Posted By Paul Tate, May 29, 2013 at 12:52 PM, in Category: Industrial Policy
The European Commission has announced plans to invest 5 billion euros ($6.4 billion) over the next seven years to boost the region’s semiconductor and nano-technology sector in an ambitious bid to secure a fifth of all global chip production.
"I want to double our chip production to around 20% of global production,” said European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes at the announcement yesterday. “I want Europe to produce more chips in Europe than the United States produces domestically. It's a realistic goal if we channel our investments properly."
Called the New European Industrial Strategy For Electronics, the Commission is seeking to match the €5 billion investment with the same amount of funds from the private sector in an effort to double Europe’s share of global microprocessor manufacturing. The development of new micro technologies is regarded as strategically critical to both the high-tech industry itself, and the future growth of many other industry sectors - from healthcare to transport.
The plan includes measures to reinforce Europe's three world-class electronics clusters: Dresden (Germany), Eindhoven (Netherlands) /Leuven (Belgium), and Grenoble (France) and connecting these with other leading edge European clusters such as in Cambridge (UK), Carinthia (Austria), Dublin (Ireland) and Milan (Italy).
The strategy will also focus on three complementary development goals: making chips cheaper (transitioning to 450mm-sized silicon wafers), making chips faster, and making chips smarter.
"With this strategy European industry will be better placed to convert engineering innovations into commercially deployable technologies," added Kroes.
The European Commission estimates that at least 10% of European GDP depends on electronic products and services. With average growth of 5% a year since 2000, Europe’s electronics industry currently employs 200,000 people directly and supports one million jobs indirectly.
Written by Paul Tate
Paul Tate is Research Director and Executive Editor with Frost & Sullivan's Manufacturing Leadership Council. He also directs the Manufacturing Leadership Council's Board of Governors, the Council's annual Critical Issues Agenda, and the Manufacturing Leadership Research Panel. Follow us on Twitter: @MfgExecutive