AENEAS Newsletter February 2021

01 Feb 2021

“I wish you all a safe and healthy 2021 year.

This year will be crucial. RD&I support, and funding instruments, are being redefined for the coming years, in particular with the new Horizon Europe framework programme of the European Commission, and under the Eureka umbrella.

This is for us, the AENEAS Industry Association, as well as for our partners ARTEMIS-IA and EPoSS, the result of a long-term process initiated in 2017, advocating for RD&I budgets to support our digital future while addressing societal challenges and delivering growth.

While the budget for the new European partnership KDT will increase compared to ECSEL, the recognition of research and innovation as critical levers to “accelerate the green and digital transformations that our planet needs, but also increase the competitiveness of our economies” is of key importance.

As far as Eureka is concerned, a Cluster revitalisation process has been initiated under the Dutch Chairmanship and is being developed under the Austrian  Chairmanship, resulting in the launch of a new Eureka Cluster Programme (ECP) in June 2021.

Micro and nanoelectronics remains a major asset for Member States, creating synergies between national research, investment initiatives and further growth. As such, the framework programme of the federal government for R&I 2021-2024  entitled ‘Microelectronics. Trustworthy and sustainable. For Germany and Europe’, strives for technological sovereignty in chips.

As a prerequisite to realise these ambitions, the right competencies need to be available to master the digital and green transitions, with the new Pact for Skills launched by the European Commission.”

states Caroline Bedran, Director General of AENEAS.

Read the full AENEAS article ‘ECS, the vital link between digital and green‘.


Horizon Europe and KDT latest developments

26 November 2020: the role of research and innovation investments by Mariya Gabriel

In her speech at the Horizon kick-off event in Copenhagen on 26 November 2020, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, stated that “the main lessons we all have learned from the last months, is that science and innovation is crucial for leading the response to global challenges. We have learned that research and innovation is critical, in supporting Europe’s competitive leadership in the global race for technology.”

More about her speech here.

Did you know that 2/3 of EU productivity growth over the last decades has been driven by R&I investments? Or that €400-600 billion by 2030 is the estimated GDP gain from Horizon 2020?  Find more in the factsheet of 27 November here.

Horizon Europe will deliver significant social and environmental impacts. Up to 11 euros of GDP gain over 25 years can be potentially generated by each euro invested at EU level in R&I, and 300,000 jobs may be created by 2040, of which 40% will be highly skilled jobs. Read more about the Horizon Europe general overview from December 2020 here.

14 December 2020: political agreement between the European Parliament and the Council

Horizon Europe will have a budget of around €95.5 billion for 2021-2027 (current prices). This includes €5.4 billion (current prices) from NextGenerationEU to boost our recovery and make the EU more resilient for the future, as well as an additional reinforcement of €4.5 billion (current prices). This budget represents a 30% increase vis-à-vis the current research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020 (comparing Horizon Europe with Horizon 2020 for EU27, in constant prices). The new Horizon Europe will be the largest programme, in terms of funding, for research and innovation in the history of the EU with €15.539 billion (current prices) dedicated to the Cluster 4  “Digital, Industry and Space”, which includes the budget for the KDT partnership and 9 other partnerships.

Read more here.

12 January 2021: release of  the 2021 ECS Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda

The three industry associations AENEAS, ARTEMIS-IA and EPoSS, have joined forces again to federate the actors in the field and combine their Strategic Research Agenda’s into one common ECS Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) 2021.

The ECS SRIA 2021 looks fifteen years ahead, giving direction to longer-term RD&I activities on ECS in Horizon Europe, as well as to Eureka Clusters such as PENTA and EURIPIDES. It will serve as the basis for the specific KDT SRIA 2021.

To read the full document, please click here

20 January 2021: publication of the European partnership KDT draft proposal

In autumn 2019 the Commission services asked potential partners to further elaborate proposals for the candidate European Partnerships. AENEAS, ARTEMIS-IA and EpoSS, as lead entities along with DG Connect and DG RTD, have been strongly involved to co-create this proposal, also endorsed by the Members States and Norway. This document is a stable draft of the KDT partnership proposal. Electronic and photonic (light-based technologies) components, and the software that defines how they work as part of a system, are the Key Digital Technologies (KDT). The overarching objective of the KDT partnership is to support the digital transformation of all sectors of the economy and society, make it work for Europe and address the European Green Deal.
By 2030, EU leadership in KDT will reinforce industrial strongholds having seized emerging opportunities to establish technological sovereignty and boost competitiveness.

Read the full draft KDT proposal here.


