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€8.1 Billion IPCEI for Telecoms and Semiconductors: The Road to Europe’s Digital Sovereignty

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The European Commission (EC) has announced a new Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) that will allocate €8.1 billion ($9.2 billion) in public funding to support R&D initiatives in the telecoms and semiconductor sectors. These 68 projects are designed to advance innovative microelectronics and communications technologies, along with energy-efficient and resource-saving electronics systems and manufacturing methods.

Included in these ventures are the development of 5G and 6G wireless technologies, alongside the growth of emerging sectors such as autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing. To supplement the public funding, private investors will contribute an estimated €13.7 billion ($15.5 billion) to the projects, with 56 companies like Airbus, Analog Devices, Ericsson, Nokia, Orange, and Renault already committed.

The projects involve 30 associated participants and around 600 indirect partners, and are estimated to create 8,700 jobs. The first of the projects are expected to generate results by 2025, with the remainder scheduled for completion by 2032.

Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager emphasized the importance of these technological advancements in the context of the ongoing green and digital transitions. She said, “This is why we must increase Europe’s own chips research, development and production capabilities. We need to be pioneers and develop truly innovative solutions and their first industrial deployment in Europe.”

Initiated in 2018, this new IPCEI is the largest of the six projects in terms of public and private investment and the number of participating companies. Other noteworthy initiatives to strengthen the EU’s technology sector and ensure ‘digital sovereignty’ include the European Chips Act, which seeks to deliver €43 billion in public and private investment and increase Europe’s market share in the semiconductor industry to 20% by 2030.

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