High Level Group makes final recommendations on KETs
The High Level Group (HLG) on Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) presented its presented its recommendations on how to boost the uptake of KETs in Europe at its final meeting on 24 June 2015. The meeting was chaired by Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. The HLG consists of technology providers, industry users, civil society and the European Investment Bank. It was set up in 2013 to advise the European Commission on the implementation of a 2012 action plan.
Overall, the HLG finds that progress has been made in creating more favorable conditions for industrial innovation in Europe following the adoption of the action plan. KETs close-to-market innovation is now a key priority for European funds and for the European Investment Bank. State aid rules have been modernised and allow EU countries to better support investment in KETs. However, according to the HLG, further actions are needed, especially since competition from East Asia and North America is increasing, and investments in innovation are still 20% below pre-crisis level.
The HLG therefore recommends that European companies be more ambitious and work on projects of a European dimension in strategic areas. It also sees scope to stimulate demand from the market for innovative products and services based on KETs, thus helping to meet some of the societal challenges in fields such as energy, climate and resource efficiency. The HLG therefore recommends that EU policies such as the ones on energy, transport and circular economy are linked with KETs. The recommendations include a a set of concrete actions to ensure that the growth potential of KETs is not hindered by the lack of a skilled workforce.
The Commission has stated that it will assess if future action is necessary and what form this action should take.
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