New EU Industrial Strategy: building resilient, autonomous European industries
The new EU Industrial Strategy was presented by the European Commission on 5 May. Although progress was made on the 2020 Industrial Strategy actions and many of the tools geared towards a common, sustainable development of the EU were found fit for purpose, the pandemic brought significant challenges for European industry and revealed vulnerabilities for the internal market that made new instruments necessary.
The newly released strategy reaffirms the EU's ambitions for the digital and green transitions, recognises strategic areas where support must focus and identifies the tools needed to enable a swift execution. In order to increase the EU economy's resilience in the face of future crises, the strategy focuses on building up autonomy and reducing dependency on key foreign products, services and advanced technologies. Key areas where the EU needs to do more to ensure supply are raw materials, batteries, active pharmaceutical ingredients, hydrogen, semiconductors and cloud and edge technologies.
Joining forces to support the next EU industrial champions
There is an increasing need for a strong instrument enabling support for coordinated, cross-border, innovative investments with the potential to consolidate entire European value chains. In this context, there is growing awareness of and interest in the Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEIs) instrument.
The IPCEIs instrument is a State aid framework that enables public support to be channeled to ambitious cross-border projects that often entail significant risks which private investors are not willing to take on by themselves. In such cases, public support from several EU Member States may be necessary to fill the financing gap, to overcome market failures and allow such strategic projects to be realised. As such, IPCEIs are one of the key instruments of the new Industrial Strategy.
Many Member States have already announced their intention to direct some of their Recovery and Resilience Facility and Cohesion funding towards IPCEIs that will significantly improve the competitiveness of European value chains. IPCEIs can receive up to 100% public support for capital or operating expenses. Building on the success of the batteries and micro-electronics IPCEIs, Member States have begun working together to set up new joint projects covering hydrogen, cloud and edge technologies, pharmaceuticals and low-carbon industry.
Get in touch to find out more about support and opportunities around the new EU Industrial Strategy and IPCEIs.