In the 1980s, it was fashionable for European politicians to fret about the “technology gap” between the old and new worlds: the United States dominated trade in computers, software, airplanes and missiles. To redress the balance, Europe mustered billions in government subsidies for its failing tech industries. A generation later, only the aerospace industry has really responded – yet once again, the European Union is planning a new round of tech subsidies, in its €54.5 billion, seven-year “Framework 7” programme. Will it do any good?
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