The European Commission's focus on Key Enabling Technologies at the regional level has paid off in economic growth, particularly in central Europe, says a study by the Joint Research Centre.
The report defines KETs as “knowledge and capital-intensive technologies associated with high R&D intensity”, such as nano-electronics or industrial biotechnologies. It says that regions who focus on developing these areas see a direct growth of patents and GDP per capita.
The study reveals that the number of regions specialised in KETs has reached 82 in the period 2008-11, up from 68 in 1996-99, and that these are mostly in central Europe (Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Austria). It adds that these technologies “often spread across bordering regions”, in particular from Germany towards Eastern Europe.