More regulatory and standardisation efforts are needed to help translate research results into new products and services, concludes an independent evaluation of the European technology platforms (ETPs).
It is clear that the 30-odd ETPs launched by the EU since 2003, including the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Platform, have contributed to more R&D investment and helped to overcome EU research fragmentation, said Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik at a meeting of the platforms’ industrial leaders. The evaluation also highlights the failure of the ETPs to make research results more easily translatable into new products and services. To remedy the situation, the evaluation recommends that ETPs “move beyond scientific and technological challenges” and instead start focusing on the application of research results. Those platforms which are more advanced and have already developed their Strategic Research Agendas should focus on “the regulations and standards that affect the commercialisation of research”. 
In addition, the evaluation concludes that the platforms have “underachieved” regarding the identification of future education and training needs and recommends the introduction of more initiatives in this field in the near future.
Finally, the report notes that there have been some “differences in expectations between the Commission, the ETPs and the various stakeholders” and that ETPs should also increase civil society and SME representation in the platforms and make their communication more transparent, said Commissioner Potočnik.