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I S S U E S E V E N

H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L

www.horizon2020projects.com

46

S P E C I A L F E AT U R E : M AT E R I A L S

Multiple benefits

As platforms bringing together multiple

stakeholders, there are a variety of benefits to

the industrial partners and academic

institutions involved in the ETPs. The platforms

build a consensus around research and

technology development strategies and other

measures needed to turn research results into

marketable products; build partnerships to

share risk, pool resources and compete

worldwide; and speed up innovation, thanks to

knowledge and experience sharing.

As the ETPs have a direct relationship with the

Commission, there are also several benefits the

platforms provide for the EU institution. Such

advantages include helping to develop common

approaches to accelerate technological

progress and take-up of new technologies;

improving the return on public and private

research investment; boosting industry’s

competitiveness and meeting society’s needs;

and enhancing research investment in Europe.

The Commission supports the work of the ETPs

through a variety of mechanisms, including

Forming the platform

Portal

explores the background and role of the European Technology

Platforms, investigating the cross-cutting role of the NANOfutures ETP and the

strategic research agenda of the Photovoltaics ETP

T

he European Technology Platforms play a key role in Horizon

2020. Led by industry, the ETPs are a platform for key actors

in driving innovation, knowledge transfer and European

competitiveness, and are consulted on the implementation of key aspects

of the EU’s near €80bn research and innovation framework programme.

Recognised by the European Commission, there are more than 40 ETPs

spread across six themes: the bio-based economy, energy, environment,

ICT, production and processes, and transport; there are also three cross-

cutting ETPs covering multiple sectors. The ETPs play a major role in the

European innovation ecosystem, helping the Union to realise the

ambitions of an Innovation Union.

Creating the platform

As set out in the 2013 Commission Staff Working Document entitled

‘Strategy for European Technology Platforms: ETP 2020’, the first

ETPs were established in 2003 after a call from the European Council

to strengthen the European Research Area. By creating the ETPs, it

was expected this would ‘bring together technological knowhow,

industry, regulators and financial institutions’ in order to develop a

strategic agenda for leading technologies.

ETPs help industrial and academic research communities in specific

technology fields to co-ordinate their research and tailor it to a common

strategic research agenda (SRA), which sets out research and

development goals, timeframes and action plans for technological

advances that are relevant to industry and society. SRAs typically seek

to overcome barriers to the development, deployment and use of new

technologies, and such obstacles include how research is organised;

outdated regulations; lack of common technical standards or a need for

new ones; lack of funding; disinclination to accept new technologies; or

a shortage of skills and training.

ETP stakeholders agree to financially support their sectoral SRA and to

monitor its implementation. In the view of the Commission, each ETP

should represent all major stakeholders, including small and medium-

sized firms. This is providing they are willing to pool their knowledge and

resources and possess the requisite research and development expertise.

Furthermore, through bringing together a variety of different industrial

partners, the ETPs develop research and innovation agendas at both

national and international level. Supported by both public and private

money, the platforms allow stakeholders ‘to deliver on agreed priorities

and share information across the EU’. Though their work is recognised

by the Commission and feeds into Horizon 2020, the ETPs are

independent and self-financing in nature.

The ETPs have a direct

relationship with the

European Commission

as well as input into

Horizon 2020