Regulation and innovation

I read a scary article in the UK’s Computing News last week – it reported that the EU Commission is launching a ‘five-year technology strategy to foster economic growth and job creation’ and goes on to say that, in order to make the EU the most competitive knowledge economy in the world, the EU strategy focuses on ‘regulation, R&D, and closing the digital divide.’

Now, the scary thing is that someone, somewhere, not only believes that regulation is a critical leg of a triune strategy to boost competitiveness, but also believes that we’re all going to buy into it. The only thing that regulation does is restrict competiveness, as the highly regulated and determinedly sclerotic economies of old Europe have been demonstrating for some time. Of course, some people do very well out of regulation – a major part of the BS7799 business is to do with demonstrating compliance with the regulation – so I shouldn’t complain!