Communications Networks, Content and Technology

Pathfinding Future and Emerging Technologies

Pathfinding Future and Emerging Technologies

Future & Emerging Technologies (FET) (Unit C.2)
Goal: 

"We want Europe to lead the exploration of future technologies that matter for our future."Our mandate in Horizon 2020 is to foster radically new technologies by supporting collaboration across scientific disciplines for exploring novel and high risk research ideas that can open the way to paradigm-changing innovation. To fullfil our mandate, our aim is to lead the exploration of future technologies that matter for our future by identifying and seizing opportunities of long-term benefit for citizens, the economy and society and by ensuring that Europe is the best positioned to capitalise on related emerging industrial opportunities.  

Action: 
  • Pathfinding future and emerging technologies and defining the investment strategy for FET research in H2020 is our first priority.

The FET public investment strategy should foster high-risk multi-disciplinary research on future technologies that are of long-term benefit for citizens, the economy and society, in line with the new mandate of FET in H2020. It should build on the three complementary FET research intervention schemes (Open, Proactive and Flagships (see unit C4)) and complement and link with industrial research and societal driven research. Another major priority for FET is to support research on next generation of exascale computing (HPC) as part of the implementation of the contractual Public Private Partnership on next generation High Performance Computing (HPC). A 'FET Observatory' function will also be reinforced to provide Europe with a comprehensive overview of future and emerging technologies (from FET research and other sources (e.g. ERC, NSF, DARPA...)). Excellent outreach will also be a priority to harvest ideas and opportunities from the broadest range of actors and communities across all technology domains and to maximise the exploratory power of FET.

  • Delivering excellent exploratory research for future technologies is also part of our mandate.

In the context of the implementation of the Horizon 2020, one of our priority is to optimally realise the public investment in high-risk research. The FET-Unit is in charge of managing the FET Proactive funding scheme that is instrumental to the launch and continuous renewal of clusters of high-risk research projects within promising selected research themes, including also the research cluster on exascale computing as part of the Commission initiative on next generation of High Performance Computing (HPC). The FET-Unit is in charge of monitoring the successful implementation of its portfolio of research projects and their output as well as of assessing the long term impact of the research conducted. The FET-Open funding scheme is being implemented by the Research Executive Agency (REA). By doing so, FET ensure the best usage of public investment in the execution of the research policy roadmap necessary to reach the long term impact expected from the new mandate given to FET for H2020. 

Situation: 

Without investment in cross disciplinary research on future technologies, the promising innovation potential expected at the frontier of disciplines (e.g. the so-called nano-bio-info-cogno technology) will not be realised in Europe but in the US or in China.  While Europe is recognised for the excellence of its long term research, it is lagging behind with regards to its capacity to transform this scientific outcome into innovative products, technologies and services. If Europe does not sustain its support to early stage technology research, as done in FET, it may never be able to catch up on forefront S&T developments that can be essential for its societal, economic and industrial future. This would also have a direct negative effect on the attractiveness of Europe to top scientists (brain drain), on education and more importantly on the attractiveness of Europe to industry investments in leading edge research. 

Mandate: 
Our mandate is defined in the Horizon 2020 legal framework for Research and Innovation. This mandate is to foster radically new technologies by supporting collaboration across scientific disciplines for exploring novel and high risk research ideas that can open the way to paradigm-changing innovation.

Input

Full-Time Equivalent: 
21.00
Collaboration with other DGs or agencies:
Budget: 
We envisage spending under the Horizon 2020 programme of the order of €300 million for all priorities (years 2014-15). These are indicative figures to be confirmed by the annual budgetary decision process.
Other: 

Info sources: Scientific community consultation, Expertise (support of external experts), FET research portfolio, Community research roadmaps, ad-hoc studies 

Outputs

Active FET community

A large and engaged FET research community

Timeframe: 2015

Indicators

2507

FET Web-presence for H2020

Target Web-presence for H2020 established (Q1 2014)

FET presence on Social Networks

Target 5000 followers on Twitter + 1000 on facebook (2017)
Baseline 0 (2010)
Current 1000 followers on twitter + 300 on facebook (Q3 2013)
Source

Internal C2 unit

FET conference (tentative)

Target Organise a third FET conference (2016)
Baseline First FET conference (2009)
Current Second FET conference (2011)

Active FET on-line community

Target 2nd FET consultation on Digital Agenda website (2014)
Baseline 1400 contributions to the 1st on-line consultation on CORDIS (2013)
Current FET community launched on Digital Agenda Website (2014)
Source

Digital agenda web-site

FET Newsletter

Target 5 per year - 20000 subscribers (2017)
Baseline 2 per year - 10000 subscribers (2013)
Current 4 per year - 10000 subscribers (2014)
Source

