After the social and economic upheaval of the COVID-19 crisis, research and innovation (R&I), and technological sovereignty are at the heart of Europe’s recovery plans.
The European Union (EU) aims to drive a ‘collective and cohesive recovery that accelerates the twin green and digital transitions in order to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness, resilience and position as a global player’.
The Next Generation EU recovery instrument proposed by the European Commission is intended to bring a further €750 billion to the EU’s revamped €1100 billion Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027. And as the provider of essential technology building blocks for the green and digital transformations, the Electronic Components and Supply (ECS) industry has a key role to play in this recovery. Major additional investment in R&I programmes, such as a proposed ‘€13.5 billion increase to Horizon Europe funding’ , may boost the industry’s ability to address societal challenges including health, climate, energy, mobility, and industrial competitiveness. It will reinforce strategic European digital supply chains along with the industry’s capacity to deliver enabling technologies for a safe, secure and sustainable recovery for all.
The COVID-19 crisis has revealed only too clearly that Europe needs to stand ready with its own sovereign capabilities to face up to future global shocks. The outbreak has highlighted the importance of healthcare systems, health research capacity and preparedness for pandemics. It has also underscored the central role of digital technologies in our society. Digital connectivity and applications have been key to maintaining essential human contacts, as well as keeping industries running and people working. Data and information have been critical to responses to the virus at every level from governmental to local community action.
Now, as Europe accelerates its drive to make its economies more digital, more resilient and more sustainable, these technologies will be increasingly essential. In its ‘Conclusions on Shaping Europe’s Digital Future’ published on 9 June 2020, the Council of the European Union stressed that Europe’s digital technologies, infrastructures and applications are the vital enablers not only of Europe’s digital future, but also of Europe’s Green Deal and its goal of a climate neutral EU by 2050.
Read the full press release here.