Commission launches a €5bn strategy for European electronics

Europe has lost its position as a world leader in producing semiconductors, with Ireland being a major supplier.

Commission launches a €5bn strategy for European electronics

But during the last decade the share of these valuable and increasingly used chips produced in the EU has dropped by a third, leaving the lions’ share to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

The European Commission launched a €5bn public-private partnership to boost the electronics design and manufacturing capabilities of the member states.

This initiative is the core of the Electronics Strategy for Europe and is designed to mobilise €100bn in private investments, creating 250,000 jobs by 2020 manufacturing 20% of worldwide production, up from 10%.

Digital Commissioner Neelie Kroes at a special conference on the electronics industry and its future said: “We need to join up our efforts if we are to win back and defend a leading position for Europe”. She added that the regulation to set it up was approved in less than a year and showed that the EU and member states could work together quickly when there was a clear case for action.

The EU will invest €1.8 billion in the Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership and it will help industry launch new pilot projects and build on the €1.79bn already invested in existing pilot lines and demonstrations.

The projects bring together European manufacturers, technology companies, chip designers, software developers, researchers and universities at the early stages of product and service development, bringing research closer to market.

The EU funding will come from the EU’s research fund, Horizon 2020, 26 member states will match it with €1.17bn while industrial partners will contribute more than €2.34 billion.

The main country partners are Ireland, Belgium, Germany, France and Italy.

The first calls for proposals for funding is now being launched and will be worth €270m of public support.

As well as pilot projects it will cover technology developments in electronic chips, in cyber-physical and smart systems, and their integration into application areas for resource efficient transport, improved citizen privacy, sustainable energy generation and affordable health.

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