The need for EU action
Chips are strategic assets for key industrial value chains. With the digital transformation, new markets for the chip industry are emerging such as highly automated cars, cloud, Internet of Things, connectivity, space, defence and supercomputers.
- 1 trillion microchips were manufactured around the world in 2020
- 10%EU's share of the global microchips market
Recent global semiconductor shortages forced factory closures in a range of sectors, from cars to healthcare devices. This made more evident the extreme global dependency of the semiconductor value chain on a very limited number of actors in a complex geopolitical context. It also illustrated the importance of semiconductors for the entire European industry and society.
In her 2021 State of the Union speech, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen set the vision for Europe’s chip strategy, to jointly create a state-of-the-art European chip ecosystem.This will include production, as well as connecting the EU’s world-class research, design and testing capacities.
Strengthening Europe’s technological leadership
With the European Chips Act, the EU will address semiconductor shortages and strengthen Europe’s technological leadership. It will mobilise more than € 43 billion of public and private investments and set measures to prepare, anticipate and swiftly respond to any future supply chain disruptions, together with Member States and our international partners.
The aim is to:
Strengthen Europe’s research and technology leadership towards smaller and faster chips
Build and reinforce capacity to innovate in the design, manufacturing and packaging of advanced chips
Address the skills shortage, attract new talent and support the emergence of a skilled workforce
Put in place a framework to increase production capacity to 20% of the global market by 2030
Develop an in-depth understanding of the global semiconductor supply chains
Investments to support the Chips Act
The Chips Act itself should result in additional public and private investments of more than €15 billion.
These investments will complement:
- existing programmes and actions in research and innovation in semiconductors such as Horizon Europe and the Digital Europe programme
- announced support by Member States
In total, more than €43 billion of policy-driven investment will support the Chips Act until 2030, which will be broadly matched by long-term private investment.
The Chips Act proposes:
- Investments in next-generation technologies
- Providing access across Europe to design tools and pilot lines for the prototyping, testing and experimentation of cutting-edge chips
- Certification procedures for energy-efficient and trusted chips to guarantee quality and security for critical applications
- A more investor-friendly framework for establishing manufacturing facilities in Europe
- Support for innovative start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs in accessing equity finance
- Fostering skills, talent and innovation in microelectronics
- Tools for anticipating and responding to semiconductors shortages and crises to ensure security of supply
- Building semiconductor international partnerships with like-minded countries
Short video introducing the European Chips Act
Member States are encouraged to immediately start coordination efforts in line with the Recommendation. This is to understand the current status of the semiconductor value chain across the EU, anticipate potential disturbances and to take corresponding corrective measures to overcome the current shortage until the Regulation is adopted. The European Parliament and Member States will need to discuss the Commission's proposals on a European Chips Act according to the ordinary legislative procedure. If adopted, the Regulation will be directly applicable across the EU.