DIGITAL SME joins President Macron in Paris to launch Scale-Up Europe

  • Today, French President Emmanuel Macron is gathering a select group of tech leaders in Paris to launch the Scale-Up Europe Manifesto.

  • DIGITAL SME President Dr Oliver Grün, who attended the celebration at the Élysée Palace, remarked that “It is high time for a broad European initiative to support our future as a tech continent”

  • Scale-Up Europe’s goal is to build tech leadership by focusing on four key drivers: talent, investment, startup-corporate collaboration, and deep tech.

  • As a member, DIGITAL SME aims to help identify scale-ups among Europe’s innovative SME community and turn them into the next generation of European champions.

The European DIGITAL SME Alliance has joined Scale-Up Europe, an initiative started by French President Emmanuel Macron to accelerate the rise of global tech leaders born in Europe. Over 150 leading tech founders, investors, researchers, corporate CEOs and government officials in Europe have already joined the initiative, which builds on four key drivers: talent, investment, startup-corporate collaboration and deep tech.

Scaleups, sometimes also referred to as high-growth companies, are defined as enterprises with more than 20% growth per year over a three-year period. The European Commission considers these companies “Europe’s job creation champions” although only 3% of startups go on to the scale-up stage.

“It is high time for a broad European initiative to support our future as a tech continent”, remarked DIGITAL SME President Dr Oliver Grün, who attended the launch ceremony in Paris. “President Macron is sending a strong signal by making Europe’s tech scale-ups a priority. As digital SMEs, we are committed to working with policy-makers and other tech players to make this initiative a success.”

SMEs, not just startups, can become scaleups

Although they are mostly associated with newly-founded companies, Dr Grün affirmed that “It’s not just startups that can become scale-ups, but also established IT SME companies when they manage to start a booster business model”. Dr Grün started his own IT business GRÜN Software Group over 30 years ago and it entered into a very successful scaling-up phase last year.

By becoming a member of Scale-Up Europe, DIGITAL SME wants to raise awareness about the power of SME-based innovation ecosystems. In accordance with Scale-Up Europe’s focus on “startup-corporate collaboration”, the Alliance emphasises the importance of building up ecosystems that have SMEs at their core.

A strategy building on collaboration and SMEs

These ecosystems bring about the digital transformation of traditional companies, create quality jobs, and increase digital skills in Europe. Most importantly, they produce novel solutions to issues like climate change through the development of so-called “enabling technologies”. As such, SME-based ecosystems are a key pillar of Sustainable Digitalisation.

If Europe wants to catch up with the US and China, we must build on our own strengths and support home-grown innovation. Thus, Scale-Up Europe is another important step towards achieving European digital sovereignty.

The Alliance looks forward to working with Scale-Up Europe to advance Europe’s status as a cradle of global innovation and support our native IT businesses. As Dr Grün put it: “Among hundreds of thousands of IT SME companies across Europe, let’s find those that can become scale-ups. Let’s work together to make this happen.”

Let’s build a strategy to identify and support successful startups and SMEs that are committed to high growth and innovation!

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