Economic Forum will bring together all the entities interested in the development of infrastructure and industry.

The emerging business models give a competitive advantage to enterprises open to cooperation and interoperability. Their goal is to launch new mechanisms allowing for cost-effective sharing of resources with external entities. The growing importance of economies of scale, combined with the possibilities of more effective use of the potential offered by companies, encourage entering into new relationships.

The goal of the organizers of the Forum is to improve the environment for conducting business activities. The discussions are held by entrepreneurs, subject-matter experts, scientists and the representatives of the state administration. The results of the meeting will be used by business organizations as a cornerstone for their statutory activities.

The 10th TIME Economic Forum served as a pan-European platform for discussion on the consequences of the changes described above. The conclusions of the discussions held in the previous year were a call for acceleration of modernization processes. New technologies gain in importance in virtually every type of market. The size of the EU market is a true asset that comes with a number of development opportunities for the member states. However, these opportunities can by fully seized only thanks to close cooperation and rapid modernization of the regulatory framework of the EU single market. During the last year’s meetings, attention was paid to a number of issues of very high importance. The established postulates and conclusions were used to fuel discussions that currently are held across the entire EU. We stressed that effective consolidation and harmonization actions should be taken as soon as possible. Detailed conclusions were presented in separate reports and documents that are now used as a support for consultation processes related to the regulatory requirements for 5G networks and Industry 4.0.

To summarize, our actions are aimed at supporting and justifying the following statements:

  • in the coming years, the economic development will be driven by the so-called Artificial Intelligence,
  • the penetration by network will increase and deepen, therefore it is necessary to build conditions that will ensure interoperability of the connected products.
  • the increase in the importance of network connections means that legal regulations have a growing impact on the shape of the market and the pace of technical and social development,
  • the so-called economies of scale contently grow in importance, which translates into the need to create a unified law within large economic areas,
  • the growing role of innovation and knowledge in socio-economic life will cause profound changes in the employment structure.

The participants of the last year’s edition of the Forum appreciated the commitment of our European partners (DigitalEurope and Orgalime) and agreed that the representatives of all the European industry organizations gathering companies operating in the digital sector should be invited to the event. The organizers agree that inviting new stakeholders to the Forum will have a positive impact on the harmonization of regulations, laws and decisions relevant to the digitization of the European economic area.

During the consultations held after the 10th edition of the Forum, the entrepreneurs pointed to yet another challenge that should be addressed. The challenge is to involve small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the processes related to the development of Industry and Economy 4.0. It is SME that will have a decisive impact on the pace and scale of the transformation.

The EU is a vast economic area, yet, it is still fragmented, because of the varied level of socio-economic development and growing regional egoism. Building an economically and politically integrated Europe is in the interest of EU entrepreneurs. In order to succeed, they must increase their involvement in the creation of close relationships and cooperation. However, the current EU legal framework too often favors conflicts of interest, by creating conditions for hyper-competition, and doesn’t promote cooperation. The stability and sustainability of the EU’s economic development depends on whether European industry will maintain its position as a global leader of transformation contributing to the establishment of Economy 4.0 and the knowledge society. It seems that more regulatory support for business cooperation is needed and that it should be combined with increased prevention of monopolization processes.

Moreover, the market for 5G network services and industry 4.0-related technologies hasn’t been identified enough. The consultations carried out by the National Chamber of Commerce of Electronic Industry and Telecommunications show that the market generated by the SME sector is particularly important in this context. The same goes for a more strict cooperation between the national and European companies involved with digital industry and regional industry chambers and Eurochambres. We want the TIME Economic Forum to serve as a platform for meeting of the representatives of all this stakeholders.

The scale of impact of enterprises will largely depend on the consistency of regulatory proposals defining the conditions of market functioning with regulations applied in the areas where relying solely on market mechanisms is ineffective, inappropriate or not applicable. A special approach should be adopted in such areas as: education, training, social welfare and healthcare. In relation to the above, the cooperation between enterprises at the European level has significantly grown in importance. The modernization process should also cover information policy, which to a large extent impacts public support for the proposed reforms.

Only together can we speed up the transition from drafting to practical implementation of harmonized legal solutions. The growing impact of economies of scale on the efficiency of business activities requires a more comprehensive approach to the concept of the single market. Eliminating customs barriers or leading joint research and development programs is definitely not enough. Incomplete implementation of directives representing this new approach and a number of non-tariff barriers effectively inhibit integration and leveling processes. Business requires a more unified market in the area of technical specifications and applied standards, unification of the banking and financial systems, common regulations regarding the labor market, construction, telecommunications and energy law, as well as the adjustment of intellectual property safeguards to the current level of technological development. These are just some of the challenges we have to face because of the differences in the level of economic development of EU member states. That is why entering into a dialogue is so important. It will allow to take more effective actions to eliminate these differences and to extinguish the main sources of conflicts of interest.

