European Union announces ambitious programme to spend €42 billion (US$48 billion) by 2030 to effectively double the bloc’s production of semiconductors
EU is already in talks with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co hoping to attract the industry giant to help develop the European chip industry
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen discussed the European Chips Act in Brussels on Tuesday: “The pandemic has painfully exposed the vulnerability of chips and supply chains ... The global shortage of chips has really slowed down our recovery.” Photo: AFP Courtesy : South China Morning Post
The European Union announced a blueprint on Tuesday to make one-fifth of the world’s microchips, saying it was “open for business” to semiconductor giants from Taiwan and other industry leaders.
The European Chips Act provides at least €42 billion (US$48 billion) by 2030 in public and private sector capital behind an ambitious plan to effectively double the bloc’s chip production, to 20 per cent of the global supply of semiconductors, the tiny processing units that will power the industries of the future.
Currently, the bloc produces 10 per cent of the world’s supply, few of which are considered to be cutting-edge.
The aim is to make the EU less reliant on other countries, with officials citing the current chip shortage as evidence of the need to bolster Europe’s supply chain.
“The pandemic has painfully exposed the vulnerability of chips and supply chains. You will know that the global shortage of chips has really slowed down our recovery,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.
“We have seen that whole production lines came to a standstill, for example with cars. While the demand was increasing, we could not deliver as needed because of the lack of chips.” Key to the plan will be attracting world-leading chip manufacturers to invest in building the EU’s capacity – no easy task when it’s estimated to be two or three times as expensive to make chips in the West than in China and other hi-tech Asian production hubs.