The European Commission has unveiled proposals to move towards a single market in digital services, including the creation of a "European cloud" which will provide an environment for 70 million science and technology professionals to store and share data.

The Commission has unveiled plans to help European industry, small businesses and public authorities "make the most of new technologies" and speed up the development of common standards in areas like 5G networks and cyber security.

The scheme envisages a €500m pan-EU network of digital innovation hubs, large-scale pilot projects of innovations like smart homes and connected cars and "future-proof" legislation to support the free flow of data from smart devices.

The Commission's Vice-President for the digital single market Andrus Ansip said that the initiative reflected the fact that "the EU is the right scale for the digital times".

Together, the new plans should mobilise more than €50bn of public and private investment in support of the digitisation of industry, said the Commission.

"The industrial revolution of our time is digital," said Mr Ansip. "We need the right scale for technologies such as cloud computing, data-driven science and the internet of things to reach their full potential.

"As companies aim to scale up across the single market, public e-services should also meet today's needs: be digital, open and cross-border by design. The EU is the right scale for the digital times."