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Key Enabling Technologies and Digital Economy

Cross-cutting KETs activities

Integration between Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) will be essential for economic growth, competitiveness and innovation in Europe in the coming years. The study “Methodology, work plan and roadmap for cross-cutting KETs activities in Horizon 2020” (Ro-cKETs) outlines how the  combination of different Key Enabling Technologies  could be used to address the challenges facing European industry, economy and society.

As input to Horizon 2020, the study will develop the methodology, work plan and road map for a seven-year cross-cutting KETs work programme. It is based on clear industrial and market needs for addressing the challenges facing European society. The study will adopt a market perspective, taking the demand side as a starting point.

Project Overview

Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) - nanotechnology, micro-/nanoelectronics, industrial biotechnology, advanced materials, photonics and advanced manufacturing technologies – provide the technological building blocks that enable a wide range of product applications. These include those required for developing low carbon energy technologies, improving energy and resource efficiency, and creating new medical products for an aging population. The six KETs have applications in multiple industries (such as automotive, electronics, energy, construction), with further applications expected in a variety of other industries.. Therefore, they are essential not only for economic growth and competitiveness, but also for solving many societal challenges.

While each of the KETs individually already has huge potential for innovation, their cross-fertilisation is particularly important as combinations of KETs offer even greater possibilities to foster innovation and create new markets. The concept of cross-cutting KETs refers to the integration of different key enabling technologies in a way that creates value beyond the sum of the individual technologies.

The project will produce a shared methodology and a detailed proposal for a cross-cutting KETs work plan and roadmap. This will be based, among other things, on workshops with stakeholders and policy makers.

The project has been commissioned by DG Enterprise and Industry and is carried out jointly by a consortium including the following organizations: D’Appolonia (lead partner), CEA, the Joint Institute for Innovation Policy (JIIP) including its members TNO, VTT and Tecnalia, CNR-DSCTM, IBEC Barcelona and Fraunhofer ISI.

Work began in early 2013 and will be finalised in March 2014.


What are cross-cutting KETs?

Cross-cutting KETs activities involve bringing together different KETs for developing innovative and competitive products, goods and services that can contribute to solving societal challenges. Cross-cutting KETs activities will in general include activities closer to market and applications.

Individual KETs play an essential role in accelerating innovation and creating new markets. However, combinations of KETs have even greater potential to foster innovation.

The integration of different Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) represents a vital activity in Horizon 2020. About one third of the budget assigned to KETs will go to supporting innovation projects integrating different KETs.

Why are KETs important?

On 26 June 2012, the European Commission adopted the proposal for an action plan to boost Key Enabling Technologies. The document states that KETs are the true “raw materials for innovation and the Green Economy”. They are the technological building blocks that will be used to construct any technology or innovative high-tech products in the next few years.

Both in Europe and worldwide, industries will be transformed over the next decade. New goods and services will be created for rapidly growing markets in both developed and emerging economies. Whilst a significant part of the goods and services in the markets of the 2020s are as yet unknown, the main driving force behind their development will be the deployment of KETs. All applications of KETs directly or indirectly stimulate competitiveness and generate jobs, growth and wealth in the economy. In addition, the main application sectors are already present in European Member States: automotive, food, chemicals, electronics, textiles, energy, environment, pharmaceuticals, construction, aerospace and telecommunications.

Mission & Scope


The initial objective of the RO-cKETs project will be to develop the methodology that will lead to the identification of potential areas of industrial interest relevant for cross-cutting KETs. This will then be used to develop the roadmap and work plan. The methodology will address the following areas:

  • Identification of market requirements and industrial challenges relevant to societal challenges across a broad number of industrial sectors
  • Identification of technological opportunities provided by the cross-fertilisation between KETs
  • Mapping of the technological know-how and production capacities related to cross-KET activities in the EU
  • Identification of selection criteria for cross-cutting KETs activities
  • Identification of criteria for assessing the impact of project results
  • Analysis of areas of common interest with other EU programmes

The main project steps and milestones are:

  • Industrial sectors’ analysis for identifying market requirements and industrial challenges
  • Correlation with societal challenges
  • Identification of technological opportunities provided by the cross-fertilisation between KETs
  • Identification of Key Nodes, representing promising areas of converging industrial interest for more than one KET with high potential for future development and demonstration activities

Workshops & Events

Project-related Events

Workshops are an important element of the methodology in the RO-cKETs project. They leverage the contributions that stakeholders and policy makers provide, including recommendations, validation of study results and consensus building.

Within the framework of the study, four workshops are organised to ensure a broad range of experience and expertise to contribute to the development of the work, as well as to seek validation on progress and results:

  • Two workshops with stakeholders: the first workshop particularly aims at collecting contributions and recommendations to facilitate/improve the development of the methodology (month 4); the aim of the second workshop will be to seek validation through peer review with selected experts of the draft final results (month 12).
  • Two workshops with policy makers: the workshops take place one month after the workshops with stakeholders (month 5 and month 13 respectively) and aim to validate the methodology, the market and industrial needs resulting from societal challenges. They will also seek validation of the draft final results.

A final conference, with the participation of European Commission representatives, stakeholders and policy-makers, will be held at the end of the project in March 2014.


The RO-cKETs project is carried out by a consortium which includes the following organisations:


D'Appolonia S.p.A. provides integrated engineering services to clients belonging both to the public and the private sector in the environment, energy, oil and gas, infrastructures and transport, electronics, telecommunications and innovation domains.

Commissariat à L'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA)

The CEA was established as a tool created by the French Government to conduct research programs in order to increase scientific knowledge and stimulate innovation and technology transfer in specific fields representing major strategic and social issues.

The CEA is active in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defence and security, information technologies and health technologies.

The Joint Institute for Innovation Policy (JIIP): TNO, VTT, Tecnalia

The Joint Institute for Innovation Policy (JIIP) is a joint venture of four well-renowned Research and Technology Organizations (RTOs) from four different European countries: TNO (The Netherlands), VTT (Finland), Joanneum Research (Austria) and Tecnalia (Spain).

JIIP provides intelligence to support policy-making with a focus on research and innovation policy.


The general goal of the Department of Chemical Science and Material Technology – part of the Italian National Research Council – is the development, through the “chemical manufacturing”, of innovative functionalities in molecular, macromolecular and solid systems with a different level of structural organization and advanced materials technology.

IBEC Barcelona

The Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) is an interdisciplinary research centre focused on bioengineering and nanomedicine, based in Barcelona. IBEC’s mission is to conduct research of excellence, arising from the convergence of biotechnology, physics chemistry and engineering, and to contribute ultimately to transfer the generated knowledge into the market and the clinical practice.

Fraunhofer ISI (subcontractor)

The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) analyzes the origins and impacts of innovations. It investigates the short- and long-term developments of innovation processes and the impacts of new technologies and services on society. On this basis, clients from industry, politics and science are provided with recommendations for action and perspectives for key decisions. The expertise is founded on the scientific competence of the researchers coming from science and technology as well as an interdisciplinary and systemic research approach.


Mr Guido Chiappa (Project coordinator)

D’Appolonia S.p.A.
Via San Nazaro, 19
16145 Genoa (Italy)
Tel.: +39 010 362 81 48
Fax: +39 010 362 10 78

JIIP Brussels office
c/o VUB-IBBT (2nd floor)
Boulevard de la Plaine, 9
B-1050 Brussels (Belgium)
Tel.: +32 2 629 16 11
Fax: +32 2 629 17 00

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