European Commission kickstarts public-private alliances for semiconductors and industrial cloud technologies
The European Commission launched two new Industrial Alliances: the Alliance for Processors and Semiconductor technologies, and the European Alliance for Industrial Data, Edge and Cloud. The two new alliances want to advance the next generation of microchips and industrial cloud/edge computing technologies and provide the EU with the capabilities needed to strengthen its critical digital infrastructures, products and services.
The new Alliances are open for participation by all public and private entities with a legal representative in the Union and with relevant activities, provided they meet the conditions defined in the Terms of Reference. Due to the strategic relevance of the activities in the respective sectors, Commission says, membership of the Alliances is subject to compliance with a number of conditions. Relevant stakeholders must meet eligibility criteria, related notably to security (including cybersecurity), security of supply, IP protection, data protection and data access and practical utility to the Alliance.
The Alliance for Processors and Semiconductor technologies is designed thinking that microchips, including processors, are key technologies that power all electronic devices and machines we use today. Capabilities in the development of processors and chips are crucial to the future of today's most advanced economies. The Industrial Alliance on processors and semiconductor technologies will be a key instrument to further industrial progress in the EU in this area.
It will identify and address current bottlenecks, needs and dependencies across the industry. It will define technological roadmaps ensuring that Europe has the capacity to design and produce the most advanced chips while reducing its overall strategic dependencies by increasing its share of the global production of semiconductors to 20% by 2030.
To this aim, the Alliance aims to establish the design and manufacturing capacity required to produce the next generation of trusted processors and electronic components. This will mean moving Europe towards a production capacity of 16 nanometre (nm) to 10nm nodes to support Europe's current needs, as well as below 5 to 2 nm and beyond to anticipate future technology needs. The most advanced types of semiconductors are more performant and have the potential to cut massively the energy used by everything from phones to data centres.
The new European Alliance for Industrial Data, Edge and Cloud ideally comes from the European Strategy for Data. Since the volume of data generated is greatly increasing and a significant proportion of data is expected to be processed at the edge, this shift represents a major opportunity for the EU to strengthen its own cloud and edge capacities, and hence its technological sovereignty. It will require the development and deployment of fundamentally new data processing technologies, encompassing the edge, moving away from fully centralised data processing infrastructure models.
The European Alliance for Industrial Data, Edge and Cloud will foster the emergence of disruptive cloud and edge technologies that are highly secure, energy and resource-efficient and fully interoperable, fostering trust for cloud users across all sectors. The Alliance will serve the specific needs of EU citizens, businesses, and the public sector (including for military and security purposes) to process highly sensitive data, while boosting the competitiveness of EU industry on cloud and edge technologies.