Keyvisual Digital Summit 2019

Digital Summit

Digitisation affects everyone – companies, citizens, scientists and society. The Digital Summit is the central platform for cooperation on shaping a forward-looking policy framework for the digital transformation. The 2019 Digital Summit took place in Dortmund on 28 and 29 October.

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The main focus in 2019: digital platforms

Since 2016, each Digital Summit has focused on a different key topic. After digital education in 2016, digitisation in the healthcare sector in 2017 and artificial intelligence in 2018, this year’s focus is on digital platforms.

Digital platforms are an important element of our economy, media, government and society. They provide a channel to goods, services, content, information and data. As intermediaries, they bring supply and demand together more effectively than traditional business models, and can thus transform existing markets or create entirely new ones.

Platforms can be search engines, comparison and review portals, market places/trading platforms, media and content services, online gaming, social networks and communication services. They are online forums for digital interaction and transactions, bringing people and/or companies together. The platforms’ marginal costs are generally low, and they also benefit from network effects. This means that some of the markets are becoming characterised by “winner-takes-all” mechanisms.

It seems likely that platforms will become even more significant in future. In the past, platforms have tended to dominate the debate and commercial activity in the business-to-consumer sector. It is to be expected that, as Industrie 4.0 and the Internet of Things grow in significance, B2B platforms will increasingly come to the fore. This raises further questions: What technologies are strategic “assets” for a digital industry? How will different sectoral standards have to work together in order to ensure an interoperable ecosystem with different digital platforms? What efforts are being made to ensure interoperability within individual domains, and also between domains?

The Digital Summit wants to help raise awareness in the business community and society of the opportunities and challenges of the digital platforms, to host events, exhibitions and showcases which promote the establishment and use of digital platforms and – if necessary – to provide a stimulus for additions to the policy environment. If Germany’s and Europe’s economies are to enjoy lasting success, it is vital to participate appropriately in the value added by the platform economy and to become a provider and shaper of the data economy. We therefore aim to put the conditions in place for Germany and Europe to generate and grow innovative and competitive digital platforms which enjoy global success.

The Summit’s platforms have taken on this task and will present the results of their work at the summit at the end of October.

Digital Summit: shaping the digital transformation together

The Digital Summit (previously the National IT Summit) and the work that takes place between the summit meetings form the central platform for cooperation between government, business, academia and society as we shape the digital transformation. We can make best use of the opportunities of digitisation for business and society if all the stakeholders work together on this.

The National IT Summit was renamed the Digital Summit in 2017. This was to take account of the fact that digitalisation comprises not only telecommunications technology, but the process of digital change in its entirety – from the cultural and creative industries to Industrie 4.0.

How the Digital Summit works

The Digital Summit looks at the key fields of action within the digital transformation across ten topic-based platforms. The platforms and their focus groups are made up of representatives from business, academia and society who, between summit meetings, work together to develop projects, events and initiatives designed to drive digitalisation in business and society forward. The Summit will serve to present the results of the work that has been done in the past, to highlight new trends and discuss digital challenges and policy approaches.

Overall coordination:

Dr. Christine Kahlen
Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy)

Dr. Ulrike Engels
Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy)

An overview: the platforms of the Digital Summit (in German)

cable and laptop

Platform 1 "Digital networks and mobility"

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working in the office

Platform 2 "Innovative digitisation of the economy"

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modern production hall

Platform 3 "Industrie 4.0"

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analyse radiographs

Platform 4 "Learning Systems – the Platform for Artificial Intelligence"

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working in the office

Platform 5 "Digital world of work"

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fingerprint scanner

Platform 6 "Digital administration and public-sector IT"

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kids with tablets

Platform 7 "Digital Future: Learning. Research. Knowledge."

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photographer working on laptop

Platform 8 "Culture and media"

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Platform 9 "Security, protection and trust for society and business"

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paying with smartphone

Platform 10 "Consumer protection policy in the digital world"

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