France aims to inject 8 billion euros ($ 9.0 billion) into joint European investment projects for batteries, semiconductors, hydrogen and the health sector, the minister said on Friday. of Finances Bruno Le Maire.
The European Commission is relaxing its usually strict state aid rules for important projects of common European interest (IPCEI) which involve multiple member states and are deemed to contribute to EU strategies such as energy and digital transition .
“France will invest a total of 8 billion euros in these common European projects which will allow us to compete with the best world technological standards, in particular China and the United States”, declared Le Maire during a conference of hurry.
Outlining France’s priorities during its six-month presidency of the European Union starting in January, Le Maire said France had allocated â¬ 1.5 billion to an existing IPCEI for car batteries, creating 2,000 jobs in the project’s French factory.
He said an additional 1.7 billion euros would go to semiconductors, a sector hit by massive shortages around the world, scolding the supply chains of automakers in particular as demand recovers from the impact of the pandemic.
The investment would help Franco-Italian semiconductor maker STMicroeleconics increase its weekly production from 6,800 chips to 8,000 in Crolles, in south-eastern France.
In the hydrogen sector, France would invest 3 billion euros in 15 different common European projects that would benefit French companies, including the chemicals group Arkema, the car manufacturer Renault, the automotive suppliers Faurecia, Plastic Omnium, the company of hydrogen Mcphy and the industrial gas group Air Liquide, Le dit Maire.
The health sector would benefit from 1.5 billion euros of French public investment to develop biotherapies and increase production capacities in order to avoid dependence on non-European suppliers.
Finally, 300 million euros were devoted to the development of data storage in French or European cloud networks for the benefit of the French groups OVH, ATOS and Orange, said Le Maire.