European Technology Platform
Sustainable innovation and development cannot be achieved without effective research and development actions.
While there is no doubt of the overall excellence of the European research community, it is nonetheless recognised that difficulties exist in assuring the impact of its work through effective transfer mechanisms into the industrial and economic contributors of the European economy.
It has also been accepted that industry should play a greater role in the direction and accomplishment of research through a higher participative approach in planning and achieving research projects that target identified needs.
To address these needs and to reinforce the innovation processes that are required within a modern and developing Europe, the European Commission has introduced and promoted the development of Technology Platforms.
European Technology Platforms bring together stakeholders in key economic sectors, which mainly include research facilities, national and regional government agencies, financial institutions, user groups, regulating authorities, policy-makers and Non-Profit-Organisations. Industry acts as the driving force for all of this.
These multi-stakeholders platforms play a key role in better aligning EU research priorities to industry’s needs, focusing on strategic issues where achieving Europe’s future growth, competitiveness and sustainability depends upon major technological advances.
Moreover, they cover the whole economic value chain, ensuring that knowledge generated through research is transformed into technologies and processes, and ultimately into marketable products and services.
The main scope of European Technology Platforms is to identify medium to long-term research and technological development objectives and to lay down markers for achieving these, by:
- Developing a long term vision of the sector (a possible, positive, future scenario reflecting the ideals, values and the aspirations of the stakeholders)
- Developing a strategic research agenda (a dynamic strategy to achieve the vision and meet the innovation challenges)
- Implementing the SRA through the development of a Plan of Action (PoA) describing the research, training, education and dissemination requirements needed to fulfil the vision.
Through the development of Strategic Research Agendas and of the implementation plans, Technology platforms play a strategic role in defining research priorities in economic relevant sectors and in marshalling a critical mass of public and private European resources. They enable the coordination of public and private R&D expenditures at a European and national level and guarantee an adequate investment of funds in research areas of high relevance. They are important actors in the development of European research policies and important advisory bodies for the European Commission, enabling it to establish ongoing and future research framework programmes. In particular within the 7th framework programme these bodies actively provided advice to respond in the most effective way to the research needs of the industry.
ETP members also play an important role in Advisory Groups, which are scientific panels that make recommendations to the European Commission in relation to specific thematic areas in the framework programme.
Click here for an explanatory leaflet on European Technology Platforms.
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