Key Enabling Technologies (KET), the essential technologies to facilitate innovation, permit the configuration of new products with value-added technology based on functional parameters that are more or less well known.

All these technologies are classified by a system using both the United Nations Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) and the International Patent Classification (IPC). Both classification systems employ the hierarchical concept of section, class, subclass, group, and subgroup, although with different terminology. SITC uses 6 digits and IPC uses up to 10 digits to reach a sufficient level of resolution to formulate those technologies. They are grouped into four data bases: KET1, KET2, KET3 and KET4.

These parameters have been and can continue to be the objective of R&D projects for improved engineering because, at this level of the knowledge pyramid, definitions and plans can be made for the next steps in research and development. These all have, of course, different combinations of opportunity and risk.

Opportunity results from being part of the basis to facilitate technologies for new and inherently innovative products and systems. The greater or lesser risk results from the position on the knowledge pyramid that indicates the quantity of R&D that must be made to create a specific application with added value in a business project.