Technology Platforms: questions and answers

December 16, 2004

Brussels, 16 December 2004

What are technology platforms?

Technology platforms have been an innovation in EU research policy. They bring together all interested parties in a particular sector, or areas. These areas are chosen for their strategic importance or their potential contribution to the European Union’s goals of knowledge-based growth, competitiveness and employment.

Technology platforms exist in which areas?

The first technology platform was set up in the aeronautics sector in 2001. Since then, the concept has much progressed and there are now 22 platforms in sectors such as aeronautics, hydrogen, nano-electronics, innovative medicines and steel. The most recent is in the textiles sector.

Who participates in technology platforms?

The technology platform brings together all relevant groups in a sector. These will vary from one sector to another, but will include research institutions, national and regional public authorities, financial institutions, users groups, regulatory authorities, policy-makers, NGOs. In each case, industry is the driving force.

What is the objective of technology platforms?

Technology platforms were developed to foster effective public-private partnerships. Through this cooperation, technology platforms can define the necessary research and technological priorities for that sector in the medium to long- term and to coordinate European and national, as well as public and private, R&D investments. In doing so, technology platforms can make a significant contribution to the development of a European Research Area.

What is the future of technology platforms?

Technology platforms have an important role to play in efforts to boost research and technological development in Europe and to leverage knowledge for economic growth. The First Annual Scoreboard on Investment in R&D shows how much the EU has to do to reach its target of investing 3% of GDP in research and development.

In its 16 June 2004 Communication on the future of European research, the Commission highlighted the potential of technology platforms. The Commission’s view is that the positive experience acquired up to new should be enhanced through additional resources, including an integral position for technology platforms within the Research Framework Programme.

At a conference on 15 December, the industrial leaders of existing technology platforms agreed to work towards a voluntary code of good practice, covering for example, openness, rules of participation for communication with the constituency and dialogue with other parts of society.

They also exchanged best practices on how to keep Member States and regional authorities involved in and committed to the success of technology platforms.

For more information:


Item source: MEMO/04/298 Date: 15/12/2004

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