The Dutch government has agreed to join the EU’s programs to strengthen the European semiconductor industry and cloud infrastructure, De Telegraaf reports. Details of the plans will be revealed in this year’s Budget Memorandum, but sources told the daily that 300 million euros has been set aside for the current year.
The European Commission wants Europe to reduce its dependency on foreign providers for strategic technologies such as semiconductors, batteries and hydrogen. In these and other domains, it has set up so-called Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEIs), which allow member states to relax state-aid and funding rules to support their industries.
An IPCEI for microelectronics has already been running since 2018. The Netherlands isn’t participating in this project, but the Dutch semiconductor industry has urged the government to join in the next iteration, which is currently being prepared. These efforts have apparently paid off.
There will be certain restrictions on participating in IPCEI Microelectronics II. During her State of the European Union speech delivered yesterday, EC president Ursula von der Leyen announced a “Chips Act,” aimed not only at promoting semiconductor self-sufficiency but also coordination of efforts. The Chips Act will “provide a framework to avoid a race to national public subsidies fragmenting the single market,” Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for Internal Market, writes in a blog post coinciding with Von der Leyen’s speech.