CORDIS, the Community Research and Development Information Service, has launched a new service to provide information on the Technology Platforms initiative.
Technology Platforms aim to define a common vision, and medium to long-term agenda for strategic areas of research, and then bring together public-private partnerships for their implementation. The launching of these pan-European technology initiatives was mentioned as one of its six major objectives by the European Commission in its Communication 'Science and technology, the key to Europe's future - Guidelines for future European Union policy to support research'.
The Communication notes that, 'at the initiative of the Commission and industry, 'Technology Platforms' are being set up, which bring together companies, research institutions, the financial world and the regulatory authorities at the European level to define a common research agenda which should mobilise a critical mass of - national and European - public and private resources.'
Some technological sectors have already seen the various stakeholders organise themselves within this framework. The new service has a 'Summaries' section that contains short presentations of the emerging initiatives in areas such as hydrogen and fuel cells, nanoelectronics, water supply and sanitation, plant genomics and biotechnology, mobile and wireless communications, innovative medicines, aeronautics, embedded systems and steel.
The service also includes a 'Publications' section, where official information from the European Commission services will be accessible, as well as a section devoted to relevant 'News and Events' announcements. Further background and contact details for queries are to be found in the 'FAQ' and 'Information and Assistance' sections.
Technology Platforms are being established to meet specific policy objectives, vital for Europe's future competitiveness, such as new technologies that would lead to radical change in a sector. Other suitable goals include the reconciliation of different initiatives with regards to sustainable development, or the renewal of traditional industrial sectors.
Technology platforms will aim to keep Europe at the leading edge in high-technology sectors which have significant strategic and economic importance, as well as technology-based public goods or services with high entry barriers and uncertain profitability, but high economic and social potential. The CORDIS Technology Platforms service will evolve to reflect the emerging trends and provide ever more complete information as it emerges.