Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Action 129: Key Transformative Action/ Pooling of European public and private resources for micro- and nano-electronic behind a common industrial strategy, with a strengthened Joint Undertaking at EU level as the main vector for R&D&I support

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Teaser: 
A proposal for a new Council regulation on the Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership Joint Undertaking was adopted by the European Commission in July 2013 and is currently being discussed at the European Council and Parliament. It is expected that the Council Regulation will be adopted in the second quarter 2014.

What is the problem?

  • Growth and jobs - the economic footprint of the European electronic components and systems industry is significant in itself and it is the key driver for innovation and productivity of the whole of the economy. Estimations indicate that this sector represents more than 6% of European GDP. The semiconductor industry (components) employs more than 150 000 people. In the embedded systems, the estimation is more difficult as this sector is much more intertwined into the value chains, including developments by user industry, e.g. in automotive. But the employment level in embedded systems is considered higher than 1 million.
     
  • The capability and capacity to design and manufacture electronic components and systems - electronic components and systems are the essential 'differentiating' building blocks of all innovative products and services including those necessary to address societal challenges as health, ageing, security, safety, transport and energy. All products including some form of interaction with the users include electronic components and systems.
    Very visible with computer and cell phones, this extends to all controls in a car (above 30% of a mid-price car is in electronics), all the machinery for manufacturing, appliances or infrastructures. This happens with increasing penetration, e.g. in traffic control, electronics helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or to improve the fluidity of traffic such as in traffic jam information to the drivers; or in energy grids, where large economies can be achieved by better monitoring the power consumption through smart meters.
     
  • Keep at the forefront with research, development and innovation (R&D&I) in the area of electronic components and systems – developments in electronic components and systems boost the digital economy.
     

Why is EU action required?

  • No single Member State has the means to keep up with the rapid and very R&D intensive development in the area – only by aligning national agendas, close coordination, pooling of resources and reducing fragmentation can one reach the critical mass needed for the industry in Europe to prosper.
  • Need for close cooperation across borders and across value and innovation chains that extend beyond single Member States.
  • Public support is needed to leverage private investments – every euro spend by the EU will result an investment in Europe of 4 euros.
     

What has the Commission done so far?

  • Co-funded ENIAC and ARTEMIS, Public Private Partnerships in the form of a Joint Undertaking. The ENIAC Joint Undertaking (JU) is a public-private partnership focusing on nanoelectronics, the components at the heart of all smart devices, from computer and cell phone to infrastructures. The ARTEMIS JU is a public-private partnership ARTEMIS to help European industry consolidate and reinforce its world leadership in embedded computing technologies, i.e. those "computers" present in all modern objects like credit cards, mobile phones, cars and planes. They both bring together participating Member/Associated States, the European Commission, and the related association representing European R&D actors, AENEAS and ARTEMIS-IA respectively.
  • Participated in the Joint Undertakings through the Governing and Public Authorities Boards.
  • Performed an Impact Assessment of the Joint Undertaking to prepare for its evolution and governance improvement under the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020. This impact assessment was published as an annex of the new JU regulation (see next). Carried out the 2nd interim evaluation of the ARTEMIS and ENIAC JU.
  • Drafted the new Council regulation on the Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership (ECSEL) Joint Undertaking, based on extensive consultations with the AENEAS, ARTEMIS-IA and EPoSS European Technology Platforms, the Member States involved in the current ENIAC and ARTEMIS JUs, a widely advertised public consultation and a targeted study by TNO-eutema. The draft regulation was submitted to Council and Parliament for further adoption.
     

What will the Commission do next?

  • Set up a new tri-partite Joint Undertaking under Horizon 2020. The tri-partite JU will bring together the European Commission, co-funding Member States and the industrial associations to work together towards achieving funding and coordination of the industry-driven Research and Innovation Agenda, aligned with the strategy at European level (see action 131) The estimated budget of the ECSEL JTI is expected to reach €4.815 billion. The EU will contribute up to €1.215 billion and the participating Member States €1.2 billion. The industrial partners will contribute at least half of the total costs of around €2.4 billion in kind.
  • This Joint Undertaking will cover the scope of ENIAC and ARTEMIS along with the activities of the EPoSS European Technology Platform. It aims at providing a better opportunity to address cross-cutting activities in the field of electronic components and systems.
  • The future JU implementation targets administrative simplifications, in line with Horizon 2020, as well as adequate framework for funding large scale actions such as pilot lines and demonstration projects.
  • Overall the current and coming JUs strengthen the European competitiveness in the electronic components and systems, which allows the industry to keep growing at the market rate (above 5% for components and double digit for systems), thus ensuring that jobs are created and new domains taken up by the European industry, down to the value chains.

Read the Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership Joint Undertaking final report.