Daily Management Review

EU’s Chip Project Involves Investing Billions Euros, Says EU's Breton


Tens of billions of euros are set to be invested by the European Union in its chip industry in order to increase its share in the worldwide production of chips two folds to 20 per cent, according to the bloc's industry director.
This move was prompted by a worldwide shortage of semiconductor chips that highlighted the dangers of high levels of dependence on Asian and American suppliers of chips.
The EU's bold proposal comes after the US launched its $52 billion CHIPS for America Act last year in an effort to be able to better compete with Chinese technology for making chips.
"I do not want to give you today the level of investment, but it will be commensurate to what the U.S. wants to put in," European Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton told journalists.
"We are working with all the different payments, especially national, European, regional, but of course, I confirm that when you add all this we will have what we need and it will be commensurate," he said.
The EU Chips Act, which was introduced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in September and will be fleshed out by the EU executive on February 8, will cover investments in this industry for the next 20-30 years.
The EU’s effort to enhance its capacity to manufacture semiconductors includes the creation of an EU-funded program that is targeted to achieve the production of cutting-edge chips, as well as design platforms for producers, software companies, and consumers to test novel applications.
For European 'one-of-a-kind' industrial facilities, more lenient state aid regulations will apply.
"We do whatever it takes to attract strategic investment. We set our conditions, first of a kind in Europe, security of supply, no state aid for catch-up technologies," Breton said.
"I want the EU to be a net exporter in semi-conductors like we are in vaccines. In geo-strategic industries like batteries or pharmaceuticals we do the same -- not do everything yourself but have the capacity if needed so that EU cannot be held hostage."