Apple will invest more than €1 billion ($1.2 billion) over the next three years to create Europe’s largest research and development site for mobile wireless semiconductors and software, the technology giant said on Wednesday.
The silicon design center in Munich will focus on 5G and future wireless technologies, adding hundreds of new employees and a state-of-the-art facility. It comes as the European Union is pushing to make the region a dominant force in global tech.
“I couldn’t be more excited for everything our Munich engineering teams will discover — from exploring the new frontiers of 5G technology, to a new generation of technologies that bring power, speed, and connectivity to the world,” said Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook, in a statement on Wednesday.
Apple’s AAPL, -0.91% engineering hub in Munich is already the company’s largest in Europe. The team’s work includes power management design, application processors, and wireless technologies. In the past, Apple’s engineers in the German city have created custom silicon products to increase performance across products including the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac using Apple’s M1 chip.
The announcement of Apple’s investment comes the day after a major policy push from the executive arm of the EU to make the region a key player in global tech over the next decade.
The European Commission presented its plans, which it calls the Digital Compass, on Tuesday, calling for projects across the 27-member bloc as part of “a successful digital transformation of Europe by 2030.”
The Commission’s plans include ramping up semiconductor manufacturing in Europe, with the goal that the region be home to 20% of global chip production by 2030. By the same year, the bloc plans to cover all populated areas with 5G networks.
The plan also calls for Europe to have its first quantum computer — a vastly more powerful form of computing technology, still in its infancy — by the start of the next decade. In addition, 75% of businesses should use cloud computing services, “big data,” and artificial intelligence by 2030, the Commission said.