Germany and France to launch $1.1bn fund

The two countries have announced they are creating a joint fund aimed at startups in sectors such as cybersecurity, nanotechnology and open source software development.

Sigmar Gabriel, minister of economy for Germany, and his French peer Michel Sapin yesterday revealed a €1bn ($1.1bn) fund aimed at startups in the two countries, Heise has reported.

The announcement was made at the second German-French Digital Conference in Berlin, where the two ministers also unveiled the European Secure Cloud program, an initiative to develop coherent data protection processes to certify cloud operators in France and Germany.

The fund will aim to plug a venture capital funding gap that has largely prevailed in Europe and will focus on France and Germany-based startups in the sectors of cybersecurity, open source software development, nanotechnology and supercomputers.

Gabriel also said the fund will help effectively turn early-stage companies into research centres for the wider industry to better tackle the massive scale of data collection by large conglomerates such as Alphabet.

The joint fund between the two countries originates in a recognition by both states that one country cannot affect change anymore but needs to consider the whole European single market.

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