ATHENA (Advanced Telescope for High ENergy Astrophysics) is being studied by the European Space Agency (ESA) as the second large science mission, with a launch slot in 2028. System studies and technology preparation activities are on-going. The optics of the telescope is based on the modular Silicon Pore Optics (SPO), a novel X-ray optics technology significantly benefiting from spin-in from the semiconductor industry. Several technology development activities are being implemented by ESA in collaboration with European industry and institutions. The related programmatic background, technology development approach and the associated implementation planning are presented.