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

I S S U E S E V E N

47

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

participation of business. There is also an emphasis on encouraging the

ETPs to work with EU member states, which is realised through ‘co-

operating with networks’.

A third goal of the ETPs is realising networking opportunities with both

other platforms and other partners. Through working with other entities

in the value chain, this will help to ‘address cross-sectoral challenges

and promote the move towards more open models of innovation’. This

aspect can be related to the fourth objective: ‘identifying opportunities

for international co-operation’.

The final goal of the ETPs is again related to Horizon 2020. The platforms

provide important ‘channels of external advice for the programming and

implementation’ of the EU’s research and innovation framework

programme. In particular, the Commission notes, the ETPs ‘have been a

key driving force behind the launch of high profile public private

partnerships under the programme’. According to the 2013 Commission

Staff Working Document, the EU research and innovation framework

programme ‘recognises the role of ETPs as part of the external advice

and societal engagement needed to implement Horizon 2020’.

NANOfutures

One of the cross-cutting ETP initiatives is NANOfutures. This multi-

sectorial platform ‘brings together industry, research, networks and

NGOs at all levels for a joint movement towards a new industry’. Working

with a variety of different actors, entities are able to interact and develop

a shared vision on the future of nanotechnology. In addition,

NANOfutures ‘connects and establishes co-operation and representation

of technology platforms that require nanotechnologies in their industrial

sector and products’. The platform draws funding from the Seventh

Framework Programme.

NANOfutures, along with its association, act as a ‘Nano-Hub’ by linking

JTIs, associations and ETPs with expert groups in a collaborative

environment. Furthermore, the NANOfutures steering committee brings

together multiple ETPs in a common environment to feed into European

Commission programmes, regional and national schemes and European

information and recommendations, dissemination

and communications. In particular, the EU

institution helps ETPs by providing advice and

guidance, e.g. on the European dimension of their

work; drawing the ETP stakeholders’ attention to

relevant EU-funded research programmes and

policy frameworks; and helping to establish

appropriate links between ETPs and relevant

national research and development programmes

in the EU member states.

Horizon 2020

A core motivation for the ETPs is developing

and providing solutions that address the

grand challenges affecting European

citizens. Core areas include addressing the

problems associated with an ageing society;

the environment; and food and energy

security. Funding for research and innovation

into tackling many of these challenges is

provided through Horizon 2020’s Societal

Challenges pillar.

According to the Commission’s 2013

communication ‘Public private partnerships in

Horizon 2020: a powerful tool to deliver on

innovation and growth in Europe’, the ETPs help

to provide advice from industry and other

stakeholders to this EU institution, in particular

regards to Horizon 2020.

As set out in the 2013 Commission Staff

Working Document, the ETPs contribute to the

realisation of the Innovation Union through

taking an ‘holistic view, identifying the pathway

to commercial deployment of research, provide

strategic insights into market opportunities and

needs, and mobilise network innovation actors

across the EU in order to enable European

companies to gain a competitive advantage in

global markets’.

Core aims

There are five core objectives of the ETPs,

cutting across research and innovation and

collaborative agendas. The Commission defines

the first objective as ‘developing industry-

focused strategic research and innovation

agendas’. Through this work, the ETPs

also develop technology roadmaps and

implementation plans to realise this goal.

The second goal is ‘encouraging industry

participation in Horizon 2020’ – a core aim of

the EU research and innovation framework

programme is to encourage the greater

ETPs exist across a

variety of

different industries,

including photonics