Date
23 June 2018
European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels. The bloc's heavyweights, Germany and France, are calling for an EU-wide initiative to fund innovation and research in tech start-up projects. Photo: Reuters
European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels. The bloc's heavyweights, Germany and France, are calling for an EU-wide initiative to fund innovation and research in tech start-up projects. Photo: Reuters

France, Germany push for EU funding for tech start-ups

France and Germany are pushing for an EU-wide initiative to fund innovation and research in tech start-up projects across the bloc in a bid to boost the region’s competitiveness, Reuters reports.

In a paper presented to European Union leaders at the Balkan summit last week, Berlin and Paris called for the European Innovation Council to fund “ambitious” tech start-ups, the report said. 

“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,” the EU heavyweights were quoted as saying in the paper.

The two nations are pushing for reforms in various sectors before a summit of EU leaders in June and want Europe to be ahead in new digital technologies.

In the paper they say the aim is to create a network to bring breakthrough innovations in science to the marketplace and to open up the network to other interested EU countries.

France and Germany want national initiatives to be complemented by EU ones, which can have more added value for the establishment and the growth of tech start-ups.

France has already promised to spend 1.5 billion euro (US$1.75 billion) on artificial intelligence by 2022 to reverse a brain drain and catch up with dominant US and Chinese tech giants.

Berlin and Paris want their project to focus on tech leaders in academia as well as entrepreneurs and to provide funding for high-risk tech projects, according to the report.

The move comes as Europe has long been seen as a laggard in developing new technologies compared with the US, which has a strong venture capital industry funding Silicon Valley start-ups.

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RC

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