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A new transatlantic future, starting in Ohio

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Hendrik Bourgeois, IntelHendrik Bourgeois, IntelBy Hendrik Bourgeois, Vice President, European Government Affairs

Intel is in the business of breaking ground. Pioneers of our industry, we have long created groundbreaking products that change the way people around the world connect to one another. Now, for the first time in 40 years in the United States, we’ve broken another type of ground, this time taking the first step in building our new fabs in Ohio – our soon-to-be Silicon Heartland.

Licking County may feel far off to your average citizen of the European Union, but it’s actually an important step in the story of Europe’s high-tech industry. Intel’s Ohio fabs are a key part of building a more balanced, leading-edge semiconductor industry on both sides of the Atlantic. The United States and the European Union have indicated their ambition to manufacture 40% of the global semiconductor output by 2030. Increasing the share of chips produced on both sides of the Atlantic guarantees a future where American and European innovators are able to create the next generation of groundbreaking technologies. 

Rubber met the road last month when the U.S. CHIPS and Science Act was signed into law by President Biden. In Europe, lawmakers are hard at work to make the EU Chips Act a similar success. Both pieces of legislation will channel the necessary funds toward innovation and capacity-building in our sector. More than just fabs, these policies will strengthen partnerships across the semiconductor supply chain, accelerate innovation and R&D, and create spillover benefits across the EU, helping us all reach new heights.

But making real change involves more than just words on paper and big promises – it calls for driving innovation on the ground. Intel’s site in Licking County is one of the first and clearest examples of industry leadership in bolstering semiconductor manufacturing in the United States or the European Union. Our corresponding proposal to build two first-of-a-kind semiconductor fabs in Magdeburg, Germany demonstrates Intel’s role in helping these like-minded partners reach their goals.     

If breaking ground in Ohio is our first step, then what is our destination? The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing supply chain crisis taught us a lot about our globalized economy. In what was likely a first, people around the world paused and realized how important semiconductor technology is to their everyday lives. Shifting geopolitical realities have reinforced the imperative for having a modern and robust semiconductor supply chain with leading-edge semiconductors manufactured in the United States and Europe. Now is the time for these two economies to invest in key technologies, securing their roles as technological leaders. The reinforced resilience of such supply chains will empower tomorrow’s innovators to build the next great inventions and extend the promise of Moore’s law to deliver more powerful and more efficient semiconductors.

 As I watched the groundbreaking in Ohio virtually, I was impressed with the significance of the moment. It is an important moment for both the Intel team globally, for our industry, and for all of the industries, countries, and citizens who depend on access to technology in every aspect of their lives. It is a reminder that our groundbreaking work starts with breaking ground. I look forward to the day when the Intel team in Europe has a similar moment in the Magdeburg sun. Until then, I send my most heartfelt congratulations to Ohio.