ŠAVŠ/TAČR Digital Czechia in a Digital Europe


segment in which the digitalization process is relatively slow) but, on the contrary, a more dominant service segment generally give the impression that they have created better conditions for digitalization. Moreover, to paraphrase Vladimír Mařík, the scientific director of the Czech Institute of Robotics and Informatics, Industry 4.0 in the Czech Republic is relatively successful, especially with regard to the increasing degree of robotics and warehouse automation. 3 Therefore, the Czech Republic should be primarily inspired by and seek the best practices in countries that are not only more successful in promoting the digitalization of SMEs but whose economic structure is also similar. In many respects, the Federal Republic of Germany can serve as a good example, where the engineering industry (especially the automotive industry) is also strongly represented. Despite the fact that the German economy is not only closely linked to the Czech economy but the share of industry in total gross added value is comparable – in Germany in 2017 it was 27.6% 4 and in the Czech Republic 33.46 % 5 . In addition, the German economy is confronting and has long been dealing with ways to effectively digitalize SMEs – especially how to digitalize domestic industries. On the other hand, for similar reasons, it is possible to draw on best practices in this respect from the Nordic countries, such as Sweden. Although the Czech Republic has managed to build several successful research centers in recent years, especially in areas such as nanotechnology or robotics, their creation and development, like digitalization in general, is highly decentralized and occasionally haphazard. As a result, a relatively disparate network of research and innovation support has arisen. In the long run, this can mean very unequal access for many Czech SMEs and limited access to digitalization centers and consultancy. Significantly, the fact remains that within the many innovation centers that were established in the Czech Republic, relatively few of them offer specialization directly in the digitalization of SMEs. The Czech Republic must therefore create and build a more structured and systematic form of support for the digitalization of SMEs in the coming years. At the same time, the Czech Republic must focus more on raising awareness of 3 Průmyslové firmy připojují stroje a výrobu k internetu. Překážkou může být zastaralá infrastruktura, Businessinfo, 14/12/2018, see https://www.businessinfo.cz/cs/clanky/prumyslove-firmy-pripojuji-stroje- a-vyrobu-k-internetu-prekazkou-muze-byt-zastarala-infrastruktura-116936.html. 4 Germany: distribution of gross domestic product (GDP) across economic sectors from2007 to 2017, Statista, see https://www.statista.com/statistics/375569/germany-gdp-distribution-across-economic-sectors/. 5 Czech Republic: Distribution of gross domestic product (GDP) across economic sectors 2007 to 2017, Statistics, see https://www.statista.com/statistics/369830/share-of-economic-sectors-in-the-gdp-czech- republic/. BUILDING THE ENVIRONMENT FOR DIGITALIZATION PROCESSES

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