EU positioning: An analysis of the international positioning of the EU using revealed comparative advantages and the control of key technologies (KETs Control)
This study analyses the international positioning of the EU in 2020 with respect to research and innovation in all thematic areas of Horizon 2020. The present position of the EU in the SGCs of transport, climate, and energy and in the related KETs advanced manufacturing technologies, Internet of Things is favourable. The most important trend among KETs is the increasing merging of ICT with other KETs and the rising diffusion of ICT in almost all economic sectors. In SGCs overarching trends comprise an increasing interlinkage between SGCs, a stronger consideration of user needs, a growing demand for individualised solutions, arising impact of societal and environmental issues and a clear need for sustainable solutions in all sectors. The European position in 2020 is challenged by new technology-oriented players such as China and the prominent role of the US in the route towards digitalisation. Scientific, technological and competitive strengths will become globally dispersed in a multi-polar world. This increasing global dispersion requires that Europe specialises in core strengths in order to remain competitive. We recommend strengthening ongoing foresight processes, fostering global precompetitive collaboration, and to complement the current excellence focussed funding approach with policies that are able to exploit regional strengths.
In view of the year 2020 the overall framework conditions for research and innovation are changing. The international positioning of the EU in terms of trade and influence are challenged by the sustained competition with the USA and the rise of China and other countries as global economic players. Processes of digitalisation in the world economies are accelerating, thereby enhancing globalisation of research and innovation. Disruptive innovation addressing societal grand challenges (SGCs) and global markets may likely emerge.