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European Commission > Investing in European Research > European Technology Platforms (ETPs) > Newsletter September 2010

An Overview of Photonics Innovation Clusters and National Technology Platforms in Europe

The European photonics landscape is characterised by the presence of high-level research groups in public research centres and universities and also by strong industries in both SMEs and large companies. Most of these are clustered around so called "regional clusters" and "national technology platforms", which play a catalytic role in the further development of photonics in Europe.
Photonics innovation clusters have been the first entities organised on a regional basis with partners from a variety of organisations. Usually, the members of the cluster work in partnership under a common development strategy and in mutual interest in order to generate synergy in Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) in one or more given markets.
National technology platforms for photonics have existed since 2005, following the successful launch of the Photonics21 European Technology Platform (ETP). Such national consortia are networks of public and private players sharing strategic topics in photonics. They work together in order to overcome the fragmentation of resources, to define a common strategy and to achieve visibility at political level for the domain. Possible follow-ups for national platform activities are national R&D funds and innovation policy measures specific to photonics, and increased national and international visibility.

To read more click here

ETPs in Clusters

Efforts to increase growth and competitiveness in European regions have included cluster strategies involving companies, governments and/or the research community.  Many ETP members are active in one or several clusters, regional or even virtual.  We have spoken to a representative of Nanofutures, an 'umbrella platform' bringing together ETPs in various sectors, an to a representative of the regional textile cluster Up Tex (Nord Pas de Calais, France).

To read the interview with Up Tex click here [ - 14 KB]
To read the interview with NANOfutures click here [ - 34 KB]

Innovation Union Communication

The text of the Innovation Union Communication is being finalised by the European Commission and will be published in October. To find out more please consult the Official Journal or the DG Enterprise , Innovation Policy website.

To download the document click here.

FP7 Monitoring Report 2009

The magnitude of FP7is illustrated by the impressive participation figures: During the three first years of FP7, 170 concluded calls received more than 55.000 proposals, out of which more than 40.000 – involving a staggering 235.000 applicant organisations and individuals – were included in the evaluation procedure, and more than 9.000 – involving more than 50.000 participants – were finally retained for negotiations, with a corresponding requested Community funding of € 15 billion. Proposals and applicants had an average success rate of around 22%.
On the participation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), it is estimated that during the first three years of FP7 implementation 14,5% of all participants in signed grant agreements were SMEs.

To read more click here.
Coming up the FP7 Interim Report - the public consultation was closed on 27.08.2010

First evaluation of the JTIs

ARTEMIS and ENIAC after 5 years of existance
The criteria used for the first evaluation of the JTIs were:

  • Relevance: whether the assumptions underlying their establishment are still valid;
  • Effectiveness: progress towards their objectives;
  • Efficiency: of their management and operation;
  • Research Quality: the extent to which the JTIs sponsor world-class research that helps propel Europe to a leadership position globally.

The specific recommendations of the Evaluation Panel focus primarily on the need for Member  States and industry, as the principal stakeholders in the JTIs, to recommit to their responsibilities for the European strategic aspects of the JTIs. The main recommendations for the Commission concern its role in the creation of conditions for the success of future JTIs.
There are also recommendations to the Joint Undertakings, that are not addressed to specific stakeholders, to adjust their operational practices. Finally the Evaluation Panel recommends continued effort to achieve better coordination between the JTIs and the Eureka clusters.

To read more click here

Second European Innovation Summit

11 - 14 October 2010, Brussels, Belgium
A debate will take place on how to achieve Europe’s goal to become a global leader in innovation and how we can make innovation partnerships successful. The Summit includes a three-day exhibition in the European Parliament, breakfasts, lunches and dinners, as well as the session “Europe’s Future Nobel Prize Winner's”, aiming to raise students’ interest in science and technology careers. The summit aims to:

  • Provide a space for debate on the future of innovation in Europe involving Members of the European Parliament and representatives from the other EU institutions and Member States.
  • Raise awareness and outline the issues relevant to the development of Europe’s knowledge and innovation economy and society among EU policy-makers.
  • Encourage Europe’s young people to engage in science and technology careers and acquire new skills for new jobs.
  • Establish a dialogue among innovation practitioners and policy makers and work towards a mutual understanding of goals and needs.
  • Demonstrate to European policy makers the determination of Europe’s innovation stakeholders to be global leaders.

First and foremost, the 2nd European Innovation Summit addresses the Members of the European Parliament. Other target audiences include decision makers from the various EU institutions, agencies and Member States.

To read more click here

SET-Plan Conference 2010, Brussels

The SET-Plan Conference 2010 will report on the progress of all action lines of the European Commission’s SET-Plan, officially launch the European Industrial Initiatives for bio-energy and nuclear energy, and kick-off the international dimension of the SET-Plan.
The SET-Plan 2010 Conference gathers a broad range of stakeholders including the research community, industry, the financial community, policy makers and international partners.

To read more click here.

The European Cluster Collaboration Platform

The European Cluster Collaboration Platform is an online portal rich in information and networking services that enable better and more targeted interaction between cluster organizations and their members. The objective is to improve their performance and increase their competitiveness through stimulation of European and international cluster cooperation. Cluster organizations are invited to use this online platform as a starting base to discover new horizons of excellence and to explore new opportunities of collaboration. They will benefit from:

• Mapping and profiling of cluster organisations
• Mapping and profiling of cluster members
• Establishing sectoral and thematic communities
• Searching for new project ideas and financing sources
• Setting up future collaboration with new partners

The Cluster Collaboration Platform is embedded within the European Cluster Excellence Initiative in the CIP Program, since it is an instrument provided by DG Enterprise & Industry to enable cluster organizations to actively play a role on the international cluster arena.

