Truffle Capital: European Commission Recognises the Need for a 'European Strategy for Software'
Commenting on the 2007 Truffle 100 Europe, Viviane Reding Calls on Europe to Develop a Leadership Position in Software
BRUSSELS, Belgium--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media, has called for a European Strategy for Software that will allow the industry to develop a global leadership position in the on-line service economy. Her remarks were made Monday at a presentation at the European Commission in Brussels by Truffle Capital and Syntec informatique of the 2007 “Truffle 100 Europe,” the leading ranking of the top 100 European software companies.
“the window is small and it will soon be closed if we don’t act”
As online software, or software as a service, replaces traditional packaged software, Europe has advantages that give it a “window of opportunity to develop a leadership position in software,” commented Reding. These include a large home base of demand to build on, high levels of qualified talent, and the fact that 70% of open source developers worldwide are of European origin.
However, she warned, “the window is small and it will soon be closed if we don’t act,” since 90% of the economic benefits of open source are being won by US companies. For this reason, Europe needs more industry-led initiatives to spur the shift to on-line software services, such as the NESSI technology platform and the Artemis Joint Technology Initiative, which will be approved before the end of this year. She also cited the need for progress in software product liability and the transparency of licensing. Software, she concluded “has in its hands the future competitiveness of all European industry and the quality of all of Europeans.”
In a round-table discussion that followed Viviane Reding’s speech, Jean-Pierre Brûlard, Vice President of Syntec Informatique, called for the establishment of a US-style Small Business Act in order to give software companies access to public contracts. Bernard-Louis Roques, General Partner IT of Truffle Capital, said the adoption of a European version of France’s Young Innovative Company status (Jeune Entreprise Innovante), which offers tax advantages to companies that invest heavily in R&D, would be a major step in boosting the industry’s competitiveness. “Whereas the USA is able to rapidly turn aggressive start-ups into world leaders, Europe mostly produces small companies and few global champions,” he noted. “We encourage Commissioner Reding to structure the "European Chain for Research, Innovation and Economic Growth" focused on Young Innovative Companies (YICs) by promoting synergy and convergence between Europe's various stakeholders, resources and tools.”
The 2007 Truffle 100 Europe shows that through constant innovation and heavy investment in R&D, European companies are successfully facing global competition. The Truffle 100 Europe companies last year collectively invested €3.3 billion in R&D, or 15% of total revenues, and 63% of them expect to increase their investments this year. With a headcount of 175,000, Europe’s software vendors have become a key force in creating new added-value jobs for engineers, computer programmers, and other highly qualified employees. This year’s version revealed for the first time that the industry employs 38,000 people in R&D, making the Truffle 100 a strategic provider of qualified jobs in Europe.
About the Truffle 100 Europe
For the second year in a row, the Truffle 100 Europe, established with the support of CXP, a market research organization focused on software, and IDC, a leading global market intelligence firm, sheds light on the leaders of the software industry, reveals new trends and demonstrates the vitality of the industry and its contribution to the Lisbon agenda. The Truffle 100 Europe was initiated by Truffle Capital, a leading European private equity firm, and Syntec informatique, and is published in conjunction with the other main national IT trade associations in Europe: Agoria (Belgium), Aitech-Assinform (Italy), BITKOM (Germany), and Intellect (UK).
About Truffle Capital
Founded in 2002 in Paris, Truffle Capital is a leading independent European private equity firm dedicated to investing in and building technology leaders in the IT, life sciences and energy sectors. With €250 million under management, Truffle Capital is led by a team of four partners with decades of successful investment and entrepreneurial experience in both Europe and Silicon Valley. Truffle Capital’s investment team is composed of experienced and international experts. Truffle Capital aims to achieve superior financial returns by leveraging its industry knowledge, extensive network and unique focus on spin-offs to identify business ventures that match latent market needs. For further information, please visit www.truffle.com.