EXCLUSIVE Europe must work together to stay at forefront of high-tech – Merkel

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  • Merkel: EU states can’t afford next generation technology individually
  • German companies “have been slow to capitalize on research”
  • Merkel is not tech-savvy at home, may go round it in retirement
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BERLIN, Nov 17 (Businesshala) – European countries should work together on manufacturing the next generation of chips, Angela Merkel said, drawing on her 16 years of experience in the highest office, warning that no European country can develop high-tech technologies. Can’t stay ahead of the curve. On his own.

The outgoing German chancellor told Businesshala in an interview that the cost of moving to the next level in areas ranging from chip development to cloud and quantum computing and battery production meant the private sector would need state support.

Merkel herself conducted fundamental research in quantum chemistry in East Germany before entering politics after German reunification in 1990. He pointed to Korea, Taiwan and US President Joe Biden’s stimulus packages as examples of what was possible.

“The state has to play an important role. South Korea and Taiwan go on to show that competitive chip production in the 3- or 2-nanometer range, for example, is essentially impossible without state subsidies,” she said.

He said the global economy’s current struggle highlights the lack of resources and the need to ensure that Europe has its own production facilities in key regions to restore supply chains disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

But he also lamented the failure of German companies to capitalize on an excellent research base.

In particular, she said she was “shocked” at German companies’ lack of interest in quantum computing, even though Germany was a world leader in research in an area that could make computers faster and more powerful than ever before. .

no alexa for angela

He said his government has taken steps toward improving Germany’s innovation and start-up cultures, pointing to a German-led project to build a secure and efficient cloud data infrastructure for Europe called Gaia-X. We do.

“But in the long run it may not be the state that drives new growth,” said the EU’s longest-serving leader.

Germany’s vast, decentralized government structure can also be a barrier to innovation.

Merkel said the presence of an ethics council and data protection officer in each of the 16 federal states placed a heavy burden on firms in the life sciences, for example, where Germany lagged behind.

However, it was at the leading edge of research in areas such as quantum physics, climate research, physics, chemistry and robotics, she said.

Not that the same can be said of Merkel’s own use of home technology.

“I’m happy enough when I can get a delayed start on my washing machine, but beyond that, to be honest, I don’t have the time nor the inclination to remote control my entire house,” she says. said.

“Maybe in the near future my interest will develop if I have more time.”

Reporting by Andreas Rinke in Berlin; Written by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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