Photonics & Organic Electronics


Key Enabling Technologies (KETs)


Photonics is recognised as a Key Enabling Technologies (KETs), together with nanotechnology, micro- and nanoelectronics, advanced materials and biotechnology. Key Enabling Technologies are those technologies which are increasingly driving innovation today and will continue to drive innovation in the future.

The Commission in its Communication ' Preparing for our future: Developing a common strategy for key enabling technologies in the EU ' COM(2009)512 tries to identify the KETs that strengthen the EU’s industrial and innovation capacity to address the societal challenges ahead and 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.

The Communication is complemented by the Staff Working Document ' Current situation of key enabling technologies in Europe ' SEC(2009)1257 that explains why advanced materials, nanotechnology, micro- and nano-electronics, biotechnology and photonics have been identified as priority areas for improving European industrial competitiveness.

The Communication has set up a high-level expert group (HLG) tasked with developing a shared longer term strategy and action plan on the identified KETs. This group was launched by Vice-Presidents Antonio Tajani , Neelie Kroes and Máire Geoghegan-Quinn on 13 July 2010 and will have a mandate for one year.

As part of this process a Photonics Open Day was organised on 10 Nov. 2010 to get input from the photonics community on the barriers to innovation and how these could be overcome. All presentation given during the Photonics Open Day are available.

The HLG on Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) presented its final report to the Commission on 28 June 2011. In its final report, the group proposes 11 policy recommendations for the development and deployment of KETs in Europe. See also the press release ' Key Enabling Technologies to spur Europe's technological leadership '.

See also report ' Photonics - Our Vision for a Key Enabling Technology of Europe ' published by Photonics 21 .