Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

High-level group

High-level group

To ensure the successful implementation of the EU strategy on Key Enabling Technologies, a second High-Level Group (HLG) was established in 2013. The first HLG was set up in 2010 to advise on the elaboration of a KETs strategy.

Second High-Level Group

The second High-Level Group (HLG) on Key Enabling Technologies was inaugurated in February 2013 to advise the European Commission on the implementation of the strategy to boost KETs in Europe.

The HLG discusses broad issues relating to research and innovation, financial engineering mechanisms for KETs-projects, the cooperation of KETs value-chain stakeholders, trade and state aid-related issues, skills, and national and regional KETs policies.

Status Implementation Report

The HLG published a Status Implementation Report in July 2013. It features 10 recommendations to support industrial competitiveness through KETs.

KETs for a competitive Europe

The document, KETs for a Competitive Europe, was elaborated by the HLG in view of the European Council of March 2014. It summarises the importance of KETs for Europe, analyses the state of implementation of the European KETs strategy, and outlines the way forward.

Key Enabling Technologies: Cornerstone of the European Industrial Renaissance – a manifesto

A manifesto (2 MB) was prepared by the HLG in July 2014 for the European Parliament to inform MEPs about the European KETs strategy and to request they give high political priority to the European policy on KETs.

Final report - KETs: Time to Act

In June 2015, the HLG presented its final report (6 MB) with recommendations on how to boost the uptake of KETs in Europe.

The HLG found that progress has been made in creating more favorable conditions for industrial innovation in Europe following the adoption of an action plan in 2012. However, the HLG found that further actions are needed, especially since competition from East Asia and North America is increasing.

The HLG recommended:

  • closer cooperation between European technology infrastructures and industry;
  • more industrial innovation programmes at EU, national and regional level;
  • that European companies work on projects of a European dimension in areas that can enhance the EU's competitiveness;
  • a stimulation of demand from the market for innovative products and services based on KETs to accelerate innovation and solve societal challenges in the fields of energy, climate and resource efficiency;
  • EU policies on energy, transport or circular economy being linked to KETs;
  • actions to ensure that the growth potential of KETs is not hindered by the lack of a skilled workforce.

The Commission will assess if future action is necessary and what form that action should take.

Members of the HLG

Types of organisations represented:

  • 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) who can boost the production of KETs-based products;
  • representatives from civil society and cross-cutting KETs including a trade union association, an environmental NGO, a 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) such as those related to energy-efficient buildings, factories of the future, and bio-based industries.

Full list of member organisations

First High-Level Group

The first High Level Expert Group on KETs was set up to develop policy measures which promote the industrial take-up of KETs technologies by EU industry.

The Group presented its final report (10 MB) in June 2011. The report proposed 11 policy recommendations for the development and deployment of KETs in Europe.


The first HLG had a mandate of one year. It's mission was:

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

Work programme

The work of the HLG was divided into two phases:

Phase I
In the first six months, working groups on each of the KETs were set up to assess their competitive situation in the EU compared to other regions and to highlight key challenges in their industrial deployment. The work was backed up by detailed information provided by European stakeholders at Open Days on each KET.

The analyses were summarised in technology-specific reports (which presented the basis for a mid-term working document, see documents below):

Phase II
In the second six months, key areas were identified as the basis for horizontal policy recommendations. Specific workshops on these areas were organised, resulting in the release of the following working group reports:

Key documents from the first HLG