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European president outlines tech imaginative and prescient to drive Europe

In her State of the Union deal with because the president of the European Fee (EC), Ursula von der Leyen mentioned a number of expertise initiatives to help enterprise restoration and drive innovation.

Discussing the restoration from the Covid-19 pandemic, von der Leyen mentioned that in comparison with the 2008 monetary markets crash, the EC expects 19 international locations to be at pre-pandemic ranges this yr, with the remaining following subsequent. “Development within the euro space outpaced each the US and China within the final quarter,” she mentioned. “However that is solely the start. And the teachings from the monetary disaster ought to function a cautionary story.”

By way of an initiative referred to as NextGenerationEU, the EU plans to put money into each short-term restoration and long-term prosperity, mentioned von der Leyen. Together with addressing structural points within the economic system, she mentioned: “We’ll 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 degree.”

In keeping with von der Leyen, the NextGenerationEU initiative units a transparent course for markets and buyers. “Digital is the make-or-break difficulty,” she mentioned. “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 mentioned: “We now have to double all the way down to form our digital transformation in response to our personal guidelines and values.”

Discussing the significance of the semiconductor trade in Europe, she mentioned: “Semiconductors, these tiny chips that make all the pieces work – from smartphones and electrical scooters to trains or total sensible factories. There isn’t a digital with out chips. And whereas we converse, entire manufacturing strains are already working at lowered velocity – regardless of rising demand – due to a scarcity of semiconductors.”

However whereas international 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 mentioned. “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 deal with 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 amenities reported to be about $80bn.

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

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