The European Commission has cleared plans by France, Germany, Italy and the UK to partner on research and development in microelectronics, according Telecompaper. The proposed state support was cleared by the EU's competition authorities as it contributes to a "common European interest". The four states will provide in the coming years up to EUR 1.75 billion in funding for the project and expect that to generate another EUR 6 billion in private investment. It targets five areas of key research in the sector, where Europe sees opportunities for growth and a need to develop its own industrial strategy.
The project will involve 29 direct participants, headquartered both in and outside the EU, including leading chipmakers such as STMicroelectronics and Infineon, as well as research organisations. They will work on 40 interlinked sub-projects, covering the areas energy-efficient chips, power semiconductors, smart sensors, advanced optical equipment and compound materials. 
The Commission assessed the project under EU state aid rules and its 2014 Communication on Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI). Where private initiatives supporting innovation fail to materialise because of the significant risks such projects entail, the IPCEI allows EU states to intervene and provide direct support to innovative projects that otherwise would not have taken off.