Industrial technologies, new or old, provide products and solutions to societal and economical needs. To create innovation they must target actual needs and desires in a more effective manner, replacing existing products and services. Further, technology-based innovation must take into account public opinion, cultural acceptance, and social practices and trends. New technologies, such as advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence or nanoelectronics, are becoming more and more complex and require substantially higher capital investments. New business models are emerging, that focus increasingly on industrial applications and services which promise better returns. Despite the need for new innovative technologies today’s technology developers and hardware providers are becoming pitted against tech-based applications and service providers.

Europe’s not-for-profit RTOs provide unique support for innovative technologies through open access to their lab facilities and technology validation services. RTOs have the resources and the mission to conduct excellent applied research and to promote technologies to market readiness. In particular, companies can gain access to state-of-the-art research facilities and testbeds for their own technology development and ‚proof of concept‘, that they otherwise could not afford. In this session we shall discuss how testbeds and pilot lines are best employed to accelerate innovation, what roles Europe’s RTOs will play, which capabilities they should expand on in the future and how they can support the goals of the coming EC framework programme “Horizon Europe”.


Maurits Butter, Senior researcher industrial innovation policy, TNO


Dr. Patrick Bressler, Managing Director, Fraunhofer Microelectronics Group

Jaap Lombaers, Innovation Director, TNO

Johan Hanssens, Secretary General, Department of Economics, Science and Innovation Flanders Make


Monica Ringvik, CTO at AstaZero


Petter Andersson, DI/MSc, Project Engineer, Mirka Ltd