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NOV 22, 2016 | GLOBAL

BSA | The Software Alliance Releases First-Ever Report Showing Software Industry's Nearly €1 Trillion Contribution to the EU Economy

Software contributes almost €1 trillion to EU GDP, millions of software industry-related jobs, and billions in R&D investment

BRUSSELS — November 22, 2016 —  Software is making a profound impact on the European economy, contributing close to €1 trillion to the EU’s GDP (including indirect and induced impacts), supporting almost 12 million high-quality, well-paying jobs and investing close to €13 billion in R&D. These are the key findings of the report, “Software: A €910 billion Catalyst for the EU Economy,” published today by BSA | The Software Alliance, incorporating data and economic impact assessment conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

The report captures the breadth of the software industry and the economic impact it is making in the EU and its five largest Member States. The report also explores the broader benefits of software and how it can be used as a tool by governments, businesses and citizens.

Noteworthy findings include:

  • Software contributes nearly a trillion Euros a year to the EU economy. The software industry directly added €249 billion to the EU economy in 2014, which is equivalent to 2% of its GDP. When factoring in its full effect (both indirect and induced), software supports 7.4% of EU GDP, contributing €910 billion to the EU economy.
  • Software supports nearly 12 million jobs in the EU. The software industry in Europe supports the employment of 11.6 million people — more than the entire population of Belgium. This is equivalent to 5.3 percent of all jobs in EU28. The software industry directly employs over 3 million people, and research shows the industry supports a further 8.5 million when including indirect and induced effects.
  • The software industry contributes 7.3 percent of all domestic R&D. Software companies invest strongly in R&D — over €12.7 billion in 2013. This is more than 7.3 percent of total private sector research expenditure in the EU
  • Software is driving economic gains in Member States. Member States’ economies and workforces are benefitting from new jobs that fit our modern digital economy, and opportunities driven by software advances.
  • In Germany: The software industry contributes a total of €152.6 billion (including indirect and induced effects) to the German economy, or 5.2 percent of German GDP. It also supports a total of 1,915,787 jobs (including indirect and induced effects), or 4.5 percent of all jobs in Germany.
  • In France: The software industry contributes a total of €113.1 billion (including indirect and induced effects) to the French economy, or 5.3 percent of French GDP. It also supports a total of 1,198,304 jobs (including indirect and induced effects), or 4.4 percent of all jobs in France;
  • In Italy: The software industry contributes a total of €50.8 billion to the Italian economy, or 3.2 percent of Italian GDP. It also supports a total of 743,921 jobs (including indirect and induced effects), or 3.3 percent of all jobs in Italy.
  • In Spain: The software industry contributes a total of €35.8 billion (including indirect and induced effects) to the Spanish economy, or 3.4 percent of Spanish GDP. It also supports a total of 624,471 jobs (including indirect and induced effects), or 3.7 percent of all jobs in Spain.
  • In the United Kingdom: The software industry contributes a total of €160.2 billion (including indirect and induced effects) to the UK economy, or 7.1 percent of UK GDP. It also supports a total of 2,585,792 jobs (including indirect and induced effects), or 8.4 percent of all jobs in the UK.

“Unlike traditional industry sectors, software doesn’t need an external catalyst for change — it is the catalyst,” said Victoria Espinel, President and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance. “Software will continue to revolutionise how we work, communicate, plan, and create, in ways that we can only now begin to fathom. Software-driven data innovation and data analytics are leading to benefits throughout broad sectors of the EU economy. Every aspect of every business and every government department depends on software to become more inventive, more creative, more competitive, and more efficient.”

“We urge the EU to seize the opportunity to craft a regulatory framework that will allow such promising technology to thrive,” continued Espinel. “Championing the free flow of data across borders, opposing mandates on data localisation, fostering IoT technology applications, and pushing for the development of the next generation of digital standards in international fora would send a strong signal that the EU is ready to fully embrace the benefits of software.”

To view BSA’s full report, methodology and source material, and specific examples of software-driven data tools that are improving our lives each day, visit www.bsa.org/EUSoftwareImpact.

Media Contact

Ana Gradinarut: +32 (0)2 250 0010m: +32 (0) 477 99 1201Ana.Gradinaru@edelman.com


BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life.

With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 30 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.


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