Key Enabling Technologies summit: KETs and European industrial renaissance

9bea79843bcbee2a95ac7a8c06c4d952At today’s (19 May) KETs summit in Grenoble (France), European and local entrepreneurs together with Research Organisations met to discuss the future challenges for the reindustrialisation of Europe by using the most innovative and strategic technologies. Key Enabling Technologies comprise micro- and nanoelectronics, advanced materials, industrial biotechnology, photonics, nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing systems. Most innovative products nowadays, whether it is the smart phone or electric car, incorporate several KETs simultaneously, as single or integrated parts.

This summit was a first concrete answer to the recommendations on Industrial Policy of the European Council in March, which recognised KETs as of crucial importance for industrial competitiveness and invited to strengthen KETs of high industrial interest by identifying projects of European interest. Michel Barnier, acting Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, chaired the event, in presence of French Secretary of State of Higher Education and Research Geneviève Fiorasio. The summit was hosted by the president of the High Level Expert Group on Key Enabling Technologies, Jean Therme, on the CEA’s main campus in Grenoble.

Michel Barnier restated today the full commitment from the Commission in implementing the EU strategy for the promotion of KETs and highlighted the important steps already taken. At the same time he sent a strong message to both European industry and to the Member State asking for an increased cooperation to tackle together the challenge of re-industrialisation, in particular by working together on ambitious industrial projects of European interest. Talking about the potential of KETs for SMEs in particular, the Commissioner acknowledged the need for further helping SMEs in seeing these opportunities.

KETs are one of the priorities in the Commission’s re-industrialization strategy, as highlighted by the recent Communication for a European Industrial Renaissance in which the Commission reaffirmed that Europe cannot prosper without a strong industrial base and that industry is essential to the economic revival of Europe and its competitiveness.

Background

Key Enabling Technologies

Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) – nanotechnology, micro-/nanoelectronics, industrial biotechnology, advanced materials, photonics and advanced manufacturing technologies – provide the technology bricks that enable a wide range of innovative product applications, including those required to address societal challenges. KETs make steel stronger and more durable; they make cars lighter and safer; and they make a plethora of other products, from medicines to biofuels to mobile devices, more effective and sustainable.

KETs drive innovation in many traditional and newly emerging sectors and are already a major source of employment in Europe. Globally the market is estimated to be worth more than €1 trillion by 2015, which is equivalent to around 8% of the EU’s GDP.

Europe no longer KET innovation leader

Europe is a global leader in KETs research and development with a global share in patent applications of almost 30%. However, Europe is not strong in translating this knowledge advantage into new marketable products and services. The European Strategy for KETs aims to accelerate the rate of exploitation of KETs in the EU and to reverse the trend of de-manufacturing in order to stimulate growth and jobs.

MEMO/13/150

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Category: A Frontpage, Business, Conferences, Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, EU, European Commission, Research, Technology

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