New KETs HLG to plan future EU Industry Strategy

Yesterday (27 February) saw the first meeting of the new High Level Group (HLG) on Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) in Brussels. This second generation KET HLG is tasked with fostering the industrial deployment of KETs in Europe to keep pace with our main international competitors, restore growth, create jobs and help address today's major societal challenges.

The HLG was inaugurated by European Commission Vice-Presidents Antonio Tajani and Neelie Kroes as well as Commissioners Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and Johannes Hahn, reflecting the cross cutting influences of KETs on industry policy, the digital agenda, research, research, innovation and science, and regional policy. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is also represented in the HLG, signalling that this is a priority investment area for Europe.

What will the HLG do?

The HLG will advise the European Commission on the implementation of the strategy to boost KETs in Europe. The scope of issues to be discussed by the HLG is broad and relates to:

  • Research and innovation aspects
  • Financial engineering mechanisms for KETs-projects
  • Cooperation of KETs value chain stakeholders
  • Trade and state aid related issues
  • Human capital & skills and
  • National and regional KETs policies

Who is in the HLG?

  • technology providers for each of the six KETs
  • down-stream industry users to ensure that the KETs Strategy does translate to the production of KETs-based products
  • civil society representatives and cross-cutting KETs representatives: including trade unions, NGOs, local and regional authorities as well as the Skills and SME Community, the Research Community and the European Investment Bank
  • Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs), e.g. Efficient Buildings, Factories of the Future, Green Cars and SPIRE

SPIRE representative and Cefic Executive Director for Research & Innovation Gernot Klotz commented: "If we want Europe to keep or gain a competitive edge, we have to act quickly now to deploy those enabling technologies and ensure that their production stays in Europe."

The HLG is scheduled to meet twice a year, while its 'Sherpa' working group will meet on a twice-monthly basis.