For a full-fledged digital ministry

As a new five-year term begins and the legislative elections are soon to be presented to the voters, we, the actors of the digital world, ask the President of the Republic and the future government to provide the country with the institutional means for a strong strategic policy. in terms of digital.

In thirty years, the new industrial revolution enabled by the Internet has upset our societies, accelerated exchanges and the transformation of society, our businesses and our administrations, reshuffled the geopolitical and societal maps. Digital has imposed itself in all the components of our lives and the effects of such a rapid and profound change have no equivalent in the history of humanity. The health crisis has only accelerated it further.

However, we are still only at the beginning of this revolution, while artificial intelligence is gaining in power, quantum computing is arriving, and metaverse and crypto-actives are already promising to further disrupt our uses, our economies and societies. New threats arise from digital technology, such as the manipulation of information on a large scale or cyberwars. Who knows what the future will invent again. Much more than a technological evolution, digital generates societal transformations through social networks and instant communication, shakes up labor law with the appearance of intermediation platforms, forces us to rethink the industry through the systematic integration of intelligence and connectivity, or to redevelop our territories with a detailed analysis of their dynamics. These upheavals are sudden, exciting, deafening, disturbing all at the same time. Whether we like it or not, they are inevitable. But where some see it as inevitable, we first see it as an opportunity that everyone must be able to embrace, and a requirement to master our technologies in order to remain masters of our future.

To support these changes, Secretaries of State for Digital Affairs have been appointed and have successively acquired growing importance in governments, in public opinion, and with European Union authorities. These pioneers have effectively paved the way to help the country take advantage of this revolution and to provide political responses to the new problems caused by the Internet and digital technology. They must be recognized for having been able to do so with means that are far too limited in relation to the challenges to be faced.

Under the sole economic axis, digital technology in France already represents 6% of the gross domestic product with more than 150 billion euros in annual expenditure and nearly one million salaried jobs. But digital is above all much more than the economy, like agriculture, which is extremely important for our food sovereignty, our territorial fabric, our health, our international influence, our culture, our ecological policy and our balance of trade. Digital is all of this, and raises new questions of cybersecurity, environmental footprint and strategic autonomy. However, while no one today would have the absurd idea of ​​placing agriculture under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, it is still the far from visionary and ambitious fate that the State reserves for the digital.

However, if we are delighted with the number of French unicorns which are chaining fundraising records, and France’s influence in the development of the promising European texts Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA), these successes demonstrate that a powerful French digital ministry will be able to lead the government and the European Union all the better towards ambitions that are finally up to the challenges, with a cross-cutting and long-range strategic view.

As we have said, digital is not an activity like any other. It is profoundly transformative, of great complexity, and requires the ability to understand, deploy and defend a long-term technological, social, ecological, economic, geostrategic and political vision, while adapting with agility to the inevitable changes that he suffers and that he makes us suffer. It requires resources and expertise that only a full-fledged minister can summon and employ to meet the challenges. The ongoing digitization of our economy is comparable to the first industrial revolution which replaced human muscle with machine. The software fed by innumerable data and by an exponential computing power replaces and perfects many human intellectual services, promising to change our model of society in the long term. It is a formidable tool that you have to know how to maneuver and anticipate.

We, elected officials, entrepreneurs, engineers, developers, associations, and digital players, therefore ask to the President of the Republic and to the future governmentas other countries have done, the creation of a full-fledged digital ministry endowed with all the means necessary to define and implement an ambitious strategy. This ministry must be provided with the human, financial and institutional resources that will enable it to address the multiple facets of digital technology in a coherent manner., which can promote all our know-how, protect our interests, and make digital an indisputable opportunity for all the components of our nation.

Aware of the strong and new issues that digital generates, the Ministry of Digital will have a cross-cutting view of ethical, geostrategic, energy, employment, training and inclusion issues related to digital, and will reduce the digital divide. It will promote the consistent and rapid deployment of new-generation networks and infrastructures, accelerate and support the State’s digital transformation, make digital technology a major asset in a renewed regional planning policy, thanks to the contributions of teleworking and new proximities. It will explore the new rights of the connected citizen, and the duties that digital implies to imagine. He will ensure that the amplification of the digital transition is an ambitious and happy objective of the five-year term. The Ministry of Digital will ensure the deployment of a modern and agile training ecosystem capable of directing workers towards current and future digital professions, by promoting retraining and continuing education. It will support the (re)-industrialization 4.0 of new production methods, and will create bridges between old industries and those of software and microelectronics.

In the continuity of the Secretary of State, the Ministry of Digital will obviously also have the task of supporting the growth of our young digital companies. But with its new resources, it will also ensure that it deploys a proactive strategy ensuring that our fine start-ups which are boosting our economy are no longer so technologically and commercially dependent on non-European companies on which they find themselves at the mercy. Carrier and accelerator of an industrial vision, the ministry will be able to draw inspiration from the strategy deployed by the USA, which has made the design and mastery of its own software the primary added value to conquer eight of the ten leading world stock market capitalizations. , while software creation is not the primary specialty of any of the top ten French capitalizations. It will make researchers and private players work together to identify and develop the technologies that will ensure our strategic autonomy and help us conquer new markets.

