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European Technology Platforms

The European Technology Platforms (ETPs) constitute an EU initiative/concept with a key role in the EU’s innovation policies and landscape. The ETPs constitute a specific transnational type of networks that are industry led, with the aim to identify innovation and research needs and a strategy for their implementation through close industry - academia cooperation.

Task 3.4 Promoting the ETPs concept in EaP

The aim of this Task is to further promote and strengthen the ETPs concept by transferring the experience and creating links between the Ukrainian platforms and the ETPs and by expanding this approach to other EaP countries.

More specifically these tasks were performed through the following tasks:

  • A review the state-of-affairs of the Ukrainian technology platforms (UTPs), i.e. scientific fields, main actors in industry and academia, governance, strategy, funding etc.
  • A review in the other EaP countries to identify the most promising fields for setting-up national platforms and the involved actors/stakeholders.
  • A Workshop (Kiev) to create or reinforce the links between the ETPs and similar structures in EaP (took place on May 21-22, 2018). It brought together the UTPs and ETP representatives from the relevant thematic fields, as well as representatives of the identified stakeholders in the other EaP countries. The concept of ETPs (objectives, strategy development, funding, governance, benefits, etc.) were presented. (Kiev/UA; approx. 50 persons; 2nd year).

The experience of earlier established Ukrainian TPs as AgrooFood, UTPAM (Advanced Materials TP) and Industry 4.0, Common Platform for the Industrial High-Tech sector Development were exploited. Their representatives were invited as speakers as well as mentioned ETPs representatives.

At the Workshop the following reviews were presented:

1) Review of the state-of-affairs of Ukrainian technology platforms (UTPs), i.e. scientific fields, main actors in industry and academia, governance, strategy, funding etc. (by NASU with input from relevant WP participants).

2) Report on the state of affairs on Technology Platforms in EaP countries. This Report  was  used as an input document for the workshop. Report included the information about the state of affairs in Ukraine, and in other EaP countries (D. 3.5.).

3) Overviews of  the ETPs in the fields, relevant to those ones gathered from EaP countries, informing and contacting them - in order to invite for participation in the Workshop on Technology Platforms in EaP countries. This allowed to invite representatives of ETPs “EURECAT, the Technology Centre of Catalonia (Spain)”, “New European Media - European Technology Platform, Steering Board member (France)” and receive the positive feedback.

Also, in advance participants of the WP 3.4. from Armenia, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova in their countries detected and selected representatives of the academic/industry/governmental sectors, willing and being able to establish TP in their countries. These stakeholders were invited to participate in the Workshop and to present their view on TP development perspectives.

First part of the Workshop was devoted to the experience of ETPs (Session I: European Technology platforms. Best practices and experience of the EU Technology Platforms. Session II: Technology Platforms in the Innovation Policy.)

Second part of the Workshop was devoted to the experience of Ukraine and perspectives for the EaP countries and also included 2 sessions (Session III: Experience of Ukraine: National Technology platforms. Achievements and challenges. Session IV:   Experience and Additional possibilities for the EaP countries)

As a follow-up, support is being provided to the identified stakeholders with a potential to develop national technology platforms in their respective fields and countries, including wherever possible mentoring activities.

Conclusion of the Workshop included (taken from D.3.6):

Technology platforms aim to define research priorities and action plans in strategic technological areas for regions and countries and to coordinate research efforts in these areas. They do so with a view to significantly contribute to technological development. Technology platforms typically draw together a mix of actors, such as industry, research funding organisations, policy-making and regulatory organisations, research universities, public research institutes, as well as civil society. Several factors should be taken into account when implementing technology platforms, including: the implications of the technology for the economy and society, level of SMEs presented in the platform, the ability of public sector research to participate in and contribute to technology platforms.

National Technology Platforms have been stimulating collaborations between universities/research centres and industry in their programmes which have been proved to be successful. Increasing the level of cooperation requires a change in culture both for the research community and for the business sector which must be achieved by education, training and awareness raising activities as well as some initiatives and legislative improvements to encourage such co-operations.

Some proposals were given during the Workshops , in particular

  • Create initiative group on implementing European innovations for measurements of market.

At the national level (Ukraine)

  • More information about how to integrate Ukrainian TPs to TPs of the EU
  • Necessity to include creation of ETP to the list of RDI priorities of Ukraine
  • Existing scientific parks in UA do not take into account European standards and rules of ecology certification, unification of measurements systems
  • What is the progress of integration programme in Ukraine- from business, from policy makers?

At the EaP countries level

  • ETPs are valuable partners for EU and government (RTD)
  • Each EaP member should establish its national platform
  • Cooperation with proper ministry is recommended
  • Local government should facilitate the establishment of national platforms
  • It would be useful to hear more from the EaP counterparts (success stories, new methodologies, proposals for cooperation)
  • Variety of connected bodies in Europe, relevant to ETPs activity
  • Business interests: large vs. SMEs

General  recommendations

  • TPs should be better recognized as open innovation platforms and should be stronger supported and promoted on the national level
  • It should be taken into account that TPs are bottom-up initiatives.
  • Focus on socio-economic challenges with clear benefits
  • TPs have made efforts to attract and encourage SMEs to become involved.
  • It is essential that the concept and the ambitions of TPs are made clear.
  • Support of TPs development with the international dimension
  • Several ETPs believe that international cooperation should go further than with the EU and associated countries alone. A more international discussion with preferential partners is essential.
  • Involve TPs in policy preparation processes It is important that TPs move beyond ‘technology’ and link to other mainstream policies such as education, labour, competition, etc
  • Make use of more interactive communication tools in order to engage and stimulate more stakeholders to become involved in the TPs.
  • In order to convince industry to invest more money in R&D, the TPs should aim for results that facilitate innovation. Furthermore, the dissemination of good practices, success stories and successful pilots should be undertaken in order to highlight the added value of TPs
  • Cross-border cooperation should also be stimulated.  A simple tool that could help is a databases of organisations interested in cross-border collaboration in industrial research.
  • TPs should pay more attention to fund-raising.
  • Coordination and cooperation between TPs should be intensified in order to enlarge their resources and added value, find common approaches for tasks implementation, to avoid duplication and inefficiency

For further development the TPs could form joint activities to address themes beyond the scope of a single platform. The TPs could be encouraged to work in flexible clusters focused on addressing the key societal challenges facing Europe. The clusters should involve all relevant stakeholders, work across all aspects of the knowledge triangle, and be responsible for implementing potential solutions. ETPs will be able to contribute more to focus research programmes towards the challenges faced by European society and also to bring the results of that research to the global marketplace.

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