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EC approves €1.2bn for European cloud and edge computing project

Written by Wed 6 Dec 2023

The European Commission has given the green light, under EU State aid rules, for an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) focused on advancing cloud and edge computing technologies.

This project, known as IPCEI Next Generation Cloud Infrastructure and Services (IPCEI CIS), is a collaborative effort by seven EU Member States, including France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain.

The Member States are set to provide up to £1 billion (€1.2 billion) in public funding, anticipated to stimulate an additional £1.2 billion (€1.4 billion) in private investments. The project involves 19 companies, including SMEs, embarking on 19 highly innovative projects.

The Project also extends to a broader ecosystem of over 90 indirect partners, including enterprises, startups, and research organisations across additional EU Member States.

Several Member States have included their participation in the IPCEI CIS in their Recovery and Resilience Plans, allowing them to fund their projects through the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

The First Cloud and Edge IPCEI

IPCEI CIS marks the first Important Project in the cloud and edge computing sector. It aims to create a European data processing ecosystem, advancing technologies for federated, energy-efficient, and secure cloud and edge distributed data processing.

Commissioner Didier Reynders, in charge of competition policy, highlighted the importance of this initiative: “Today’s decision makes sure that public support is well targeted and sufficient to enable the project to pursue its ambitious goals, while safeguarding the level playing field and ensuring that strong positive spill-overs can be generated throughout the Union.”

These projects will span the entire cloud-edge continuum, from basic software layers to sector-specific applications, focusing on enabling digital and green transitions.

The research, development, and first industrial deployment phases of these projects are expected to run from 2023 to 2031, with the potential to create at least 1,000 direct and indirect highly qualified jobs, and many more in the commercialisation phase.

The Commission’s assessment under the EU State aid rules, particularly its 2021 Communication on IPCEIs, has confirmed that the IPCEI CIS meets necessary conditions and aligns with State aid rules.

This assessment ensured that the projects contribute to a digital, greener, secure, resilient, and sovereign European economy, as outlined in key EU policy initiatives like Europe’s Digital Decade and the European Green Deal.

This decision is part of the Commission’s wider efforts to foster a digitally advanced, greener, and more resilient European economy. The non-confidential version of the decisions will be made available in the State Aid Register on the competition website after resolving any confidentiality issues.

Commissioner Thierry Breton emphasised the project’s significance: “The IPCEI approved today is crucial to deliver breakthrough innovation on cloud and edge technologies that fulfil European requirements for interoperability, data privacy, sustainability, and cybersecurity. It will also provide the technologies and solutions to reach our Digital Decade Strategy 2030 objectives.”

The Digital Decade Strategy 2030 objectives include a 75% of cloud uptake by EU enterprises and more than 10.000 edge nodes across Europe.

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Written by Wed 6 Dec 2023

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