The TIME Economic Forum is a place where the needs of UE entrepreneurs and the conditions necessary for the development of 5G networks and industry 4.0 can be defined. Topics covered by the work of national and European consultative bodies will be also discussed during the 11th TIME Economic Forum. These include:

  1. Spectrum management and 5G development planning.
  2. Management of power density for non-ionization radiation.
  3. Rationalization of costs of developing the wireless layer of the 5G network.
  4. Action plan for increasing the rate of fiber penetration.
  5. Industry 4.0 platforms.
  6. AI development programs.
  7. A system of technical specifications that would include SMEs in the Economy 4.0.
  8. New concepts of functioning of the data market and intangible assets market (IPR, patents, etc.).

Each of the issues will be the subject of a session, consisting of a 20-minute introductory presentation and expert discussion. Below are suggestions of topics on which we want to focus during the two-day TIME Conference. The following descriptions should be treated as a preliminary proposal of the National Chamber of Commerce of Electronic Industry and Telecommunications, the Polish Chamber of Information Technology and Telecommunications and ZVEI, which can be modified in accordance with the suggestions of the Program Council and entrepreneurs interested directly in the subject of the given discussion.

The need to speed up the development of 5G technology and to develop the necessary fiber optic infrastructure is urgent and obvious. We have to develop new business models, financial instruments and adequate legal regulations. Even today it can be seen that the development of 5G relying solely on the funds provided by telecom operators cannot be effectuated in a timely manner. That’s why it is necessary to engage in a dialogue with the governments and the European Commission on the creation of conditions that would help to quickly overcome the emerging investment barriers.

Ad. I.

Among the many factors that will determine the pace of development of the 5G network, the problem of spectrum management is one of the most noticeable ones. The main topics raised and being at the center of interest of telecom entities are:

  • releasing of spectrum bands by changing their purpose,
  • the system of frequency usage/sharing fees,
  • rules for re-distribution of unused frequency band,
  • establishing stable principles of light regulation for millimeter bands (up to 24.75 GHz).

 

Ad. II. The development of 5G networks gave rise to discussions on the regulations aimed at limiting the EMF power density and magnetic/electric field intensity. Increasingly, we are faced with activities hindering the construction of new base transreceiver stations for wireless networks. We’re dealing with a conflict of opinions regarding the harmless effect of this type of radiation. Statements, comments, studies, positions, technical specifications, measurement methods, and even the evaluation of the results of scientific research on EMF are determined by the view on the alleged harmfulness of non-thermal effects. The communities that call for maintaining, or even tightening up, the requirements related to EMF contest the results of the report by SCENIHR. This means that the knowledge on the harmful effects of radiation on people and animals gradually loses in importance.

The subjects raised by the stakeholders include:

  • the need to establish harmonized requirements and control procedures,
  • the influence of the regulations limiting the level of EMF on the costs of investments in the 5G radio layer,
  • excessive length of environmental impact assessment proceedings,
  • negative impact on digitization and innovativeness of the SME sector.
  • information policy reducing negative emotions in the society,
  • necessity to quickly remove the current legal obstacles related to EMF.

 

Ad. III. Economies of investments in 5G networks will be different, compared to the previous investment cycles. It’s often said that the majority of 5G services won’t create a significant demand in the segment of retail customers. It is generally believed that these services will be first and foremost of service to business entities and major road routes. This, in turn, provokes a number of questions on the investment structure and schedule. The common infrastructure for services provided via FTTH and the 5G network is fiber-optic network. High investment expenses are the main obstacle for the implementation of programs aimed an accelerating the development of this layer. Thus, the most important issues in this context are:

  • conditions for the provision of technical infrastructure – cable ducting and telecommunication duct system for buildings (access to building infrastructure),
  • conditions for making utility poles for low-voltage overhead lines available (access to the poles),
  • introduction of the European specification and conditions for installation of radio access network transreceiver sets without permits.

Ad. IV. The session will be dedicated to the methods of boosting the development of universal access to 1 Gbps+. Experts will be asked about system solutions that could ameliorate conditions for the construction and operation of broadband networks.

 

The assessments of the European the level of development of the FTTH / FTTB networks shows that the policy of financing the key infrastructure is of great importance to the entire economy.

