Addressing the principal challenges facing European industry is one of the key responsibilities of the Industrial Technologies Programme (also known as NMP). The transformation of the European industry from a resource-intensive to a knowledge-intensive industry is its main objective.
The EU follows a specific strategy (Work Programme) for activities it supports under the Industrial Technologies programme.
The purpose of the Work Programme is to make sure that R&D is carried out in a safe and responsible way, taking into account people's expectations and concerns. Projects funded under the programme must reflect carefully on governance and ethical issues, for example those related to health, safety and the environment.
Projects must also find ways to communicate their research results to the general public. After all, European citizens have invested heavily in industrial R&D through the EU's Research Framework Programmes . The return on this investment involves not only finding solutions to challenges affecting society, but finding solutions that have public approval.
The Work Programmes outline how societal challenges are addressed under the Industrial Technologies programme. In designing the Work Programmes, the EU refers to existing foresight studies, roadmaps and running projects, and consults with:
After this process, the Work Programme is formally adopted by the European Commission and the Programme Committee, which comprises representatives from all EU Member States.
The current Work Programme is FP7, which is the short name for Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development and which applies to the years 2007-2013.
On 30 November 2011, the Commission adopted its proposal for Horizon 2020 – The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation which will cover the year 2014 to 2020. Three major parts of Horizon 2020 will support "Excellent science”, “Societal challenges” and “Industrial leadership”.
The 'Industrial leadership" part will include most activities currently covered by the NMP Theme of FP7 and will foster leadership in enabling and industrial technologies, with a robust approach to industrial innovation and an integrated approach to the Key Enabling Technologies (KETs).