EU wants ‘Chips Act’ to rival US

News from Brussels

Source: Politico, 2021-09-15

The European Commission "will present a European Chips Act" to catch up with world leaders on the design and production of microchips, its President Ursula von der Leyen said on 15 September.

The bloc needs to "be bold again" with an upcoming industrial policy plan on semiconductors, von der Leyen told members of the European Parliament in her State of the European Union address in Strasbourg.

"We need to link together our world class research design and testing capacities. We need to co-ordinate the European level and the national investment," she said. "The aim is to jointly create a state of the art ecosystem," she added. 

Faced with a global chips shortage and heavy dependencies on countries like Taiwan and the US., Europe wants to boost its share of the global chips market to 20% by 2030.

US Lawmakers in 2020 proposed a Chips for America Act to pour $10bn into the sector. Other countries are investing heavily in the technology, too.

European countries are putting together an investment plan called an IPCEI, and the Commission is working with companies to set up an industrial alliance. But European industry has urged policymakers to speed up its investment plans, arguing the Continent risks missing out on a booming, critical sector.

Building up the chips sector in Europe is "is not just a matter of our competitiveness. This is also a matter of tech sovereignty," von der Leyen said.

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