In her State of the Union tackle because the president of the European Fee (EC), Ursula von der Leyen mentioned a number of expertise initiatives to assist enterprise restoration and drive innovation.
Discussing the restoration from the Covid-19 pandemic, von der Leyen stated that in comparison with the 2008 monetary markets crash, the EC expects 19 international locations to be at pre-pandemic ranges this yr, with the remaining following subsequent. “Progress within the euro space outpaced each the US and China within the final quarter,” she stated. “However that is solely the start. And the teachings from the monetary disaster ought to function a cautionary story.”
By an initiative known as NextGenerationEU, the EU plans to put money into each short-term restoration and long-term prosperity, stated von der Leyen. Together with addressing structural points within the economic system, she stated: “We’ll put money into 5G and fibre. However equally essential is the funding in digital expertise. This job wants leaders’ consideration and a structured dialogue at prime stage.”
In accordance with von der Leyen, the NextGenerationEU initiative units a transparent route for markets and buyers. “Digital is the make-or-break challenge,” she stated. “And member states share that view. Digital spending in NextGenerationEU will even overshoot the 20% goal.”
Among the many areas von der Leyen highlighted in her speech was the significance of investing in European tech sovereignty. She stated: “We’ve got to double all the way down to form our digital transformation in keeping with our personal guidelines and values.”
Discussing the significance of the semiconductor business in Europe, she stated: “Semiconductors, these tiny chips that make every part work – from smartphones and electrical scooters to trains or whole good factories. There isn’t any digital with out chips. And whereas we converse, entire manufacturing traces are already working at diminished velocity – regardless of rising demand – due to a scarcity of semiconductors.”
However whereas international demand has exploded, von der Leyen warned that Europe’s share throughout all the worth chain, from design to manufacturing capability, has shrunk. “We rely on state-of-the-art chips manufactured in Asia,” she stated. “So this isn’t only a matter of our competitiveness. That is additionally a matter of tech sovereignty. So let’s put all of our give attention to it.”
Final week, Reuters reported that Intel CEO Pat Gelsigner plans to construct two European semiconductor foundries to fabricate chips, with the price of these amenities reported to be about $80bn.
Whereas the US dominates the tech sector, and Europe could lag behind it by way of incubating expertise innovation, the EC has taken a lead on regulating the tech sector, establishing the Normal Information Safety Regulation and now pushing by means of its Synthetic Intelligence Act.