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November 2, 2021

France announced on Tuesday a 1.8 billion euro ($2.1 billion) support plan for the country's cloud computing industry in a bid to give French companies in the sector global scale. The plan consists of 667 million euros of public financing, 444 million of European Union financing, and 680 million euros of private co-financing, the government said in a statement.

The government said 23 research and development projects had already been selected, which would receive a total of 421 million euros of public financing. "Today we implement a long-held ambition: to bring about the emergence of French and European industrial champions," Minister for Digital Affairs Cedric O said in a statement, adding that by 2025 close to two billion euros would be mobilised for the sector.

Cedric announced the initiative in the offices of French cloud computing firm OVHcloud (OVH.PA), which went public last month after becoming one of the world's top ten players in the industry. Some French policymakers hope OVHcloud - the biggest European-based cloud services provider - could offer an alternative to U.S. giants Amazon Web Services (AMZN.O), Microsoft's Azure (MSFT.O), and Google Cloud (GOOGL.O), which dominate the market.

Early in October, French defence company Thales (TCFP.PA) announced a partnership with Google to offer state-vetted cloud computing services for the storage of some of France's most sensitive data.