Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) fosters exploratory research to open up new avenues across the full breadth of future information and communication technologies.
It supports new and alternative ideas, concepts or paradigms of risky or non-conventional nature.
FET aims to go beyond the conventional boundaries of ICT and ventures into uncharted areas, often inspired by and in close collaboration with other scientific disciplines.
Radical breakthroughs in ICT increasingly rely on deep synergies with other disciplines (for instance, biology, chemistry, nanoscience, neuro- and cognitive science, ethology, social science, economics) and with the arts and humanities.
This requires new attitudes and novel collaborations between a broad diversity of actors in research.
In this respect, FET is the home for transformative research that can lead not only to a range of exceptional and unprecedented outcomes in science and technology, but can also create new practices, paradigms and reshape disciplines.
The FET Communication "Moving the frontiers of ICT – a strategy for research on future and emerging technologies in Europe" sets out new lines of action for FET.
Accordingly, this Work Programme extends the scope and ambition of the two complementary FET schemes, FET Open and FET Proactive.
FET Open scheme: challenging current thinking and attracting future potential
FET-Open is a light, topic-agnostic and deadline free scheme specifically designed to be open and continuously responsive to novel and fragile ideas that challenge current thinking, whenever they arise and wherever they come from. It aims at foundational breakthroughs that can open radically new directions for information and communication technologies in the future.
Although FET is open to broad participation, two new objectives specifically aim to give leadership to young researchers and high-tech research-intensive SMEs. As young researchers will be the future leaders in science, technology and innovation, FET aims to empower them to jointly explore radical directions that may not fit within current academic research agendas. Likewise, high-tech, research-intensive SMEs are instrumental for pushing forward alternative visions and for turning novel research results into a competitive
advantage for creating new markets. FET aims to increase their role in cooperative research to further enhance their disruptive innovation potential and to unlock longer-term scientific and industrial leadership. This work programme devotes at least 20% of the FET Open scheme budget to support collaborative projects empowering young researchers and hightech, research-intensive SMEs.
Because of its foundational nature, FET research is especially well placed for global collaboration. This work programme provides opportunities to extend on-going FET projects through new collaboration components involving the best researchers worldwide, so as to create global interest and raise the level of ambition around research avenues incepted within FET.
FET Proactive scheme: tackling targeted transformative research and exploring new large-scale scientific challenges and cooperation models
FET Proactive provides targeted support to selected promising domains where critical mass needs to be built up, aligned with economic and social challenges and priorities that call for long-term foundational and transformative research. This work programme sets out a number
of Proactive Initiatives in key areas, in some cases also embedding the drive for a global research agenda.
Foundational ICT research in Europe today remains fragmented in most domains, leading to duplication of effort, diverging priorities and untapped potential. FET fosters the networking of research activities conducted at national or regional level, including the development of
joint research agendas and a shared vision for foundational research among Member States and associated countries, through ERA-NET and ERA-NET Plus actions.
Going beyond this, FET Flagship Initiatives are visionary, science-driven, goal-oriented, large-scale, multidisciplinary research initiatives nucleated from ICT future and emerging technologies. They are envisioned to be long term programmes on a scale much beyond
current FET Proactive Initiatives. Activities in this work programme target Coordination and Support Actions to prepare for such FET Flagship Initiatives.
A special initiative on exascale software and systems with a significant international cooperation dimension, a long term perspective and the engagement of industry is foreseen under this Work Programme.
A Call on "Science of Global Systems" will aim at progressing research on global systems dynamics to better understand the interactions between ecological and socio-economic systems and to improve their ability to respond to global environmental changes.