To find out more click here.

New study on Eco-innovative clusters

The European Cluster Observatory, in cooperation with ECORYS, is conducting a project to analyse the eco-innovative potential in European clusters belonging to four sectors: chemical, leather and footwear, food, and textiles. The data collection for the chemical cluster is almost complete. Results are being obtained by contacting involved organisations and authorities. It is expected that final results will become available by the end of 2010.

To read more click here

Case studies of clustering efforts in Europe:

Analysis of their potential for promoting innovation and competitiveness
The analysis of the case studies focuses on their contribution to the three areas that the Aho report points out as necessary ingredients for developing innovation and competitiveness in Europe, namely to:

  • contribute to the development of new and lead markets of products and services
  • help redirect resources for R&D&I to new innovative players
  • improve human, financial and knowledge mobility.

Therefore the case studies place particular importance in their impact in the following three areas.

Contribute to the development of new and lead markets of products and services
The analysis looks at whether the clustering effort has oriented the companies’ strategies towards better business models, transforming their product offering to new lead markets of products and services.

Help redirect resources for R&D&I to new innovative players
The clustering effort can indicate new areas of investment both private (in new areas of the value chain) and public (in specialised infrastructure, research or educational programmes), or could just act as a new way of lobbying to obtain more resources by the traditional players.

Improve human, financial and knowledge mobility
Has the clustering effort helped to remove barriers between the cluster and the neighbouring economy and complementary clusters outside, or just reinforced the existing industry links and built walls around it?

To read more click here.

European Cluster Conference 2010

29 September - 1 October 2010

The future competitiveness of the European Union will depend on its ability to renew its industry base and to strengthen the thriving services sector towards a more competitive and greener economy based on knowledge and innovation. To achieve this, Europe needs more world-class clusters, which are hotbeds for turning innovative ideas into new products and services and for providing a particularly fertile environment for new business formation that creates innovation, growth and jobs. A more strategic approach is needed that builds upon existing efforts and explores new cluster concepts for establishing the right framework conditions for new and innovative industries. To tackle those issues, the European Commission's DG Enterprise and Industry is organising a “European Cluster Conference 2010” chaired by the Belgian EU Presidency.

During the conference, the high-level European Cluster Policy Group will present their final policy recommendations of how this can be achieved. Roundtables will give national and regional authorities the opportunity to discuss specific actions of cluster policies and cases of specific sectors. The "day of cluster managers" will bring practitioners together interested in the further professionalisation of their cluster support activities and in finding international partners during the first open meeting of the European Club of Cluster Managers. Moreover, participants will have the opportunity to be among the first to try out the new Knowledge and Collaboration Platform of the European Cluster Observatory.

To read more please click here.

European Technology Platform for the Electricity Networks of the Future (SmartGrids) and Mobile and Wireless Communications Technology Platform (eMobility)
20-21 October 2010 in Brussels, Belgium, 2nd European Conference SmartGrids&E-Mobility

Networked and Electronic Media (NEM)
13-15 October 2010 in Barcelona, Spain, 3rd NEM Summit 2010 and 10th NEM General Assembly

European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC)
29 September 2010, ERTRAC Steering Group
14 October 2010, ERTRAC Plenary

European Platform on Smart Systems Integration (EPoSS)
7-8 October 2010 in Lisbon, Portugal, EPoSS General Assembly & Annual Forum 2010

Advanced Research and Technology for Embedded Intelligence and Systems (ARTEMIS)
26-27 October 2010 in Ghent, Belgium, Artemis Autumn Event & ITEA 2 Symposium
14-15 December 2010 in Barcelona, Spain, Brokerage Event, Call 2011

European Nanoelectronics Initiative Advisory Council (ENIAC)
16-17 November 2010 in Madrid, Spain, European Nanoelectronics Forum 2010

Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants (ZEP)
13 October 2010 in Brussels, Belgium, ZEP 2010 General Assembly

Sustainable Biomass for European Energy
29-30 November 2010 in the Committee of the Regions, Brussels, Belgium, Belgian EU Presidency Conference

European Rail Research Advisory Council  (ERRAC)
2 November 2010 in Brussels, Belgium, CREAM Final Conference
25 November 2010 in Brussels, Belgium, Rail Energy Final Conference
30 November- 2 December 2010 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Intermodal Europe 2010

European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC)
4 October 2010 in Aachen, Germany, ERTRAC-EAGAR workshop at Aachen Colloquium -
13 October 2010, Member States Representatives meeting
14 October 2010, ERTRAC Plenary

Mobile and Wireless Communications (eMobility)
18-20 October 2010 Brussels, Belgium, Future Networks 6th FP7 Concertation meeting
16-17 December 2010 Ghent, Belgium, Future Internet Assembly 2010

2nd European Innovation Summit
11 - 14 October 2010 in Brussels, Belgium, European Parliament

Renewable Heating & Cooling (RHC)
8 November 2010 in Brussels, Belgium, Meeting of the Solar Thermal Technology Panel
9 November 2010 in Brussels, Belgium, Board meeting of the RHC-Platform

High-level conference on the SET Plan organised by the Belgian EU Presidency
15-16 November 2010 in Brussels, Belgium

Nanotechnologies for Medical Applications (NanoMedicine)
14-15 October 2010 in Milan, Italy, General Assembly and Annual Forum

Future Textiles and Clothing (THC) and Integral Satcom Initiative (ISI)
1-2 February 2011in Brussels, Belgium, PPE Lead Market Conference

Future Textiles and Clothing (THC)
14 October 2010 in Brussels, Belgium, Brokerage event

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