EU to grant $2 billion for a joint microelectronics project

France, Germany, Italy and Britain secured EU approval to grant 1.75 billion euros or $2 billion in state aid to a joint microelectronics project aimed at encouraging investments in internet-connected devices.
Twenty-nine companies and research bodies will take part in the project, among them Robert Bosch, Infineon, STMicroelectronics, Osram, Carl Zeiss, GlobalFoundries and Murata.

The public support is expected to attract an additional 6 billion euros from private investors. The project is expected to be completed by 2024, the European Commission said.

The work will focus on energy efficient chips, power semiconductors, smart sensors, advanced optical equipment and compound materials.

“Innovation in microelectronics can help the whole of Europe leap ahead in innovation,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

The European Commission approved state aid for a project to build Internet networks in six cities in the German region of Bavaria.

The Commission said the new network will be capable of offering speeds of 200 megabits per second for households and 1 gigabit per second for companies and public institutions — far above those that users currently have in the target areas.

The six municipalities in Bavaria where the project will be deployed are Berching, Ebersberg, Hutthurm, Kammerstein, Kleinostheim and Kulmbach.