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EU announces new policy for expansion of chip production

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday announced a new policy to support a massive expansion of chip production in the European Union and said the European need for chips will double in the next decade.

In a special address at the World Economic Forum’s online Davos Agenda 2022 summit, she also expressed concern over the Russia-Ukraine situation and hoped that there is no attack by the swelling Russian troops on the Ukrainian border.

“We hope an attack will not happen, but if it does, we are prepared. And what I want us never to forget is the following — Russia and Europe share geography, culture and history. We also want a common future,” she said.

On semiconductors, she said, “We need to radically raise Europe’s game on the development, production and use of this key technology.” “There is no digital without chips. The European need for chips will double in the next decade,” she added.

The European Commission President said Europe’s global semiconductor market share is only 10 per cent and most of its supply comes from a handful of producers outside the continent.

“This is a dependency and uncertainty we simply cannot afford… We have no time to lose. And this is why I announce here today that we will propose our European Chips Act in early February,” she added.

The Act, coming in early February, will enable progress across five areas, von der Leyen explained.

These include strengthened research and innovation capacity in Europe; ensuring European leadership in design and manufacturing; adaption of state aid rules to allow public support — for the first time — for European first-of-a-kind production facilities; improved ability to anticipate and respond to shortages and supply issues in the area; and support for smaller, innovative companies.

She also said values of liberty of research, science and independence of choice for investors is a key route out of the pandemic.

She praised Europe’s vaccination efforts, in particular in getting 1.6 billion European-manufactured doses to 150 countries around the world. PTI

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