Michiel Kolman spoke about the decline of readers in Germany, from 49 to 42% (of ppl who read in a book at least once a week).

He quoted the Economist, „the world‘s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data“. In Michiel‘s opinion, Google‘s goal is to undermine copyright and offer conent for free, so they can sell their advertisements next to this content. „The infrastructure of publishing is being attacked.“

How can publishing react to this? Speaking about the blockchain technology, Michiel mentioned the first Blockchain University, Woolf University, established by students from Oxford with the goal (among others) of lowering tution fees.

Talking about AI, he explained that China is very strong in investing in this area, while Europe is (being left) behind. He said that Elsevier is making use of AI with its ClinicalKey product.

In STM, he said, there is an importent trend from a content-centric to a technology-driven data analytics business, „networked content business“. Elsevier, he explained, is no lomger a publisher but a provider of knowledge — and data.

Michiel presented a number of products and services Elsevier is investing in to enable sharing knowledge (Open Science).

In his comclusion, he argued that publishers are increasingly becoming tech companies, while tech companies are being forced to accept more responsibility for the content they distribute, to some extent making them publishers.