The Spanish government has announced a €12.3 billion investment plan to turn the country into a major microchip producer and help reduce Spain and the European Union's dependence on other suppliers.
Speaking in Madrid, Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said the five-year plan aims to enable Spain to cover all areas of microchip development and production, which are now considered key to all areas of modern industry.
The global shortage of computer chips has made it harder for consumers to purchase cars, computers, and other essentials. The European Union has announced a $48 billion plan to become a major semiconductor manufacturer, reflecting US President Joe Biden's push to invest $52 billion in the nation's chip manufacturing sector to boost domestic production.
She said the plan is one of the Spanish government's most ambitious projects to reset the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic and will impact other sectors.
The project was aimed at strengthening the weak position of the EU in the production of microchips, which, according to Calvino, is about 10% of the global volume. This has led to heavy reliance on a small number of large manufacturers such as Taiwan, the US, South Korea, Japan and China, she said.
Calvino added that the war in Ukraine makes it a priority to strengthen strategic autonomy in energy, technology, food production, and cybersecurity.