Interview with Stefano Da Empoli


President da Empoli, can you briefly explain what I-Com is and what it does?

I-Com stands for Institute for Competitiveness; it is an independent think tank born by an idea of a group of academics, experts and managers more than ten years ago (2005), covering several issues but mainly focusing on digital, energy and healthcare. We believe that innovation in these sectors both in the provision of services and in an industrial perspective would be instrumental in promoting competitiveness in Italy and in the EU.

The main aim of the Institute is to influence public debate on those topics and make key decision makers more aware of potential opportunities or setbacks and possible policy solutions.


What are the tools of research and dissemination that I-Com uses to promote the debate about those topics?


I-Com produces multidisciplinary papers and reports and organizes closed doors events and public conferences, with the contribution of a wide and skilled network of experts.

The research method used by the I-Com team is based on international benchmarking analysis that aims to identify competitiveness issues in the areas of interest and to suggest possible solutions based on best practices.

Last year, we widened our point of view and we decided to open a representative office in Brussels.


What kind of activities does I-Com promote in Brussels?


Our presence in Brussels aims at building an imaginary bridge between relevant Member States, such as Italy, and the Bruxelles arena. Therefore, we started a stream of activities in Brussels but we also added more EU level contents and speakers in our Italian initiatives.


Can you give us some insights about passed activities?


Let’s talk about the most recent ones, then. In June 2017, a new event and a new paper edited by I-Com (Competitiveness of European Media Content Industry and Impact of Digital Single Market) investigated the impact of DSM strategy on the Media content industry, with a special focus on the current debate of the AVMS and Copyright legislative proposals.

The event was a favorable occasion to move forward in the exam of new margins of competitiveness foreseen by the implementation of a real Digital Single Market in the Audiovisual sector, taking into account the respect of some fundamental principles.

A second event, held in June 21st, accompanied by a new I-Com paper, focused on the impact of digitalization on business-to-consumer relationship aimed at inquiring about the main opportunities for EU consumers and businesses entailed by the digitalization process. Indeed, the massive digitization of services is transforming the network into a decentralized marketplace in which citizens/consumers interact and conclude transactions with businesses more easily than ever, providing big opportunities and new business models but also requiring a careful attention on new regulation aimed at solving critical aspects.


What about future initiatives?


In the near future we are planning two new events in Brussels (followed by at least another two by the end of the year).

The first one will take place on September 6th, about how the ongoing digital transformation radically transforms the way companies can compete, by not only changing the existing internal processes but also allowing for the development of completely different and innovative business models. The I-Com paper will investigate the context of Connectivity and Industry, the key drivers and the preparedness for Connected Industry and the policies related to it.

A second one will be organized in October, about how the development of ICT technologies and the pervasive diffusion of ICT products and services are impacting on the energy sector, deeply changing the value chain, creating new business models and transforming the role of consumers.

There are very important issues at stake, crucial for European competitiveness, and I-Com is on top of that


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