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The EU unveiled a €43 billion plan in February to quadruple Europe’s semiconductor supply by 2030 and reduce its dependence on Asia for the key component.

Madrid: The Spanish government approved a €12 billion spending plan on the semiconductor and microchip sector on Tuesday amid a persistent global shortage of devices that has disrupted the electronics and computer industries. the automobile.

The aim of the program financed mainly by the European Union’s Covid-19 relief funds is for Spain “to become a key player in the global semiconductor value chain”, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted.

“We aim to create a strong ecosystem for the future of computing in Europe and to attract significant investments in the semiconductor industry,” he added.

Sanchez met on Tuesday with the heads of chipmakers Intel and Qualcomm at the World Economic Forum being held in the Swiss resort town of Davos to discuss the plan.

The program will finance research and development, support Spanish companies in strategic projects, finance start-ups as well as the national production capacity of semiconductors.

It will cover “the entire value chain, from design to chip manufacturing,” Economy Minister Nadia Calvino told a press conference after a weekly cabinet meeting that approved the plan. .

“The objective is to comprehensively develop the design and production capabilities of the Spanish microelectronics and semiconductor industry,” she added.

Made primarily in Asia, semiconductors and microchips are needed to make a wide range of products, from cars to washing machines to smartphones.

An unexpected increase in demand due to expanding digitalization and supply switching issues caused by the pandemic has created a global shortage of semiconductors and microchips.

The shortage has slowed manufacturing activity, with automakers suspending production and electronics makers struggling to keep up with demand for phones, TVs and game consoles.

The European Union in February unveiled a 43 billion euro plan to quadruple Europe’s semiconductor supply by 2030 and reduce its dependence on Asia for the key component.

The plan’s goal is to double its current semiconductor market share to 20% by 2030.