European regions join forces to strengthen chip industry
Thirteen European regions, including East Netherlands, are joining forces to improve the growth and competitiveness of the chip industry in our regions and in Europe. In a newly formed “Alliance of European Semiconductor Regions,” they are focusing on improving interregional cooperation and knowledge exchange around the production of microelectronic and photonic chips. Stimulating research and innovation into, for example, the development of new technologies and their commercialization plays an important role. There is also a focus on developing the necessary skills through education and training programs to attract and retain talent.
The formation of the Alliance actively contributes to the European ambition to own 20% of global chip production by 2030. This is necessary to reduce dependence on chip imports from Asia. For this European ambition, the European Commission has previously indicated its intention to invest 11 billion euros under the European Chips Act. This amount should grow to 43 billion euros through co-financing from the public and private sectors.
Key role for the eastern Netherlands
Delegate Eddy van Hijum, as a member of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) on behalf of Overijssel, signed the letter of intent for the establishment of the Alliance on March 6. This took place during a meeting in Brussels on the European Chips Act, organized by the German state of Saxony and in the presence of European Commissioner Thierry Breton. Delegate Van Hijum said, “As regions, each with our own specializations, we can play a key role in strengthening the European position in global chip production. The eastern Netherlands is strong in the combination of chip design, manufacturing and photonics. With the commitment of the European Alliance, universities, knowledge institutes and companies active in the microelectronics industry in the East Netherlands can further strengthen their position in chip research, design and manufacturing. This will make the East Netherlands ecosystem with its universities, specialized labs and independent companies in Enschede and Nijmegen an attractive partner for other regions in Europe in the near future.”
On the European Chips Act, the Committee of the Regions (CoR), a key EU advisory body of local and regional authorities, issued an opinion at the end of 2022. Input from the regions ensured that the opinion on the Chips Act includes a focus on the development of new technologies and investment in research, innovation and development of chips in addition to building large factories. It also calls for more attention to regional distribution and more funding for small-scale production facilities. This fits well with the scale of cooperation in regions such as North Brabant, Gelderland and Overijssel.