European electronics companies set to invest €100 billion; create 250,000 jobs; and double computer chip production by 2020

Date: Mon, 11/04/2013 - 13:45

A newly formed group of Electronics CEOs meets recently to begin a new push to put Europe on the leading edge in the design & manufacturing of micro- and nano-electronics. The recently adopted European Electronics Strategy aims to achieve a number of milestones by 2020: to facilitate industry investment of €100 billion; to double the value of EU micro-chip production; and, in the process, to create 250,000 new direct jobs in Europe

European electronics companies set to invest €100 billion; create 250,000 jobs; and double computer chip production by 2020

Ben Verwaaye

Image credited to Alcatel-Lucent

Chaired by Ben Verwaayen (former CEO of BT and Alcatel), the Electronics Leaders Group (ELG) brings together the leaders of Europe's 10 largest semiconductor and design companies, equipment and materials suppliers and of the three largest research technology organisations (see Annex for full list of members). The ELG will establish, by the end of the year, a strategic roadmap showing how they can reverse the downward trend of chip production in Europe.
At the meeting of the group, European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes will say: "The October European Council will discuss the digital revolution that is changing the way we live. Europe's industry, from cars to healthcare increasingly depends on electronics. They are part of people's lives in a way we could not have predicted 10 years ago. The role that European companies play in that digital revolution depends on your ideas and on your products".
In preparing their roadmap, the core ELG will work closely with an open Stakeholder Engagement Forum which will bring together representatives of the industries which depend on the electronics which the ELG's members produce, equipment and materials suppliers, foundries, and integrating companies, all of whom have operations in Europe and who, together, make up the European Electronics sector which employs 2.46 million people in Europe today.

The set-up of the ELG is one step in the implementation of the European Electronics Strategy adopted by the European Commission in May 2013. This industry has a central role in producing the electronic components and systems that are used in, for example, the energy or health sector, and which underpin a large part of Europe's industrial competitiveness. The impact of the strategy therefore goes far beyond the electronics sector as such, and reaches into the automotive, communication, entertainment, transport and medical industries. The electronic components and systems they use determine the value which European companies can add in these sectors.
The members of the core ELG represent today's major players in Europe. However, their work takes place in the context of a much wider consultation involving the full value chain. Progress in the implementation of the strategy can be followed online here.
While this is an initiative that goes beyond classical public research and innovation support, such support is set to feed into it: In July 2013 the Commission proposed a Joint Undertaking on 'Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership' (ECSEL) – a €5 billion partnership between industry, the EU's Member States and the EU itself. The legislative process on this proposal is on track for having ECSEL up and running in 2014.

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