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Advanced technologies for industry - General findings

Report on technology trends, technology uptake, investment and skills in advanced technologies
: Izsak, Kincsö; Markianidou, Paresa; Siviero, Andrea; Carosella, Giulia; Micheletti, Giorgio; Magnani, Irene; Kroll, Henning


Brussels: European Union, 2020, 26 pp.
ISBN: 978-92-9202-847-3 (Print)
ISBN: 978-92-9202-846-6 (PDF)
Fraunhofer ISI ()

Through an in-depth analysis of traditional data sources such as patents and trade, business survey and novel metrics such as investment data, LinkedIn and text-mining of company websites, the study carried out an assessment of the trends in the generation and uptake of advanced technologies, the related entrepreneurial activities and venture capital investment, the supply of and demand for skills and also assessed the digital opportunities for Europe. The full methodology behind the data calculations is available here: Undoubtedly, today’s economies and societies are ruled by the extremely fast development of advanced technologies. European industry is at a crossroads, both in terms of bolstering its existing strengths and getting back to the driver’s seat in the digital transformation race. Overall, the EU27 shows clear global strengths in Advanced manufacturing technologies, catching up in AI but has clear gaps in Security and Big data across the various parts of the value chain starting from research and technology development, firm activity, technology deployment and related skills: - Advanced manufacturing technologies are one of the technologies where the EU27 is particularly strong and has the highest share of world patent applications, the highest number of venture capital backed firms and investment and supply of skills. It is also the EU27’s one remaining area of international advantage in terms of trade. Nevertheless, the number of patent filing, startups and the available professionals with such skills are slowing down in terms of growth relative to other technologies while global competitors are catching up. Related technologies such as Internet of Things or Advanced materials exhibit strengths but the EU27 is losing ground in Robotics especially to China. - Cybersecurity is a technology where the EU27 falls behind the US according to the results of all metrics including patents, startups, investments and available professionals with cybersecurity skills. Even if some security solutions have been taken up by the majority of firms surveyed, this is of a particular concern. EU Member States, industries and businesses will face complex security threats and the development of technology-based industries will require strong information protection. - In the field of Artificial Intelligence, despite the gap between the EU27 and the US but also China, the EU is catching up fast. The EU27 falls behind the US and China in world share of patents, but AI is among the most dynamic technologies in terms of patent filing and startup activity. Furthermore, the availability of professionals with skills in AI is also growing fast. Big data, which is highly relevant to enable the deployment of AI technologies, is a relative European weakness compared to the US and China, although it plays a crucial role in the future development of a digital-based economy. - Blockchain is still a niche technology, but the EU27 shows some advantage over competitors in terms of startup creation, VC investments and skills. - It is not a surprising but a worrisome result that patents, VC and talent is concentrated in some key geographies within the EU27 while many regions across Europe lag behind.