European Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik has welcomed the results of a recent evaluation of the 34 European Technology Platforms (ETPs). At a meeting of industrial leaders of European Technology Platforms on 30 September, Commissioner Potocnik praised the ETPs, calling them 'unique and exceptional', and welcomed the results of the survey as overwhelmingly positive.
European Technology Platforms were introduced in 2002 as a way of bringing together basic research and industry to produce 'a long-term strategic plan for research and development of specific technologies with a significant economic and societal impact'. They now cover 34 diverse research areas, including road transport, space technology, wind energy, hydrogen and fuel cell technology, nanotechnologies for medical applications, robotics and water supply and sanitation technology, to name a few. Commissioner Potocnik remarked, 'No one can deny the fact that overall, ETPs have made a remarkable contribution to overcoming fragmentation, by concentrating research effort and helping to realise the European Research Area. [...] It is clear too that ETPs have contributed to more, and better, research and development investment.' The evaluation was carried out at the request of the European Commission. Its main objectives were to map the functioning, concept development and objectives of the ETPs; list and analyse their output, results and impact; identify successes, limiting factors and best practices; and formulate recommendations for the future. The report made 18 targeted recommendations to policymakers and ETPs respectively, and 12 general recommendations. The evaluation recommended that EU and national policymakers 'clearly and unambiguously continue to support the ETP concept', promoting them more forcefully on the political level. For more information, please visit: European Commission, Janez Potocnik