A group of European Union (EU) countries including France, Germany, Spain and Italy unveiled a plan to collaborate to improve the region’s position in the global semiconductor market and reduce dependency on imports from Asia and the US.

In a joint declaration, representatives from 17 EU countries signed-up to a joint goal of increasing Europe’s influence in the market, which is currently dominated by companies based in the US and parts of Asia.

The group estimates Europe holds a 10 per cent share of the €440 billion industry, a statistic the partners believe is “well below its economic standing”.

Although noting the region was in a good position when it came to some areas of the electronics and mobile industries, the representatives added it was still reliant on imported chips for data processing, some elements of electronic communications and processors.

As part of the agreement, countries will coordinate national research and agree to target specific areas deemed high growth.

Its ultimate aim is to “strengthen Europe’s capabilities to design and eventually fabricate the next generation of trusted, low-power processors, for applications in high-speed connectivity, automated vehicles, aerospace and defence, health and agri food, artificial intelligence, data-centres, integrated photonics, supercomputing and quantum computing”.

The move was welcomed by the European Commission and other member states were invited to join the project.

Belgium; Estonia; Greece; Croatia; Malta; The Netherlands; Portugal; Slovenia; Finland; Romania; Austria; Slovakia; and Cyprus are also on board.