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Global Technology Trends to 2023 – Elcano Royal Institute

In the headlines, 2023 presents three trends of yet-to-be-established global technology governance.

2022 is the year of adaptation: not so much adapting to technology as adopting it to meet the needs of a turbulent world.

The intrusion into Ukraine triggered the Cyber ​​Rapid Response Team (CRRT), a European solidarity mechanism among member states that had not been used until then. The conflict has also redefined technology as a geopolitical vehicle: the Ukrainian government has decided to “export” the country’s data centers to protect personal, industrial and sensitive data, placing it in a trusted third-country digital safe haven. Likewise, the high expectations for crypto assets were partially curtailed with the collapse of FTX, which led to a “crypto winter” in international markets. Advanced semiconductors, on the other hand, made headlines due to the international competition it created between China, the United States, and the European Union, although the issue has existed for many years and is nothing new, although it is current, due to its restrictions on export control regimes, The impact of FDI and the growing role of sanctions in more technology verticals.

2023 starts again with headlines, although a sober and rigorous analysis of the subject reveals three main trends. The year that Spain will hold the EU Council presidency is particularly important.

Industrial policy plays a bigger role

Since European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated in 2020 that this would be the European Digital Decade, three mechanisms have developed: the Consortium of European Industries, the Important Project of Common European Interests (IPCEI) and joint venture (chrysanthemum). Industrial technology development represents a large part of the action plan for each of these three action areas and is expected to be developed in more technology areas.

However, there are some changes in the transition from 2022 to 2023. If in 2022, every technology considered strategic could have a huge impact on its own – for example, artificial intelligence for data processing – then 2023 shows that the different value will lie in the combination of technologies How will create new possibilities when used together. This is the case with cloud computing and edge computing, which power the networks that connect electric vehicles.

Even if some of these combined technologies are not yet on the market, 2023 will be the year when public agencies start to consider using them. In his 2022 State of the Union address, the President of the European Commission announced an initiative to explore the challenges of virtual reality: the last frontier of the metaverse, which is not a technology itself but a technology platform that can integrate virtual reality, augmented reality, Immersive reality, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and more come together from a few to many applications.​​

The first regulatory framework proposal for the European Commission’s 2023 work program has also been published super loop, designed to accommodate this high-speed, low-carbon transport solution. This will be accompanied by a common European mobile data space, which has already been developed to digitize the transport sector.

2023 is also expected to be a year of strong EU agreements on the security of supply chains for critical materials, minerals and rare earths from third countries on which the bloc depends.

It relies not only on China, but also on countries such as Brazil, Chile and Mexico for the raw materials from which purely digital and green technologies can be developed. This explains why 2023 is the year of new agreements, notably through the EU-Latin America Digital Alliance, which promises to be a framework for technical cooperation with the region and the consolidation of trust, such as the renewal of trade agreements. Chile December 2022 Through this agreement, non-discriminatory access to raw materials such as lithium is guaranteed.

State aid is the axis of global tech competition

The green technology sector is another trend for 2023. It’s not new, as they’ve been around for a long time, but it’s current for various reasons of European and global governance.

the United States announced Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) on August 12, 2022 to allocate nearly $400 billion in public spending and a 10-year tax credit program to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 40% by 2030.This combines subsidies for strategic sectors such as semiconductor factories with Chips + Bills U.S. sanctions on exports of high-tech products to China have sparked disagreements.

This state aid from the US is not alone. China has proposed a semiconductor «Gran Fund», while the European Union has announced a European chip proposal in February 2022, which may explore state aid to establish semiconductor manufacturing plants on European soil, although it focuses on the measurement of design, R & D phase: Improved methods are needed.

As a result, 2023 has been described as the year in which the path to evaluating state aid will continue, and subsidies will continue in all three regions regardless. In fact, this debate has already divided the Trade and Technology Committee (TTC) between the EU and the US, with Commissioner Breton disagreeing with the way the IRA was dealt with at the meeting and not attending the December 2022 meeting State Aid No Handled in the TTC, the meeting focuses on the issue of agreement, ie becoming an executive.

Within the EU, differences between member states are expected to widen over how such state aid should be provided, with countries becoming more cautious about lending (like the Netherlands), which calls for stricter state aid rules (Italy) and others seeking to initiate more state aid countries such as Germany and France.

democratization of technology

In recent years, attention has been paid to the EU’s regulatory and industrial policy pillars from security, political and economic perspectives. However, the third pillar is values.

Progress came with the Declaration of Principles and Digital Rights, the first Eurobarometer of public perceptions of digital rights, and the campaign against internet blocking as a form of repression. However, the next step is to implement these principles in ‘foundational’ training recommendations for civil society organisations, citizens and other public levels (e.g. regional and local levels).

Spain will assume the presidency of the EU Council in 2023 and will then have to approve three main legislative documents, if not negotiated in the final stages: a European digital identity framework; a proposal for online solidarity between member state entities; and proposed data regulation. These all affect the protection of rights.

In short, 2023 is destined to be a year with a lot of news. Beyond the diversity of headlines, the key will be to focus on these three trends as the main drivers of yet-to-be-established global tech governance.


Image: Background with hexagon pattern, modern technology and network concept. Photo: Photocreate.

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