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Key Enabling Technologies and Digital Economy

High-Level Expert Group on Key Enabling Technologies

Inaugural meeting of the High-Level Group on Key Enabling Technologies and signature of the Memorandum of Understanding between the EC and the EIB

High-Level Group on Key Enabling Technologies

The new High-Level Group on Key Enabling Technologies (HLG) has been inaugurated by European Commission Vice-Presidents Antonio Tajani and Neelie Kroes as well as Commissioners Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and Johannes Hahn in Brussels on 27 February 2013.

To foster the industrial deployment of European KETs

The group aims to foster the industrial deployment of European KETs in order to keep pace with our main international competitors, restore growth, create jobs and help address today’s major societal challenges.

The High-Level Group will advise the Commission on the implementation of the strategy to boost KETs in Europe. The scope of issues to be discussed by the High-Level Group is broad and relates to research and innovation aspects, financial engineering mechanisms for KETs-projects, cooperation of KETs value chain stakeholders, trade and state aid related issues, human capital & skills and national and regional KETs’ policies.

Memorandum of Understanding between the EC and the EIB to finance the Key Enabling Technologies

Memorandum of understanding between EC and EIB
At the inaugural meeting of the High-Level Group on Key Enabling Technologies, a Memorandum of Understanding pdf - 485 KB [485 KB] was signed between the European Commission and the European Investment Bank that will pave the way for improved access to finance for investments in key enabling technologies. European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, and Vice President Philippe de Fontaine Vive, responsible for innovation at the Bank, underlined that the agreement signed between the two institutions was a strong signal to Europe. Key Enabling Technologies should be a priority investment area in Europe.

The following key organisations are represented in the HLG*:

  • technology providers for each of the six KETs: nanotechnology, micro & nano-electronics, photonics, advanced materials, industrial biotechnology and advanced manufacturing systems
  • down-stream industry users – e.g. energy, aeronautics, equipment, healthcare, biomaterials - as the aim of the KETs’ Strategy is to boost the production of  KETs-based product;
  • civil society representatives and cross-cutting KETs representatives: trade union association, environmental NGO, movement involving local and regional authorities as well as the Skills and SME Community, the Research Community and the European Investment Bank;
  • Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs), e.g. Energy Efficient Buildings, Factories of the Future, Bio-based industries.

Press release: Agreement with EIB for breakthrough of Key Enabling Technologies

*The list of member organisations and their representatives is published on the website for Commission expert groups.

First set of recommendations presented on 16 July 2013 in Status Implementation Report

The KETs High-Level Group presented its Status implementation report with a first set of recommendations pdf - 13 MB [13 MB] to the Commission at its second meeting in Brussels on 16 July 2013. The proposed actions and recommendations aim to support the reindustrialisation of Europe and European competitiveness. The ten recommendations are presented under two key headings: the reindustrialisation of Europe through KETs innovation, and KETs enablers to support European Competitiveness and jobs.

Third meeting of the High Level Group on Key Enabling Technologies on 29 January 2014

The third meeting of the KETs High Level Commission Expert Group took place on 29 January 2014. The meeting has been opened by Vice-President Tajani and Commissioner Hahn.
The document ‘KETs for a competitive Europe’ pdf - 13 MB [2 MB] presented by the HLG Group on KETs summarizes the importance of KETs for Europe, makes an analysis of the state of implementation of the European strategy for KETs and provides an overview of the remaining bottlenecks and outlines the way forward.
It has been drafted as an input to the discussion on industrial competitiveness held at the March European Summit (see also the European Council conclusions pdf - 13 MB [235 KB]).

High-Level Group on Key Enabling Technologies (2010 – 2011)

The High Level Expert Group (HLG) on Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) presented its final report to the Commission on 28 June 2011. The group was set up to develop possible policy measures to promote the industrial take-up of KETs by EU industries. In its final report, the group proposes 11 policy recommendations for the development and deployment of KETs in Europe.

Final report of the HLG - 28 June 2011 pdf - 10 MB [10 MB]

Further documents:

Press Release on HLG final report - 28 June 2011

Mid-term working document pdf - 504 KB [504 KB]

Background brochure on the High-Level Group pdf - 4 MB [4 MB]

Final report presentation


The mission of the HLG was three-fold:

  • To assess the competitive situation of the relevant technologies in the EU with particular focus on industrial deployment and their contribution in addressing major societal challenges;
  • To analyse in depth the available public and private R&D capacities for KETs in the EU (on all levels);
  • To propose specific policy recommendations for a more effective industrial deployment of KETs in the EU.

The High-Level Group was launched on 13 July by Vice-Presidents Antonio Tajani and Neelie Kroes and Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn (press release of the event). It was comprised of 27 members pdf - 9 KB [9 KB] including representatives from EU member states, relevant European industry, downstream industries, the research community and the European Investment Bank. Its president was Jean Therme, Director of the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) in Grenoble. The mandate of the High-Level Group was for one year.

The HLG's work programme

The work of the HLG was divided into two phases:

Phase I
During the first six months, working groups on each of the key enabling technologies were set up to assess the competitive situation of their technology in the EU vis-à-vis other regions and highlight key challenges in their industrial deployment along the value chain. This work was backed up by detailed ‘bottom-up’ information generated through broad based consultations of European stakeholders. For this purpose, Open Days on each KET were organised and stakeholders sent position papers to the Commission's functional mailbox (
These analyses were summarised in technology-specific reports, which presented the basis for the mid-term working document:

-   Micro- and Nanoelectronics pdf - 946 KB [946 KB]

-   Advanced Materials pdf - 122 KB [122 KB]

-   Nanotechnology pdf - 789 KB [789 KB]

-   Biotechnology pdf - 2 MB [2 MB]

-   Photonics pdf - 4 MB [4 MB]

-   Advanced Manufacturing Systems pdf - 3 MB [3 MB]

Phase II
During the second six months of the HLG’s mandate, key areas were identified to form the basis for horizontal policy recommendations. During this process, specific workshops on each of these areas were organised with stakeholders and experts, resulting in the release of the following working groups reports:

-   Transdisciplinarity, Societal Acceptance and Innovative Regions pdf - 409 KB [409 KB] ;

-   Value Chain and Vertical Integration pdf - 327 KB [327 KB] ;

-   Enhancing Technological Research pdf - 126 KB [126 KB] ;

-   Product Development pdf - 110 KB [110 KB] ;

-   Globally Competitive Manufacturing; pdf - 208 KB [208 KB]

-   Policy Options pdf - 353 KB [353 KB] ;

-   Financial Instruments pdf - 2 MB [2 MB] ;

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