Emmia Report
Policy Learning Platform
Concrete Actions




  The ”mobilise europe” report has been written within the European Mobility & Mobile Industry Alliance (EMMIA) initiative, as a result of work undertaken by the Policy Learning Platform (PLP). The aim is to show the drivers behind the emerging spots in Europe for mobile services, and how regions can act in order to drive innovation within this field.

  After studies of quantitative facts, most of them from the Pricewaterhouse Coopers Report about Emerging Industries from summer 2012, twenty emerging spots were identified in Europe. Ten different indicators were used in the evaluation process:

- General Impression
- Growth of start ups
- Cluster strength
- Informal structures
- Formal support
- Important events
- Industrial history
- Financial tools
- Market
- Access to knowledge and talent

  Out of these twenty spots, five where chosen in order to investigate deeper into the drivers behind growth in the mobile sector. The five spots where not chosen because they are the best ranked, but because they represent different types of environments. Therefore they include large metropolitan areas, places with or without clear policies, small regions, and nations. This was done in order to reflect different conditions in order to give a range of appropriate recommendations to regions of different sizes, stages of development and with different infrastructures.

The five spots for those case studies are:


  The city of Barcelona and region of Catalonia, has arguably the most well-defined public policies in Europe when it comes to mobile services, resulting in a vibrant community of start-ups; many of whom were drawn to the city as it hosts the annual Mobile World Congress. Clear strengths are that it is easy to start a company, talent is relatively inexpensive, there are top universities to collaborate with and there is a strong commitment from those who have succeeded to help others. The favourable climate and the city itself are also an attraction. On the weak side we see a language barrier for international communication, the policies are directed more towards local companies, and most of the companies that have developed tend to be family owned; with no real ambition to become international. In that sense the public policies and incentives have failed.


  The start-up community within the mobile sector has seen and continues to see rapid growth over the past few years. It is now regarded as one of the most interesting start-up communities in Europe. Even though there are some great challenges for the city, Berlin is seen as a strong brand; therefore it is able to attract entrepreneurs and competence from all over the world. Salaries are low, which benefits companies, and the cost of living is low, which benefits workers. This is facilitated by having some of the most open immigration policies in Europe. Berlin possesses a young and creative population, with a “can do” attitude providing an inspirational and creative touch in the city. The international scene in Berlin means that the spoken language is invariably English, even though official language is German. A major weakness for the region is that the local home market is too weak to sustain the industry. The effect of this is to supresses the ability of companies to carry out R&D; leading to a limit on long-term growth of both the companies themselves, and the region in general. Therefore, even though the city is “cool” and has a large number of start-ups, not many companies succeed in the long-term. Most companies start-up and then die out. So, despite the ease with which companies can start-up in Berlin, keeping them alive and growing could become a problem.

Inner London

  The rapid growth of London’s mobile services start-up community (the fastest growth in Europe) has led to the epicentre of the cluster in Shoreditch being dubbed “Silicon Roundabout”. Growth has been assisted by the clear business focus of the city. The city’s clear strengths are the innovation climate, the multi-cultural environment, excellent access to capital, a critical mass in start-ups and very good infrastructure. On the other hand, it is held back by the lack of collaboration with traditional R&D, the lack of large multinational companies within the mobile sector based in the city and the economic isolation of London from the rest of the UK.


  Estonia has a clear national agenda when it comes to the development of the mobile sector. It was one of the first countries to introduce a host of public mobile services that range from parking to voting. Strengths are: the high level of adoption of ICT within the public sector, a very good reputation, and that Estonia is a small country that enables easier implementation of national policies, driving good integration of local businesses into global innovation networks. On the weak side, we see that the rapid growth is not sustainable as Estonia has failed to reach critical mass. There is a decreasing population through migration, especially of graduates, exacerbating the shortage of qualified ICT professionals. In addition, there is a low level of R&D nationally as a result of the small number of universities that are able to support research in the area.

Malmo/Lund (Southern Sweden)

  The story behind the Malmo/Lund area starts with two things: The invention of Bluetooth technology in Lund and Malmo’s change from traditional heavy industry to the knowledge industry. Even though the area only consists of about 400,000 inhabitants, it hosts multinational companies like Sony, Microsoft, Ericsson, Huawei, Samsung and Intel. The long history within the mobile sector is one of the region’s strengths, together with more recent success stories, excellent infrastructure, leading universities, multinational companies and very good collaboration within the region. Conversely, the region suffers from a lack of capital, a low international reputation, not enough commercial thinking, a small home market (which also can be an advantage in some cases) and a low acceptance of failure.


Through the data and the qualitative analysis, there are some findings that have been very clear:

– Industry presence and access to capital beats policies
– The history of the area and the mind-set of the workforce cannot be overestimated
– Incentives as instruments have low impact (for instance tax deductions)
– A small home market is often an advantage
– Policies around infrastructure are important
– The public sector can play a role as a buyer

These general findings can be adapted to recommendations for regions on different levels. For instance is access to either capital or large industrial players crucial if you want to boost start-ups in the mobile sector?


Policy recommendations are hard to develop. They can be too generic - meaning they don’t appeal to the people who are supposed to implement them; or they are too specific - and will only work in one type of environment. That is why this guide has three levels of general recommendations that can be applied to regions with different levels of experience.

Excellence level demonstrated by the regions selected in the original twenty studied and shared by regions with similar profiles. Recommendations for these regions are:

– Secure access to capital, especially for small regions
– Attract big brands
– Recognise the importance of indirect factors
– Don’t interfere with the market

Climbing level is typified by regions that have some of the things that are needed to create excellence, but still need to build critical mass or infrastructure in order to get further up on the value chain. Recommendations for climbing regions are: 

– Develop connections towards capital
– Focus on strengths
– Build up knowledge and access to it
– Invest in infrastructure
– Create policies around the public sector as a buyer

Challenger level is applied to regions that do not have an existing mobile or mobile service industry, and where other sectors are stronger. These regions may have a strong cluster within tourism or agriculture for instance. Therefore, mobile services will become a part of the core offer from these sectors but not an industry in itself.

– Focus on the region’s strength
– Build infrastructure
– Mobile services based on existing strengths are more likely to succeed
– Build trust
– Build support systems like cluster organisations


  In order to find out how the recommendations work in reality, three innovation partnerships were created in regional innovation communities and the recommendations were tested during 2014. The results of those tests are documented in this guide.



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