It is particularly important to define the business models for network operations, which should be the starting point for launching the necessary investment funds. All the aspects of creation and sharing of a universal high-density fiber network must be analyzed and taken into consideration. The reorganization of this market, starting from the construction law through the legal ecosystem defining the rights and obligations of all market participants and final beneficiaries, is a prerequisite for keeping EU countries in the vanguard of transformation referred to as the development of the economy 4.0. These are the tasks that extend far beyond the financial and organizational capacities of the ICT infrastructure operators. The issues related to fiber that currently are of the greatest importance to the operators include:

  • updates to the National Broadband Plan placing it in a broader context and taking into consideration Poland’s development strategy in the area of digitalization and 5G network construction,
  • Digital Poland Operational Program and its level of implementation,
  • the German optic fiber network program as an example of a joint initiative of various technical infrastructure operators,
  • construction law.

 

Ad. V. In the majority of countries, Industry4.0 platforms start to emerge. They’re established by large entities, based on the existing regulations defining the functioning of enterprises. For the majority of enterprises, their economic role is incomprehensible. These and other questions related to the changes that Industry 4.0 may entail are, among others:

  • the role and scope of competence of 4.0 industry platforms,
  • legal grounds for creating industry 4.0 platforms,
  • integration of the national industry 4.0 platforms,
  • regulations related to cross-border transactions 4.0.

Ad. VI. In last year’s keynote address delivered by the National Chamber of Commerce of Electronic Industry and Telecommunications, we have put forward the thesis that the dissemination of artificial intelligence requires an integrated approach to programming of industry development, infrastructure, education and lifelong learning. We called for widespread support for an all-European long-term AI development program, focused on AI as a field of knowledge and commercialization of its achievements. On 10 April 2018, 25 EU countries signed the Declaration of cooperation on Artificial Intelligence. Widespread public consultations, discussions about necessary investments, changes in law, reorganization of education and training systems continue.

The organizers of the 11th TIME Economic Forum believe that the best motto of the event will be the following words spoken by the Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society:

“In Europe, any successful strategy dealing with AI needs to be cross-border. A large number of Member States agreed to work together on the opportunities and challenges brought by AI. That is excellent news. Cooperation will focus on reinforcing European AI research centers, creating synergies in R&D&I funding schemes across Europe, and exchanging views on the impact of AI on society and the economy. Member States will engage in a continuous dialogue with the Commission, which will act as a facilitator.”

We will discuss this need in relation to the following issues:

  • establishing a network connecting enterprises within the European network of AI research centers
  • a package of major projects strengthening the European AI industry (e.g. European production of integrated circuits for AI, European translation center, etc.)
  • education programs addressed to SMEs.

Ad. VII. The business-related basis for the development of industry 4.0 is to increase the efficiency of resource utilization by manufacturing enterprises. The most important resources lay with the SME sector. At the same time, we’re witnessing the beginning of the process of acquiring the value added generated by SMEs by large economic organizations. This may lead to intensification of the processes related to accelerated, hidden monopolization of the economy, with all its consequences. These and other questions related to the changes that Industry 4.0 may entail are, among others:

  • activities aimed at involving SMEs in the transformation process,
  • modernization of antitrust laws to protect competitiveness,
  • defining and implementing the Industry 4.0 technical specifications packages.

Ad. VIII. For many years, the volume of data owned by public institutions and private entities has gradually increased. At the same times the capabilities of the subsequent generations of machines and digital devices become greater and greater. Combined, the data and the technical means constitute a true cornerstone for many new common services. Achievements in the field of artificial intelligence can drastically reduce the costs of their integration and use. The number and volume of databases, patents, structures, projects and information, which are the primary support for the development of AI are also growing.

“Big Data” and “Business Intelligence” are at the same time business concepts and business models related to the exploration and use of data. The current legal framework greatly limits their development and often restricts the use of existing resources to create new values and knowledge.

An all-European discussion on how to combine privacy and ownership rights with the new needs and opportunities offered by the digital technology continues. It is fueled by associations of enterprises. The need to establish new rules that will take into account various interests seems obvious.

In this way, we can radically increase the scope and level of universal services. The possibilities of increasing the efficiency of operations in the area of health care and social care, education and training, science and construction and implementation research, environmental protection and climate cannot be overseen. The issues related to this domain include, among others:

  • modernization of the principles of balancing the private and public interest,
  • shortening the period of protection of data rights, copyrights, industrial property and other types of intangible property,
  • rules for the circulation of data being stored by private entities and public organizations,
  • segmentation of access rights based on the rules related to the particular field of exploitation.

We encourage you to take part in the Forum and discussions on the key issues related to the technical and human advancement.