10 November 2020: Pact for skills

Commissioners Schmit and Breton officially launched the Pact for Skills, a central element of the European Skills Agenda. The Pact for Skills promotes joint action to maximise the impact of investing in improving existing skills (upskilling) and training in new skills (reskilling). No individual, company or single institution – private or public – will be able to solve the skills challenge alone. Thus, the time has come for a new approach to skills. “As the twin green and digital transitions are gathering speed, we want to equip all Europeans with the right skills. Today, we are announcing the first skills partnerships in three industrial ecosystems: automotive, microelectronics and aerospace and defence. ” said Commissioner Thierry Breton. Read the full press release here.

17 November 2020: Microelectronics. Trustworthy and sustainable. For Germany and Europe

On November 2020, the BMBF has published a framework program on microelectronics with a focus on memory chips and processors. The aim is to “remain technologically sovereign and mature” explains Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek. With a 400 million euro framework program on microelectronics, the government wants to mitigate geopolitical risks. The main focus of the funding program, which runs from the beginning of 2021 to the end of 2024, is “trustworthy electronics” and “green information and communication technology”. Germany and Europe should be able to “understand, manufacture and actively develop” the technology on the basis of their own competence, explains the Minister. “Electronics that can be proven to be trustworthy”.

Read the full Framework programme of the federal government for research and innovation 2021-2024 here.

7 December 2020: A joint declaration on processors and semiconductor technologies

A joint declaration has been published by the signatory Member States on 7 December 2020. The signatories agree to work together in order to bolster Europe’s electronics and embedded systems value chain and this will include a particular effort to reinforce the processor and semiconductor ecosystem and to expand industrial presence across the supply chain, in order to address key technological, security and societal challenges.

More here.


Call Updates

o KDT Calls |  The next calls publication is expected by Q3 2021. AENEAS will inform you of any new update   |   Get more information

o 2021 Euripides² and Penta Call   |   Get more information

Guided by the ECS SRIA 2021 this Call will stimulate the formation of collaborative ecosystems along the ECS value chain. There is still time to submit your project outline by the deadline of 26 February 2021. See the PENTA and EURIPIDES² websites for more details or contact the PENTA-EURIPIDES team for further support.

o EUREKA Clusters Call   |  Joint Cluster “Challenge” single step Thematic Calls will be launched in February on Technology Driven Green Transition and Artificial Intelligence.

AENEAS will keep you updated and provide links to the Call websites when available.


Innovators and entrepreneurs are the main drivers of technological advances, economic growth, job creation, and social and economic progress and stability. Collaborative RD&I is crucial to support the creation of robust innovation ecosystems and create impact.

Learn more about ECSEL  and PENTA Projects:

  • From the way we drive to how we receive medical care; autonomous systems are redefining the way society works. However, there is growing concern about how best to ensure the safety of these systems. The lack of an effective method for testing creates a significant barrier to these systems ever reaching the market. That is why the ECSEL ENABLE-S3 project has developed virtual verification and validation methods and procedures for highly automated cyber-physical systems.

 See the full summary of results for ENABLE-S3 here.

  • With 109 partners involved, ECSEL Project Productive4.0 is Europe’s biggest research project in the field of Digital Industry. All partners were eager to come up with innovative concepts and solutions for Europe’s future-proof industries with the aim to create a user platform optimising industrial processes. With the data model, the digital reference and the semantic web it developed, the project had succeeded in modelling the entire supply chain.

Read about the successful completion of the project and watch the results video.

  • The ECSEL MegaMart2 project has introduced model-based technologies to help European manufacturing industry reduce development and maintenance costs. The new methods allow designers to preview and tweak systems during the design phase.

Read the results in brief here

  • How can electric drives monitor their own key operational parameters? The PENTA project CosmoDU has developed smart drives to adjust and improve performance through self-learning capabilities.
  • Learn how the PENTA project CAVIAR will improve system-level image capture for 3 different application areas: precision agriculture solutions, medical diagnostics and  UHD slow motion broadcast.

Watch the new project video here.



  • AENEAS is actively involved in the COREnect consortium which brings together European players in microelectronics & telecommunications to develop a strategic roadmap for hardware enabling technologies supporting European technological sovereignty in 5G objectives. 

Please find the second press release ‘Providing a roadmap for core components and subsystem technologies for beyond 5G and 6G networks‘.

COREnect is looking for experts who flesh out our road mapping work in computing and storage, and cover new areas we might have overlooked. The work in the EG will involve the participation and discussions in online meetings and contributions to deliverables summarizing the EG’s results including the COREnect industry roadmap

If you want to apply, please send your application here.

  • The AENEAS SME Directory promotes SMEs expertise. This is a living document that is regularly updated. See the latest edition.

If you want to apply, please send your application to


Collaborative Innovation Events Reports & Save The Date



Have you missed EFECS 2020 event?

Read the EFECS 2020 AENEAS report here.

ECS brokerage event 2021 Have you missed the  ECS brokerage event 2021?

Read the ECS 2021 AENEAS report here.

Eureka 35 years  celebration The Eureka Global Innovation Summit   18-20 May, Graz, Austria


 More events here