In a strategic move to fortify the European Union’s standing in the global cloud computing sector, the European Commission has greenlit a substantial €1.2 billion state funding injection. The funding is earmarked for the Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) Next Generation Cloud Infrastructure and Services (IPCEI CIS), a collaborative initiative involving seven member countries: France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain.
Notably, the international cloud market is currently dominated by US giants like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. The IPCEI CIS project aims to challenge this dominance by fostering a European-wide, interoperable multi-provider cloud edge continuum. Nineteen companies, including industry heavyweights such as Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica Spain, Orange, and Telecom Italia, will pool their efforts in 19 coordinated projects under the initiative.
Commissioner Didier Reynders, responsible for competition policy, emphasized the significance of the project, noting that the participating member states’ €1.2 billion public funding commitment is expected to catalyze an additional €1.4 billion in private investments. He highlighted the project’s ambitious research goals, crucial for advancing innovative data processing applications and services tailored for European businesses, public administrations, and citizens.
The IPCEI CIS is projected to generate at least 1,000 jobs during its research and development phase, spanning from 2023 to 2031. The European Commission’s initiative aligns with the IPCEI framework, designed to synergize research, financial resources, and business acumen across member states to enhance the EU’s economic growth and competitiveness. This marks the seventh IPCEI approval since 2018, with previous projects focusing on areas such as batteries, hydrogen, and microelectronics and communication technologies.
Anticipated to yield initial results by 2027, the IPCEI CIS initiative signifies a concerted effort by the EU to carve a substantial niche in the global cloud computing landscape, reflecting a commitment to technological innovation and economic advancement.