Critical technologies and industrial capabilities: National definitions and implications. The French case. Armament Industry European Research Group, septembre 2022
France has historically paid significant attention to strategic technologies and industries, whether they were strictly defence- and nuclear deterrence related, or considered as vectors of national independence and security, more broadly.
This has translated into policies aimed at supporting the national industrial and technological base, funding R&D, and protecting strategic companies from foreign takeovers. In recent years, the notion of “critical technologies” was adopted, and the breadth of sectors covered by national strategies and investment plans has expanded to include emerging and green technologies. That being said, in many areas of digital technologies, such as cloud computing, the French government continues to rely largely on foreign (in particular, non-European) providers. Finally, the French policy has been increasingly intertwined with the EU level, as France has been a key promoter of initiatives to enhance the EU’s role and clout in critical and emerging technologies, in defence as well as in the civilian domain.
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