As one of the six Key Enabling Technologies, Nanotechnologies start at an early stage of the innovation value chain by raising issues concerning basic research, and also cover all further stages of the innovation chain, from pilot and demonstration activities to marketable products, due to their high potential for application. Nanotechnologies will enable the development of new goods and services, and contribute to restructuring industrial processes and modernising European industry. Possessing great research and development capacities, the European Union, however, lacks the implementation of research results into commercial products.
The underlying policy of the programme concerns the Commissions’ strategic communications on the significance of Key Enabling Technologies for European competitiveness und growth, e.g. the communications "Preparing for our future: Developing a common strategy for key enabling technologies in the EU" and "A European strategy for Key Enabling Technologies - A bridge to growth and jobs".
Based on the communication from 2009 a high-level expert group was initiated by the Commission to develop a long-term strategy as well as an action plan for the Key Enabling Technologies which also include nanotechnologies. The group identified actions to be implemented within ten specific policy areas, inter alia, strengthening the focus of innovation policies on Key Enabling Technologies (KET), supporting an EU-wide increased technology transfer and common strategic programming and demonstration projects as well as expanding of international collaboration. Furthermore, in their report the group introduced their integrated three-pillar-model for bridging the "valley of death" in the innovation chain for Key Enabling Technologies.
The group’s activities also included further reports on the issues transdisciplinarity, social acceptance and innovative regions, value chain and vertical integration, improving technological research, product development, global competitive production, policy options as well as financing instruments.
Further relevant initiatives working on strategic research agendas
- European Construction Technology Platform (ECTP)
- ETP Nanomedizin
Besides the General Directorate for Research and Innovation there are also relevant activities of the following General Directorate:
- DG Growth: Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
- DG CONNECT: Communications Networks, Content and Technology
If you have any questions concerning these stakeholders, networks and committees, please do not hesitate to contact us!