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Telefónica Supports Digital Europe

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DAVOS, Switzerland -- Telefónica, today reinforced its commitment to Europe’s digital economy with two important initiatives targeted at narrowing the “cultural divide” between universities, start-ups and multinational corporations and raising awareness of the importance of the digital economy for Europe's growth. Telefonica will be spearheading two concrete projects in partnership with BBVA and Orange:

1. The European Digital Forum – a digital economy think tank led by The Lisbon Council -will drive joint projects in key areas of digital innovation to boost growth in the European digital ecosystem. The Forum is the translation of the Start-Up Manifesto into real policy and business action, allowing corporations, startups and any other relevant players in the digital economy to create a vibrant debate on concrete issues that directly affect the evolution and growth of the digital economy in Europe.

2. The Startup Europe Partnership, led by Mind the Bridge and NESTA, is an extension of the European Commission’s Startup Europe initiative– dedicated to building a thriving network of entrepreneurs and innovators, and one of the 6 actions for web entrepreneurs defined in the Commission Communication “Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan”. The StartUp Europe Partnership brings together the leading lights of Europe’s entrepreneur and innovation industries, offering the opportunity for large corporations, start-ups and universities to connect and build networks.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, José María Álvarez-Pallete – Chief Operating Officer, Telefónica – said: “Boosting Europe’s digital competitiveness needs policies that spur investment and kickstart growth, but at the same time we need to encourage and support innovation-driven entrepreneurship. Key to this will be to narrow the gap between start-ups and multinational corporations. Our vision is that European corporations – big and small – can work together with Universities to transform society and the economy in all areas of digital innovation to achieve growth in digital skills and entrepreneurship in a sustainable way. These two initiatives will play a major role in helping this important evolution”.

Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF)

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