The European Commission has given the green light for up to 1.2 billion euros ($1.30 billion) in state aid to support a European cloud computing initiative, marking a significant move to enhance the participation of EU businesses in a sector predominantly dominated by U.S. companies.
The approved project, named IPCEI Next Generation Cloud Infrastructure and Services (IPCEI CIS), garnered support from seven European Union member states: France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain. These nations have committed to providing up to 1.2 billion euros in public funding, with an anticipation that this investment will stimulate an additional 1.4 billion euros in private contributions, as stated by the European Commission.
Didier Reynders, the EU commissioner overseeing competition policy, highlighted that the IPCEI project is poised to generate approximately 1,000 direct and indirect jobs initially, targeting data scientists and AI specialists, and an additional 5,000 jobs in the future. Reynders emphasized the innovative nature of the projects, asserting that public funds are allocated to drive innovation and efficiency in the economy.
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The commissioner clarified that if the project proves to be successful and generates supplementary revenue, the benefiting companies will be required to repay a portion of the aid received.
The first tangible outcomes of the IPCEI CIS initiative are expected to materialize around the close of 2027.
The IPCEIs (Important Projects of Common European Interest) of the European Union are strategically designed to amalgamate research, financial support, and business endeavors to fortify EU economic growth and competitiveness. Simultaneously, these initiatives aim to propel the region’s green and digital transitions, aligning with contemporary global trends.
This substantial financial injection into the IPCEI CIS project underscores the European Union’s commitment to fostering indigenous advancements in critical sectors, reducing reliance on external entities, and positioning the EU as a formidable player in the rapidly evolving landscape of cloud computing.