Meddelelse fra Kommisjonen til Europaparlamentet, Rådet, Den europeiske økonomiske og sosiale komite og Regionsutvalget. Tilrettelegging av vår fremtid: utvikling av en strategi for sentrale underliggende teknologier i EU
Meddelelse lagt fram av Kommisjonen 30.9.2009
BAKGRUNN (fra kommisjonsmeddelelsen, engelsk utgave)
The shape and potential of industries worldwide will be transformed over the next 5 to 10 years. New goods and services will be created. A significant part of the goods and services that will be available in the market in 2020 are as yet unknown, but the main driving force behind their development will be the deployment of key enabling technologies (KETs). Those nations and regions mastering these technologies will be at the forefront of managing the shift to a low carbon, knowledge-based economy, which is a precondition for ensuring welfare, prosperity and security of its citizens. Hence the deployment of KETs in the EU is not only of strategic importance but is indispensible. 
Indeed, the EU needs a strong innovative performance in order to equip itself with all the means needed to address major societal challenges ahead, such as fighting climate change, overcoming poverty, fostering social cohesion and improving resource and energy efficiency. Following this path will enable the EU to grasp global opportunities, while at the same time offering sustainable employment opportunities with high quality jobs. KETs are knowledge intensive and associated with high R&D intensity, rapid innovation cycles, high capital expenditure and highly-skilled employment. They enable process, goods and service innovation throughout the economy and are of systemic relevance. They are multidisciplinary, cutting across many technology areas with a trend towards convergence and integration. KETs can assist technology leaders in other fields to capitalise on their research efforts.
The market is highly competitive and technologies are typically created within a business environment, where SMEs play an important role, especially by providing inputs and innovative solutions to global companies. Therefore, building synergies and reaching critical mass is important. Moreover, as research in KETs often takes place in close proximity to assembly and production sites, deployment in industries in the EU should result in a modernisation of the industrial base and in the further strengthening of the research base in Europe. While the required R&D and its specific applications are primarily the responsibility of businesses, policy makers need to put in place the right framework conditions and support instruments for strengthening the EU’s industrial capacities for the development of KETs.
Currently the EU has very good research and development capacities in some key enabling technology areas; however it is not as successful in commercialising research results through manufactured goods and services. Improving this situation requires a more strategic approach to research, innovation and capitalisation. Moreover, until now, there has been no shared understanding within the EU on exactly what should be considered to be a KET. The EU already presented a more strategic approach in some areas such as in life sciences and biotechnology, nanosciences and nanotechnologies or energy technologies. But there is no coherent strategy on a European level on how these technologies can be better brought to industrial deployment. This Communication therefore tries to launch a process of identifying the KETs that strengthen the EU’s industrial and innovation capacity to address the societal challenges ahead and it proposes a set of measures to improve the related framework conditions. As such, it forms part of the development of EU industrial policy and of the preparation for the new European plan for innovation. 
1 The Conclusions of the Competitiveness Council of 28 May 2009 pointed out "that it is of particular importance to maintain strong R&D investments in high-tech industries in Europe. They provide the most important manufacturing sectors with indispensable technologies" and looked forward "to the Commission's initiative to develop a pro-active policy for enabling high-tech industries".
2 “Life sciences and biotechnology – A Strategy for Europe” COM(2002)27, “Nanosciences and nanotechnologies: An action plan for Europe 2005-2009” COM(2005) 243 and a European strategic energy technology plan (SET Plan) COM(2007) 723
3 The Conclusions of the European Council of 12 December 2008 calls for “the launching of a European plan for innovation … encompassing all the conditions for sustainable development and the main technologies of the future”.