Tech City UK Blog

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne and French Economy Minister, Emmanuel Macron announce a new joint ‘Data Taskforce’.

Announced in Paris, the new joint UK-France Data Taskforce is targeted at unlocking up to €60 (£42) billion of untapped economic growth across the European Union. This on the back of discussions across EU members states on the potential of the Digital Single Market strategy.


The Taskforce will report back to both governments by the end of the year on the following agreed objectives:

  • Enhancing UK-France cooperation on open data where the UK is a world-leader in making government data available for public use, including by tech entrepreneurs
  • Establishing a set of principles for improving SMEs’ use of data and data science to develop new services/compete with larger players
  • Looking at ways to provide greater consumer control of data and improved data portability – where UK and France are market leaders and make recommendations to promote greater competition between new entrants and established data-based service providers

The UK government has shown its commitment to being at the forefront of digital innovation, with leading digital business convened by Tech City UK at Number 10 Downing Street just last week to discuss the future of digital policy.

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In recent years data-driven innovation has become one of the main new sources of global economic growth, with access to ‘big data’ swiftly becoming a company’s main asset in entering new markets as well as creating significant economic advantages.

This new Taskforce will specifically consider ways to boost data access for small and medium-sized enterprises who make up over 99 per cent of UK and French private sector businesses. The taskforce will also report on ways these businesses can harness the global opportunities that data science can bring, including how best to create safe and fair frameworks what allow data to be shared internationally.


Commenting on the economic potential of the initiative, Chancellor George Osborne said: “I am delighted to announce the creation of a new joint UK-France Taskforce to lead the way in unlocking the significant economic benefits offered by the digital economy. In the UK our digital industries contribute over £113 billion to the economy and this taskforce will consider ways to accelerate growth in this flourishing sector”


You can read more about the Digital Single Market strategy in our three-part informative blog series.