EU proposes $32B investment in flagging hardware, tech industries

EU proposes $32B investment in flagging hardware, tech industries

Summary: Europe wants to "reverse the decline of the EU’s global share in the electronic components and systems area." And by doing that, it's throwing billions of euros at the problem.


The European Union is taking its electronics, hardware and technology industries seriously. And by that, this flailing sector that needs a hundred volts pumped into its chest with a hearty cash injection.

A new investment package worth €25 billion ($32bn) will aid the flagging economy over the next seven years, the European Commission announced on Wednesday, in a bid to drive more innovation to the design, developing and manufacturing electronics sectors, including new areas such as nanoelectronics.

There is method to its madness. The executive body said that every economic sector in the 28 member state bloc will benefit — from cars to planes and trains, medical and health equipment, home appliances, energy networks, and security systems — from state-of-the-art developed electronic components and systems manufactured on the continent.

The Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership (ECSEL) will begin in early-2014 and run for a decade, with the help of academics, technology organizations, and large and small companies alike.

It is designed to reverse the decline in the EU's global electronic components share, bring innovations in novel areas such as cyber physicals systems, and to develop a strategic research and innovation agenda, the EU said.

The various strands of the ECSEL's approach comes at a time where it aims to help startups take advantage of the open and competitive market place, while other well-established companies are slowly sinking. There's no doubt that in recent months and years, the Raspberry Pi's and the Jolla's, and various new technological strands have helped boost the local economies. But how these will benefit — or hit, who knows — at this stage remains unclear.

The first injection of investment will start with a budget of €4.8 billion ($6bn). The EU will contribute up to €1.2 billion ($1.53bn) which will be matched by member state contributions.

Topic: EU

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  • Isn't that how we...

    ...threw billions of 401K money at shipping individual bags of dog food to customers and expected to make money? Isn't it a good idea to first have an idea before committing money?
    Tony Burzio
  • Now we know where all the proposed monetary fines being assessed

    to US tech companies are headed! Hehe...couldn't resist that one. Seriously though, where is the EU proposing to obtain this level of funding?
  • Socialized technology! What could go wrong?

    More brain-dead Socialism in the EU.

    By the way, when governments spend money, it is not an "investment". When you make an investment, you expect to get your money back *plus* a return. This is an expenditure, not an investment. Journalists should not repeat misnomers used by governments trying to make transfers of wealth to their friends sound noble.
    • but i thought the EU already had policies in place to promote tech

      I guess they didn't work. But with any govt program failure is success and success is failure.
      If something is failing, more money is needed to make it successful. If something is successful, then more money is needed to keep it successful.

      Either way, the politically connected will line up to get their big govt subsidy. The rich get richer while the taxpayers get poorer. Nice.
  • $32 billion over 10 years, is peanuts, and will be wasted anyway...

    How does that saying go? Give a man a fish, etc...

    Be that as it may, if the tech sector in the EU hasn't got the money to do R&D, and the EU governments can only toss in the measly $3.2 billion per year, then, it's not gonna do much for them.

    Microsoft alone, in the U.S., spends many times that amount...

    "In 2011 alone, Microsoft's R&D budget reached a record high of $9.6 billion (yes, with a "B")."

    That was in 2011, and it's likely higher this year.