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Advanced Technologies for Industry

Study on Access of SMEs to KETs technological centres

This study has inventoried 1358 Technology Centres offering services to SMEs to innovate with Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) in the EU28. 47% are located in 5 Member States, 24% are located in EU13. The study concludes that there is a huge offer of KETs services in Europe, but which is not always used by industry. European Collaboration Networks of KETs Technology Centres (KETs TCs) are instrumental to increase access of industry, in particular SMEs, to KETs services across Europe. It provides an analysis of the functioning of European Collaboration Networks (CNs) with one-stop shop access for SMEs, based on 16 case studies, and issues 9 recommendations to ensure their effective functioning, including financial sustainability.

This study recommends a structured European approach to Collaboration Networks. There is a strong need to ensure pan-European availability of infrastructure, accessible by SMEs, and to speed up the deployment of KETs in and by SMEs. Working in European Collaboration networks (CNs) can help KET Technology Centres (TCs) to translate their existing technological offer into business solutions and industry-relevant services. CNs can help TCs identify the technological needs of industries along value chains as well as the barriers to technology exploitation and diffusion. This study recommends that future CNs take a value chain based approach.