Key Enabling Technologies

Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) are investments and technologies that will allow European industries to retain competitiveness and capitalise on new markets. The Industrial Technologies Programme (NMP) focuses on four KETs: nanotechnologies, advanced materials, and advanced manufacturing and processing (production technologies) and biotechnology.

Europe’s industry is facing many challenges such as global competition, and the need for energy and resources to be efficient. Investing in research and innovation is essential to address these challenges and, at the same time, to help to develop and deploy solutions for societal challenges like health, energy, climate and so on.

Nanotechnologies, advanced materials, and advanced manufacturing and processing are key areas that determine Europe’s position in the global market. Investing in these areas will boost competitiveness, create jobs, and support growth.

  • Nanotechnologies can create materials and devices on a minuscule scale - 80,000 times smaller than a human hair. Nanotechnologies are touching every aspect of human life: electronics, medicines, everyday products, our cars and our homes. Research in this area will lead to new products and services developed by the industry, capable of enhancing human health while conserving resources and protecting the environment.
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  • Advanced materials can introduce new functionalities and improved properties, while adding value to existing products and processes, in a sustainable approach. Research can start from the material itself (e.g. biomaterials), from the industrial sector (e.g. metallurgy) or from their applications (e.g. energy, health, transport). Research in this area responds to people’s needs and concerns for integrated solutions that combine energy, natural resources and human health.
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  • Biotechnology applies scientific and engineering principles on living organisms. On one hand, it serves to improve industrial processes and on the other hand, it allows the competitive, sustainable and innovative production of materials, chemicals and fuels. In this way, biotechnology supports European industries with its scientific, technological and innovation base.
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  • Sustainable development is key for the manufacturing sector in Europe. We need to invest in new engineering leading to flexible manufacturing, clean processes, and improved production processes, to increase the competitiveness of its industry in a sustainable and energy-efficient way.
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  • In partnership with industry, the EU will also invest in research and innovation for Energy-efficient buildings, Factories of the Future, and Sustainable Process Industries (SPIRE). Industry is pledging further private investment in the technologies. The aim is to increase the competitiveness and energy efficiency of the construction sector, to increase sustainability of production processes and make the process industry more resource- and energy efficient. In this way, the private and public sectors will boost Europe’s industrial leadership, while responding to Europe’s concerns to create jobs, and address problems of energy and resource efficiency.
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Reports/Studies: 2 December 2016
Reports/Studies: 12 April 2016
Practical guides: 28 September 2015
Policies: 25 September 2015