The European Union (EU) has approved a subsidy program to become more independent of the USA and China in the development of microelectronics and chips. The program, called “Important Projects of Common European Interest” (IPCEI), would make dozens of projects possible, many of them in Germany. Funds totaling 8.1 billion euros have been approved, with private companies investing up to 13.7 billion euros, bringing the investment volume to around 21.8 billion euros. 13 other EU countries are participating in the project.
Microchips are essential in the backbone of the economy, so Europe must increase its own capabilities here. “We have to become pioneers,” said EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. Many of the projects and partners benefiting from the program are based in Germany. Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck thanked the EU Commission for the decision, stating that the projects strengthened Germany as a microelectronics location and were an important industrial policy milestone.
In Germany, there are 31 projects in 11 federal states involved, and the total funding in Germany should amount to 4 billion euros. The EU Commission must approve important national funding projects to prevent any distortion of competition between EU countries. Together with private investments, 10 billion euros are to flow into chips made in Germany. Many large companies, small and medium-sized companies, and start-ups are involved, including Infineon and Bosch.
The projects range from material production and chip design to the creation of new products and applications. The program is primarily intended to help in areas in which Europe has become technologically dependent on third countries. The national projects would create more than 4,000 direct new jobs.