To make sure they can compete with the United States and China, France and Germany want an EU-wide initiative that will fund innovation and research in tech startup projects across the region.
According to Reuters, Europe has lagged behind the United States in developing new technologies. Part of the problem is that European investors are generally more risk-averse than venture capitalists in the States.
With that in mind, France and Germany have called for the European Innovation Council to fund “ambitious” tech startups.
“A joint effort is also needed to further improve the venture capital environment and regulations to allow successful market transfer of breakthrough innovations, as well as the foundation and growth of disruptive deep technology companies in Europe,” according to a paper presented to European Union leaders at the Balkan summit last week.
Both countries are pushing for reforms in various sectors before a summit of EU leaders in June — with their project focusing on tech leaders in academia as well as entrepreneurs — and to provide funding for high-risk tech projects.
France has already promised to spend 1.5 billion euros ($1.75 billion) on artificial intelligence by 2022.
There are also companies committing to help the EU grow in the technology sector. Last year, for example, Samsung’s venture capital arm announced it will use a $150 million global funding round to invest in early-stage startups in Europe for investment or acquisition, focusing on tech companies working on artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, augmented reality and virtual reality.
“I’m excited to lead our expansion into Europe. The combination of deep tech talent and cultural diversity makes this market very attractive,” said Felix Petersen, managing director of Samsung NEXT in Europe. “It also gives us a great opportunity to become the place for European entrepreneurs looking to build and grow their startups and turn them into revolutionary companies.”