What makes Europe a High-tech Continent?
Europe is among the most prominent high-tech locations on earth. The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century has turned the continent into an industrialized zone, and in our post-industrial age the European economy has shifted from a centre of industrial production to a centre of high-tech products. From computer software to sophisticated photovoltaic products, from modern railways to micro technological products – Europe has it all.
Transnational High-tech Companies
Among the most prominent European companies is Airbus Industries, with its headquarters in France and substantial production sites in Germany. The company produces modern aircraft, which is used by countless airlines across the globe. Another aircraft producer is Rolls Royce, a company known for its sophisticated cars, which is also engaged in the construction of civilian and defence airplanes. Many European car builders are among the world’s leading automotive companies, among them the German giants Volkswagen, Daimler Benz, Porsche and BMW, but also the French companies Peugeot, Citroën, and Renault. All of them produce cars equipped with the latest high-tech facilities, and the production of hybrid cars that can shift between the consumption of fuels and electricity have become the focus of modern European high-tech car manufacturers. These companies are producing for a globalized market and have branches in different countries. They depend on large numbers of high-tech ancillary industries, which produce necessary spare parts and are permanently investing in future developments.
In spite of Europe being strongly integrated in a globalized market economy, there are still some companies that are closely associated with one single country, although this does not mean the production is limited to this single European state. The art of German engineering is often associated with Siemens, a company that produces a wide range of products, from household appliances to entire railway systems. The company is also engaged in developing and producing modern high-tech products such as turbines, power plant supplements and software.
When it comes to France, we think of another field of innovative production, the cosmetics industry. L’Oréal is one of Europe’s largest companies and provides global markets with shampoos, lotions, lipsticks, all of them produced according to the latest standards of the cosmetics industry. Schneider Electric is a French company that specializes in industrial automation, a sector that is in the centre of high-tech production.
Italy hosts companies that produce highly developed technologies as well. Finmeccanica produces satellites, helicopters, rockets and other products related to the field of astronautics. Another well-known Italian company is the car producer Fiat. In relation to Spain, a high-tech company that is worth mentioning is Amadeus, a software producer that developed a famous system which is globally used to handle the reservation of air tickets.
Great Britain is an international hub of the banking business, which also requires the latest high-tech products to remain operational. However, the country is also well-known for its pharma industry. The giant companies Astra Zeneca and Glaxo Smith Cline support the world market with pharmaceutical products and invest heavily in development.
Europe’s Future as a High-tech Location
In the past decades the world has witnessed the development of new high-tech superpowers. The world’s most populous countries China and India have turned into major producers of high-tech products, and countries such as Brazil and South Africa will also be heard of in the future as countries that produce various sophisticated high-tech products. Europe will have to invest in education and development in order to keep its current position as an international centre of high-tech production.