pave the way

Make progress or development easier, as in Her findings paved the way for developing a new vaccine. This expression alludes to paving a road so it is easier to travel on. [Late 1500s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.