The future of the European tech sector, 2030

Welcome to the Technoverse

Technology and humanity are growing increasingly symbiotic. Today, technology is critical to companies and countries alike, able to transform industries and galvanise economies.

But the global tech landscape is changing. China and the US are home to the tech giants, with the five biggest all headquartered outside Europe. Does this mean Europe’s influence in the global tech space waning, along with its market share?

Europe faces an uphill battle against strict regulation and a market that is politically and culturally fragmented. But it can’t afford to be a bystander. Can it find its pioneering spirit and make the most of the growing demand for digital transformation and innovation?

We believe that by working together, by sharing the latest insights and ideas, we can help shape the future of the European tech sector. It’s why we’re uniting tech experts and business leaders to spur innovation across the continent. Welcome to the Technoverse.

How will the European tech sector develop until 2030?

Over the coming years, a growing number of economic, technological and socio-political developments will provide both significant opportunities and demanding obstacles for European tech firms.

Should they prioritise the development of certain technologies? Is more capital really the answer to achieving scale? And what does the future of the European tech sector really look like?

It’s impossible to know what the future holds. But through a combination of trend mapping, in-depth interviews with industry experts, and hours of tech workshops, we’ve brought four possible futures to life, showing how the European tech sector might look in 2030. Each one is fictional, but each one is possible.

Significant opportunities and demanding obstacles for European tech firms

Who wants to be a trillionaire?

Europe now has two companies with a trillion-dollar valuation, and Europe’s economy is technology-centric.

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The cowardly cash cow

European companies have deployed technology effectively, enabling transformation, which has yielded greater cash flows. But Europe still lacks any global tech giants of its own.

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A tech wasteland

Europe’s economy has faltered as a result of the widespread failure to develop a tech sector at scale. Regulations have discouraged inward investment and encouraged European tech entrepreneurs to leave.

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Greatness divided

A minority of European countries are now home to significant technology companies, and their economies are thriving. The remainder, and also the majority of countries however have failed to reap the tech dividend.

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Our in-depth research has identified the key developments and trends shaping the future of the European tech sector.

1. Deep View analysis

Tens of thousands of news articles and blogs about the future of the European tech sector were analyzed by Deep View, our AI tool. These include deep dives into the US-CN relationship, ecosystem and funding, and cross-industry applications.

2. Expert Interviews and surveys

Interviews were conducted with subject-matter experts from Deloitte, technology businesses, investors and industry bodies, covering the most crucial economic, political, socio-technological and environmental developments surrounding the European Tech Sector.

3. Scenario development

We combined two critical uncertainties - “Attractiveness of Europe for tech companies” and “Europe's technological primacy”. This resulted in four distinct futures, which were further developed considering the driving forces with low uncertainty and high impact, so called trends.

4. Drivers and enablers

Underpinning each scenario are seven core drivers and enablers:

  1. Frontier technologies. The extent to which core technology, which has the greatest commercial value add, is developed in Europe.
  2. Talent. The availability of talent wishing to, and able to work in, the European tech sector, or a subset of it.
  3. Management philosophy. The approach to managing businesses, including willingness to take risk and the appetite for audacity.
  4. Availability of capital. The maturity of various classes of investors: funds available, risk appetite, the understanding of tech business models.
  5. Economic environment. Wealth levels, economic inequality within countries, wealth contribution by sector; wealth gaps between countries in Europe.
  6. Political environment. Attitudes towards the technological sector, including sobriety of regulation and support for wealth creation.
  7. Global economy. Attitudes to Europe and its tech sector from countries outside of Europe.

Each scenario is a fictionalised view of the future, featuring made-up companies, but with each narrative extrapolated from real trends, events and technologies. Whilst each outcome is possible, with some more likely than others, Deloitte has created these scenarios to foment discussion on which outcome is desirable, and what needs to happen to get there.

Insight and inspiration

We’ll bring together insights, resources and the European technology community to inspire and support tech businesses, investors and policymakers on their journey to 2030.

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