KEY ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES - RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE HIGH LEVEL GROUP
Recommendation n°1: Make KETs a technological priority for Europe
An integrated KETs policy should be implemented, that KETs should be visibly prioritised in EU policies and financial instruments and that the European Investment Bank group should pro-actively support KETs initiatives in Europe.
Recommendation n°2: The EU should apply the TRL (Technology Readiness Level) scale R&D definition
The EU to align its RDI activities on the TRL scale in line with the OECD definition. The Commission should also systematically apply this definition in order to include technological research, product development and demonstration activities within its RDI portfolio.
Recommendation n°3: Fully exploit the scope of relevant R&D definitions
The EU should apply R&D definitions in its programmes which support the full and simultaneous implementation of the three pillar bridge model along the innovation chain, from basic research, through technological research, product development and prototyping up to globally competitive manufacturing.
Recommendation n°4: Rebalancing of EU RDI funding programmes
The EU and Member States firmly rebalance their RDI funding in KETs-related programmes towards technological research, product development (including pilot lines, prototypes, first-in-kind equipment and facilities and demonstrator activities). In particular in the future CSF (Common Strategic Framework), the EU should set indicative targets for the percentage of funding dedicated to basic research, technological research and development activities.
Recommendation n°5: A strategic approach to KETs programmes
The European Commission defines and implements a strategic, industry driven and coordinated approach to KETs programmes and related policies across EC RDI funding programmes and instruments (Common Strategic Framework, European Regional Development Fund).
Recommendation n°6: Establish an appropriate set of rules to implement KETs programmes
The European Commission adapts its selection criteria and implementation rules in the CSF programme to maximise its impact on the value and innovation chains. In particular, a "value chain correctness" criterion should be added.
Recommendation n°7: Combined funding mechanisms
The EU should introduce a tripartite financing approach based on combined funding mechanisms involving Industry, Commission, and national authorities (Member States and local government), when required by the high costs of the KETs RDI projects, and put in place the appropriate program management and mechanisms to allow the combination of EU funding (CSF, structural funds), to enable the optimum investment in significant KET pilot line and manufacturing facilities across Europe.
Recommendation n°8: KETs state aid provisions
The EU adapts state aid provisions to facilitate RDI activities and large-scale investment in KETs, in particular through the introduction of a matching clause in the EU state aid framework across the board, review of the scaling-down mechanism for larger investments increased thresholds for notifications, faster procedures and the use of projects of common European interest.
Recommendation n°9: Globally competitive IP policy in Europe
The selection criteria and terms of the consortium agreements of EU RDI funding programmes should be amended to ensure that participating consortia have a clear and explicit plan for both the ownership of and first exploitation of IP resulting from the project within the EU. It should explicitly include provisions similar to those of the “Bayh-Dole Act” and “Exception Circumstances”-like provisions to encourage the first exploitation and manufacturing of products based on this IP within the EU.
Recommendation n°10: Build, strengthen and retain KETs skills
The EU should create a European Technology Research Council (ETRC) to promote individual excellence in technologically focused engineering research and innovation and establish the appropriate framework conditions through the European Social Fund (ESF) regulation in order to support KETs skills capacity building at national and regional level.
Recommendation n°11: A European KETs observatory and consultative body
The European Commission establishes a European KETs Observatory Monitoring Mechanism tasked with the mission of performing analysis and a “KETs Consultative Body” comprised of stakeholders across the entire innovation chain to advise and monitor the progress in Europe of the HLG KET recommendations towards the development and deployment of KETs for a competitive Europe this should include all relevant data regarding policies and strategies evolution outside EU.