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EU and South Korea set up semiconductor research forum


Funding for joint research on microchips is expected to be allocated in June, Commission says

The EU and South Korea have launched a collaborative semiconductor research forum as part of their partnership for digital transformation.

Their move was announced on 26 March by the European Commission, in a report on the second meeting of the partnership that was established in late 2022.

The Commission did not say who is involved in the forum, what exactly it aims to achieve, or how it will operate.

It did add that winners of funding for joint EU-South Korea R&D projects on semiconductors will be announced in June and are expected to start towards the end of the year, as are joint projects on research into 5G and 6G telecommunications.

Strategy for cooperation

The partnership was established as part of the EU’s strategy for cooperation with the Indo-Pacific. The EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton, who met with Korean representatives, said the EU and South Korea “are leading digital economies and strategic like-minded partners”.

“Together we can promote global standards, support innovation and competitiveness, and create further opportunities for our economies,” he added.

The Commission said that “both partners share the same vision for a fair and secure online environment”. They will also be collaborating on cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.

The announcement followed a deal on South Korea joining the EU’s €93.5 billion research funding programme, Horizon Europe.