Key enabling technologies for Europe's technological sovereignty

Study 16-12-2021

Technological sovereignty has been at the heart of recent political debate in the EU. Interest has only been strengthened by the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, due to its impact on many value chains. Key enabling technologies (KETs) – advanced manufacturing and materials, life-science technologies, micro/nano-electronics and photonics, artificial intelligence, and security and connectivity technologies – are crucial for an interconnected, digitalised, resilient and healthier European society, as well as being important for the EU's competitiveness and position in the global economy. This STOA study analyses how the EU is performing in developing and protecting ownership and know-how in these critical technologies, especially in comparison with strong global players such as China and the USA. Based on the challenges identified in the analysis, it discusses policy options for strengthening the EU's technological sovereignty in KETs.