Online collaborative platformsNowadays, we share do-it-yourself equipment with neighbours we met via a smartphone app, rent out our houses to strangers via an online platform or share a ride to work with a stranger who is heading in the same direction. And we do so increasingly more. With the rise of online platforms, the collaborative has seen tremendous growth in the last few years. The European Commission aims to facilitate the developments within the collaborative economy and remove barriers to its growth. However, in order to do so it needs to have a clear image of how and how quickly the collaborative economy is developing. In what direction are the collaborative business models evolving? In which markets are collaborative business models growing fast and where are the largest potentials for further growth? And how does the growth in the collaborative economy compare to growth in online businesses from the ‘traditional economy’? To date, the Commission lacks the tools and knowledge to address these important questions.

Through our new study in collaboration with Technopolis (lead) and VVA we will assist the European Commission in developing a methodology to monitor the developments of the collaborative economy in the EU. In this effort we build on our experience and knowledge on the collaborative economy that we obtained through earlier projects, such as the assessment of the environmental potential of the collaborative economy. From such studies we have learned the complexity of making clear distinctions between collaborative platforms and other players in the online platform economy. This experience will help us to develop indicators that are as specific as possible, to enable monitoring of the collaborative economy within the broader context of the emerging platform economy. Furthermore, using these newly developed indicators we will assess the current state of the collaborative economy at the Member state level and per sector. All of this will provide the European Commission with a better insight into the current state of the collaborative economy in the EU and a means to monitor its future evolution.

For more information, contact Jurgen Vermeulen.