In her State of the Union tackle because the president of the European Fee (EC), Ursula von der Leyen mentioned a number of know-how 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 nations to be at pre-pandemic ranges this 12 months, 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 way of 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 financial system, she stated: “We are going to 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 traders. “Digital is the make-or-break problem,” 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 have now to double right down to form our digital transformation in response to our personal guidelines and values.”

Discussing the significance of the semiconductor business in Europe, she stated: “Semiconductors, these tiny chips that make the whole lot work – from smartphones and electrical scooters to trains or complete good factories. There isn’t any digital with out chips. And whereas we converse, complete manufacturing traces are already working at decreased velocity – regardless of rising demand – due to a scarcity of semiconductors.”

However whereas world demand has exploded, von der Leyen warned that Europe’s share throughout the whole 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 concentrate on 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 services reported to be about $80bn.

Whereas the US dominates the tech sector, and Europe might lag behind it by way of incubating know-how innovation, the EC has taken a lead on regulating the tech sector, establishing the Common Knowledge Safety Regulation and now pushing by way of its Synthetic Intelligence Act.

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