Let us remember that half a century ago, George Pompidou’s visionary choice to create the first ministry of the environment had not been understood, whereas today it is indisputable. Undoubtedly, that of creating the first full-fledged digital ministry will be established as such certain historical evidence. Let us also remember that Charles de Gaulle, conscious of the absolute need to endow France with strategic autonomy in the field of information technology, had launched the Calculation Plan, the tragic impact of which was understood only too late. abandonment. With a digital ministry, the President of the Republic and the government will have the opportunity to re-establish an ambition commensurate with the country and Europe.

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Signatories:

  • Quentin ADAMCEO of Clever Cloud, President of the Open Internet Project
  • Alexandre ARCHAMBAULTLawyer
  • Gilles BABINETCo-president of the National Digital Council
  • Gilles BarberEntrepreneur
  • Rock BAUDRACOPresident of Bluemind
  • Marc BeyerCo-founder of Kiubi
  • Guillaume CHAMPEAULegal Director of Clever Cloud, founder of Numerama
  • Paul BENOITCo-founder and President of Qarnot
  • Fabienne BILLATDigital strategy consultant
  • Stephane BELLANGERConsulting
  • Christophe BOUTETPresident of Bourgogne Franche-Comté Numérique
  • Loic BOUQUETCloud Expert
  • Stephane BOUKRIS, President of Excelsior
  • Emmanuel CARLICEO EPITECH
  • Damien CAVAILLESPresident of WeLoveDevs.com
  • Pierre CHAPUISSoftware engineer
  • Laurent CHEMLA, Founder of Caliopen
  • Antoine CHEUL, CEO of Shopopop
  • Ophelie COEHLOSpecialist in digital geopolitics, Institut Rousseau
  • René COTTONWizishop General Manager
  • Franck RELEASEExpert in strategic intelligence, teacher-researcher, member of the scientific council
  • Fabrice DEVELAYFounder of Gcollect
  • Laurence DEVILLERSComputer science teacher
  • Felix DROUETArchitect
  • Ludovic DUBOSTCEO of Xwiki
  • Fabrice EPELBOINTeacher and entrepreneur
  • Stephane FERMIGIERFounder and CEO of Abilian
  • Christophe FrocheComputer scientist
  • Alain GARNIERCEO of Jamespot
  • Pierre DE GEYERCEO of Rocket School
  • Mathieu GIRARDWeb developer
  • Thomas GOURITINCo-founder of ASISPO
  • Nicolas GUILLAUMEChairman of Netalis
  • Mathias HERBERTSCo-founder and CTO of SenX
  • Vincent HEUSCHLINGFounder of Affini-Tech and DataTask
  • Rand HINDICEO of Zarma
  • Vladimir KOLLAManaging Director of Patrowl
  • Tariq KRIMEntrepreneur, Founder of Polite
  • Baptiste JAMINCEO of Crisp
  • Jean-Baptiste KEMPFPresident of VideoLAN
  • Bernard LAMONLawyer
  • Bertrand LEBLANC-BARBEDIENNESovereign Tech Publishing Director
  • Stephanie LAPORTEDirector of the OTTA agency
  • Philippe LATOMBEDeputy
  • Quentin LAURENSDirector of External Relations of Qarnot
  • Yann LECHELLECEO of Scaleway
  • Mathieu LE GACPresident of Startup Palace
  • Cedric LEVIEUXSpokesperson for the Pirate Party
  • Samuel LIARD, President of Apptom
  • Wolfgang MAHLEAeronautical engineer
  • Florie MarieSpokesperson for the Pirate Party
  • Michael MARINETTIDeveloper
  • Alexandre MandilLawyer
  • Florian MERYstudent in political science
  • Arnaud MullerCEO of Cleyrop
  • Tristan NITOTEntrepreneur and hacktivist
  • Michael PAULIN, Managing Director of OVHCloud
  • Yann PERSONCEO of EP
  • Julien SMALLCEO of Mighty Nine
  • Philippe PLANTIVEChairman of Proginov
  • Arno PONSSecretary General of Digital New Deal
  • Quentin PUGEATStudent in software engineering
  • Clement WILDEngineer and contractor
  • Hervé RANNOUCEO of SenX
  • Pierre-Alain RAPHANDeputy
  • Robin REDADeputy
  • Jean-Paul SMETSPresident of Rapid.Space
  • Mathieu SANTOSTEFANODeveloper
  • Olivier SAUVAGEUX expert
  • Florian RICHOUXComputer researcher
  • Bruno SOULEZEntrepreneur
  • Rayna STAMBOLIYSKACEO of RS Strategy
  • Valerian SALIOUCo-founder of Crisp
  • Alexander ZAPOLSKYPresident of Linagora

As well as the following companies and organizations:

  • Abilian
  • West DNA
  • Clever Cloud
  • Union of Free Software and Open Digital Companies (CNLL)
  • datatask
  • EP
  • EUCLIDIA
  • New Generation Internet Foundation (FING)
  • Linagora
  • Open Internet Project