In Europe, the semiconductor ecosystem itself employs approximately 250,000 people directly; with 2.5 million employed in the full value chain.

Electronics industry CEOs have told European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes that Europe can capture up to 60% of new electronics markets, and double the economic value of semiconductor component production in Europe within the next 10 years, in a plan delivered to the European Commission today.

The detailed plan from 11 Electronics CEOs was requested by Kroes from an Electronics Leaders’ Group (ELG), set up in 2013. The group recommends the EU focus on:

Areas were Europe is strong – automotive, energy, industrial automation and security. The target is to double current production in the next 10 years.

‘Smart-X’ markets

New high growth areas, in particular Internet of Things (IoT) and the development of ‘Smart-X’ markets (e.g. smart homes, smart grids etc.). The target is to capture 60% of this emerging market by 2020.

Regaining strong presence in mobile and wireless communications. The target is for Europe to capture 20% of the projected growth of these markets.

European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes said: “I want us in the driver’s seat. The sector wants to be back in the driver’s seat. So my message is this: we are going to make Europe the place to make and buy innovative micro and nano-electronics.”

On the demand side, the group proposes a major initiative, “Smart Everything Everywhere” to establish centres of excellence and zones for large-scale, real-life testing of emerging technologies throughout Europe.

On the supply side, the group sees a clear opportunity to increase capacity by 70,000 new wafers (the slices of semiconductor material on which the chips are manufactured) per month from 2016/17 onwards – an average of 10% increased capacity per year. Europe can count on its strong material and equipment industry to maintain a competitive edge in production, including in the upcoming transition to a larger wafer size to drive down costs.

In Europe, the semiconductor ecosystem itself employs approximately 250,000 people directly; with 2.5 million employed in the full value chain. Micro- and nano-electronic components and systems drive at least 10% of Europe’s GDP, and worldwide demand is increasing annually at 9% (volume) and 5-6% (value).

The ELG will now work on transforming these ideas into concrete actions by June 2014. 


During the 1990s, the European share of semiconductor production increased to more than 15% of world production. However, in the last decade, it has fallen back to below 10% (Japan 22%; South Korea 18%; Taiwan 17%; the US 13%). Europe has strengths in vertically integrated markets, such as automotive, energy, security and smartcards and a leading position in new markets such as sensors and microsystems (MEMS). European industry is strong in virtual components and low power processors, and in the supply of equipment, materials and intellectual property.

On 23 May 2013, the Commission announced An Electronics Strategy for Europe, which aims, by 2020, to facilitate industry investment of €100 billion; double the value of EU micro-chip production; and create 250 000 jobs in Europe. The Electronic Leaders Group, a group of 11 Electronics CEOs spanning research, tools, development and manufacturing, was set up to devise, in cooperation with all relevant stakeholders, ways to achieve these objectives.

The plan submitted today completes one action of the Electronics Strategy for Europe The plan contains action to be implemented by industry, the European Commission, member states, regions, universities and investors.

The plan builds on the experience of existing public-private-partnerships, such as ENIACthat invested more than €1.8 billion in pilot lines and pilot projects in 2012/13. These pilot lines and pilot projects will in future be supported within the new ECSEL initiative to be launched around May 2014, and which has a total planned budget of at least €5 billion over the next 7 years.

Useful Links

MEMO/14/106 8 things you didn’t know about Electronics

A European Industrial Strategic Roadmap for Micro- and Nano-Electronic Components and Systems

Electronics in the Digital Agenda

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Digital Agenda website