In the heart of Linköping University's Department of Management and Engineering (IEI), Irina Kolupaieva, a guest researcher from Ukraine, delves into the intricate web of digitalization's impact on a nation's competitiveness. Her expertise, honed through a recent research project, sheds light on the pivotal role of digital innovations in reshaping the quality of life and fostering business opportunities.
As a researcher at IEI, Irina Kolupaieva works over the borders of different disciplines. Her work focuses on dissecting the mechanisms of governmental regulatory policies, drawing inspiration from the diverse experiences of European countries and the principles of a circular economy.
The core question guiding Irina Kolupaieva´s research is profound: What digital government strategy proves most efficient in not only ensuring a country's competitiveness but also harnessing digital innovations for the benefit of its citizens?
“The digitalization of society marks a fundamental process of economic, sociopolitical, and cultural transformation. While some EU countries stand at the forefront of digitalization, obtaining substantial economic and social benefits, the landscape is far from equal across Europe," says Irina Kolupaieva.
Photo credit Teiksma Buseva
This difference is known as "digital gap"—a divide that manifest based on how advanced a society is in its digital development. Factors such as digital skills and access to high-speed internet play crucial roles, leading to substantial disparities between EU nations and even within urban and rural landscapes. Addressing this digital gap emerges as a critical imperative.
“Crucial aspects of everyday life such as education, financial services, healthcare, media and more become increasingly dependent on access to digital technologies. Lack of internet access and digital skills can easily relegate individuals to the margins of society," emphasizes Irina Kolupaieva.
While acknowledging that there's no one-size-fits-all recipe for the digital future, Irina Kolupaieva underscores the shared responsibility of all stakeholders. Policymakers, she believes, play a pivotal role in crafting strategies tailored to their country's unique circumstances. She also stresses the importance of such strategies focusing on sustainability and competitiveness, both on domestic and global fronts.