The Europeans want their own Vision Fund to invest in tech

HOW MUCH does it cost to bend the future to one’s will? Give or take $100bn, reckons Masayoshi Son, boss of SoftBank. That is the size of the Japanese conglomerate’s Vision Fund, which holds stakes in modish technology companies including WeWork and Uber. Mr Son is raising a new, similarly gargantuan pot. Now the EU wants one, too. On August 22nd news filtered out of a proposal to create a €100bn ($111bn) fund to back European firms in “strategically important” industries.

Its proposed name and high-tech focus notwithstanding, the European Future Fund would hark back to decades past. Politicians across the old continent once believed themselves blessed with the gift of picking corporate winners. That 1970s experiment did not end well: “national champions” backed with taxpayers’ money were kept on life support with yet more of it.

Concerns about Europe falling behind in technology, too, are old hat. In the early 2000s France and Germany were so worried about Google that they lavishly funded Quaero, a made-in-Europe search engine. A few years and tens of millions of euros later, the project was quietly deleted.


via Business Feeds

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