Dr René Wintjes from UNU-MERIT and Dr Zoran Aralica from the Institute of Economics, Zagreb prepared a policy brief on how to select and develop Key Enabling Technologies and policies to advance manufacturing in Croatia.
The key messages of the policy brief are:
- Key Enabling Technologies as defined by the European Commission include: photonics, nanotechnology, advanced materials, micro/nano-electronics, biotechnology and advanced manufacturing technology.
- The up-take of KETs enables to advance manufacturing, productivity and growth; Without using KETs in manufacturing, inventing KETs does not generate growth, nor productivity, nor solves societal challenges.
- Technologies and policies which are ‘key’ and ‘enabling’ at EU level, may not be ‘key’ and ‘enabling’ for the actors, sectors and regions of Croatia.
- KETs research and policy practices developed at EU level might however be adapted to innovation research and policy making in Croatia.
- Sweden and Slovenia are leading in using sustainable and ICT-enabled manufacturing technologies. The position of Germany and Croatia is more modest. Policy lessons from Slovenia are likely to be more relevant.
- Challenges on the user-side of enabling technologies typically include: lack of understanding; conservatism of users; skills; fear for disruption in a systemic way; scale of investment/risks.
- Centres across Europe promote the up-take of KETs in manufacturing; activities include: Access to technology expertise and facilities; Demonstration; Proof of concept; Prototype development and testing; Pilot production and demonstration; Product validation & certification.
- Innovation researchers and policy makers can contribute to interactive learning among stakeholders in the (policy) innovation processes. Moreover, they can get empowered by orchestrating this discovery process.
The full report is available here.