Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)

The Future and emerging technologies part includes the FET Open, FET Proactive and FET Flagships programmes.

FET Open - fostering new ideas

This non-prescriptive programme aims at stimulating creative thinking by admitting new ideas “whenever they arise and wherever they come from”. By definition, this part is favouring interdisciplinary projects as well as submissions from young researchers or high-tech SMEs, for example.

Over 40% of the budget dedicated to FET under Horizon 2020 will be allocated to FET Open (more than bn 1 €).

FET Open is deadline free, with two cut-off dates per year (March and September). It keeps its “light and fast features”: requiring only a 15 page proposal submission, with a time to contract of maximum 8  months. Nevertheless, so-called FET Gatekeepers ensure that proposals are not out of scope and are in line with certain basic principles. 

The quality of the programme is ensured by its demanding review methodology: based on the peer review principle, a large pool of scientific experts from all types of scientific disciplines and geographic backgrounds are mobilised (200-300 experts were engaged fror FET Open calls under FP7, with some four experts per proposal). 

FET Proactive - nurturing emerging themes and communities

This programme supports the maturing of ideas by fostering emerging communities around transformative research themes. FET Proactive is stepping in where collaborations grow from small groups of researchers to clusters of projects.

In order to define what domains deserve funding and support, the European Commission draws on a wide pool of experts, for example through consultations and input from the FET Observatory.

The current call, H2020-FETPROACT, will support three themes, as well as fourth one, the implementing part of the High Performance Computing (HPC) strategy elaborated int he context of the HPC Public-Private Partnership by ETP4HPC.

The four themes under FET Proactive are:

  • Globals Systems Science (GSS), whose aim is to “radically improve the way in which scientific knowledge can stimulate, guide, and help evaluate policy and societal responses to global challenges.”
  • Knowing, doing and being: cognition beyond problem solving, which integrates disciplines studying knowledge, cognition, and related issues, from the scientific, social, and ecological points of view, with specific reference to artificial cognitive systems.
  • Quantum simulation: this topic stimulates research into quantum technologies and their application on actual real-life problems, and their potential to create disruptive change. Some examples are quantum materials science or application in the life sciences.
  • Towards exascale high-performance computing.

FET Proactive Calls have fixed deadlines and follow a one step submission and one stage evaluation scheme. Following the “light and fast” logic, a 15 page proposal submission is required. 

FET Flagships – supporting ambitious large-scale research

FET Flagships bring together European partners around truly disruptive technologies. The current Work Programme under Horizon 2020 focuses on Coordination and Support Actions (CSA) and Research and Innovation Actions (RIA). 

Overall EC contribution to each FET Flagship initiative in Horizon 2020 is expected to be 50 M€ per year.