Chip development gets EU cash

Intel might be shaking in its boots after the EU announced that it wanted to do to the chip industry what it did with airplane manufacturing.

The European Commission has launched a campaign of public investment in micro- and nanoelectronics with the aim of doubling chip production on the continent to around 20 percent of global production.

According to a statement from European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes the cunning plan is to put $6.4 billion of public authority money into research, development and innovation over the next seven years to match a similar amount of investment from EU companies, supported by the plan.

European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes warned that other nations were investing in computer chips and Europe cannot be left behind.

“We have to reinforce and connect our existing strongholds and develop new strengths. A rapid and strong coordination of public investment at EU, member state and regional level is needed to ensure that transformation,” she said.

Kroes has argued for several years that nanoelectronics are strategic to European wealth creation as at least 10 percent of GDP depends on electronic products and services.

Under the plan, public authorities across Europe, at the Commission, member state and regional level should be able to channel more than about $6.4 billion into research, development an innovation over the next seven years.

Kroes wants Europe to produce more chips than the United States produces domestically.

The idea is to reinforce Europe’s semiconductor centers in Dresden, Eindoven, Leuven and Grenoble and their connections to design clusters in such places as Cambridge and Milan.

Kroes said that this sort of investment will allow the Europeans to repeat the success of Airbus in the chip sector.