Saturday, June 15, 2024

Critical technologies: how the EU plans to support key industries | Topics | European Parliament

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Why does the EU need to invest in technologies? 

One of the EU’s main strategic goals is to strengthen the competitiveness of the European economy by supporting its change in line with the green and digital transformations. However, in recent years the EU industry is being challenged by high inflation, labour shortages, supply chain disruptions, rising interest rates, and spikes in energy prices.

In addition, global competition is growing, especially in technologies that are the essential for the ongoing economic transformation, such as artificial intelligence, 5G, semiconductors, green technologies and biotechnologies.

This is why the EU should take a more structural approach to the significant investment needs of its industries.

What is the Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform?

In June 2023, the European Commission presented the mid-term revision of the EU’s budget for 2021-2027. As a part of the package, it proposed the establishment of the Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform. The Platform is an instrument to develop critical emerging technologies that are relevant to the green and digital transitions and to the strategic sovereignty of the EU.

The Platform would aim to boost the manufacturing capacity in digital technologies (for example microelectronics, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and 5G), clean technologies (such as renewable energy, electricity and heat storage, renewable fuels of non-biological origin, sustainable alternative fuels) and biotechnologies (like biomolecules, pharmaceuticals, medical technologies etc.). It would also aim to strengthen value chains and address labour and skill shortages in these sectors.

How will the Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform work?

According to the Commission proposal, the Platform would redirect funds under existing EU instruments as well as use additional €10 billion to reinforce programmes such as InvestEU, Horizon Europe, the Innovation Fund, and the European Defence Fund.

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