Europe outlines $17 bn plan to boost semiconductor industry

European Union (EU) has outlined a 15 billion euros or $17.11 billion plan to boost its semiconductor industry for a leading position in chips manufacturing.
Semiconductor industry in Europe
The European Commission will enable 15 billion euros in additional public and private investment until 2030 in semiconductor production, Thierry Breton, European Commissioner said in Brussels on Tuesday as they presented the Commission’s European Chips Act.

“Without chips, no digital transition, green transition, technological leadership,” Thierry Breton said.

The 15 billion euros will come on top of 30 billion euros of public investments already planned through various EU programs, such as NextGenerationEU or Horizon Europe, said Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen.

The EU aims to increase its global market share in the semiconductor industry from nine per cent today to 20 percent by 2030, Ursula von der Leyen said.

Europe will have to quadruple its chips production effort to reach its target since demand will double in this timeframe, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The first goal is to increase our resilience to future crises by anticipating and thus avoiding supply chain disruptions. Looking at the mid-term … to make Europe an industrial leader in this very strategic market,” Ursula von der Leyen said.

In the long term, the European Chips Act should enable lab to fab transfer of knowledge, positioning Europe as a technology leader in innovative downstream markets.

The package includes the Chips for Europe Initiative, which will gather resources in the EU, its member states and third countries associated with the existing EU programs, and a new framework to ensure security of supply and a Chips Fund to facilitate access to finance.

The plan also includes a monitoring tool for EU-produced semiconductor exports, with an option to halt exports as a last resort in times of crisis.

The Chips Act will strengthen the EU’s semiconductor research, enable the transfer of technology from laboratories to manufacturers, allow state aid support to build one-of-a-kind production facilities, von der Leyen said.

It will support small innovators and startups and build balanced interdependencies with other countries, such as the US and Japan.

European manufacturers, especially carmakers, have been badly affected by semiconductor shortages during the Covid-19 crisis, slowing down production.