What is ‘tech sovereignty’? | Science|Business

As political memes go, “tech sovereignty” has become a viral phenomenon among European leaders in the past six months. Since the COVID-19 crisis started, politicians across the left-right spectrum have started pushing to reduce Europe’s dependence on US or Chinese-origin technologies. From vaccine development to artificial intelligence, billions of euros are now being mobilised across the European Union; and the rhetoric has gone nuclear.

“If we don’t build our own champions in all areas — digital, artificial intelligence,” French President Emmanuel Macron recently said, “our choices will be dictated by others.”

On 8 September, Science|Business organised an online conference: ‘Industrial R&D: Europe first?’ It captured, at an important juncture, the state of play in EU policy for a potentially momentous change in the way Europe funds, manages and regulates its markets for technology in healthcare, energy, aerospace, digital systems and many other fields.

This report incorporates Science|Business’ independent news-gathering on the topic, as well as commentary delivered at the conference.

It is the opening of a series of events, white papers and news coverage that Science|Business is launching to explore this policy trend over the next year.

If your organisation would like to join our initiative, email


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