Internal

FET Observatory

An overview of future and emerging technologies in Europe

Timeframe: 2015

Indicators

1296

FET Observatory

Target 'FET Observatory' launched as a sustainable capability for pathfinding future and emerging technologies (tentative - 2015)
Source

Unit C2

FET Observatory: FP7 portfolio analysis

Target Analysis Published on-line on Digital agenda (Q4 2013)
Current Analysis Published on-line on Digital agenda (Q4 2013)
Source

Unit C2

FET Observatory : On-line consultation on Future Technologies

Target 2nd consultation on future technologies (published on Digital agenda) (2015)
Baseline 1st consultation on future technologies (published on Cordis) (2013)
Current FET Community launched on Digital Agenda (2014)
Source

Internal C2 on Digital Agenda website

FET Research Work Programmes

Intervention strategy for FET-Open and FET-Proactive in H2020

Timeframe: 2014-2020

Indicators

2881

FET Work Programme 2016-2017

Target FET Work Programme 2016-2017 adopted by FET Member States Committee (Q2 2015)

FET research Work Programme for 2014-2015

Target FET Work Programme 2014-2015 adopted by FET Member States Committee (Q4 2013)
Source

Unit C2

HPC technology for exascale computing

Delivering technology for exascale computing as part of the implementation of the HPC strategy based on HPC Communication (coordinated by unit C1), combining supply (exascale technology research supported by unit C2), applications (Centres of Excellence addressing societal challenges - unit C1) and services/infrastructure (PRACE – including services and training to academia and industry - unit C1).

Timeframe: 2020

Indicators

4073

Investment in FET research in High Performance Computing (HPC)

Target 97.4M€ invested in new projects launched on HPC (2015)
Baseline FP7 projects on HPC (2013)
Source

Call data

Portfolio of FET research projects

A rich and diverse portfolio of FET research projects and initiatives instrumental for pathfinding future technologies.- FET-Open and FET-Proactive legacy of FP7 projects and initiatives- New FET-Proactive H2020 projects and initiativesNB: The new FET-Open H2020 projects are selected and managed by the Research Executive Agency (REA) but are part of the FET portfolio of research projects.

Timeframe: 2014-2020

Indicators

3049

New H2020 FET Pro-active initiatives launched

Target 2 to 6 per year (2014-2020)
Baseline 0 (2013)
Current 4 (2014)

Investment in FET research (in other domains than HPC)

Target 115M€ invested in FET Research (outside HPC) - Launch of 10 FET Pro-active projects (35M€) and launch of the first FET-Open projects selected (80M€) (2015)
Baseline 0 (2014)
Current 0 (2014)
Results/Impacts

Europe is a world-class leader in exploration of future technologies

FET is able to foster radically new technologies by exploring novel and high risk ideas building on scientific foundations. It successfully identifies and seizes high-risk opportunities of long-term benefit for citizens, the economy and society and to capitalise on related future industrial opportunities.FET research contributes to establish Europe as a world-class leader in the exploration of future technologies that matters for our future.FET is recognized as a major influential actor for detecting and promoting high-risk research on future technologies in European S&T research.The impact of FET research is monitored based on its scientific excellence and its ability to deliver future technologies.

Timeframe: 2020

Indicators

1297

Size of the FET community (presence on social media, reach out of newsletter, conferences, events, web forum…)

Target 20000 (newsletter), 5000 twitter, 2000 facebook (2020)
Baseline 10000 (newsletter), 1000 twitter, 300 facebook (2013)
Current 10000 (newsletter), 1200 twitter, 350 facebook (Q1 2014)
Source

Unit C2

Take-up of FET research by industral research

Target List of technologies explored in FET taken up by industrial research (2020)
Baseline List of technologies explored in FET (2014)
Source

Unit C2 via FET Observatory? Desk analysis? Study?

Number of new companies / start-up created thanks to FET funded research

Target 1 per 10 projects (2020)
Baseline unknown
Current unknown
Source

H2020 project reporting for new start-up created - common indicator 

Number of participants/participations in FET research

Target 5000 participations out of 1200 legal entities (2020)
Baseline 2500 participations in FP7 out of 800 legal entities (2013)
Source

Standard H2020 project participation analysis

Prizes and Awards

Target List of prestigious prizes and awards granted to FET researchers during H2020 (2020)
Source

H2020 project reporting: Indicator common to all activities

Patents applications and patents awarded in FET (and patent citations) (lead indicator)

Target 1 per 10M€ (2020)
Baseline FP7 - unknown (2013)
Source

H2020 KPI - DG RTD or project annual reporting

Chart URL See the chart

FET Publications in peer review high impact journals (lead indicator)

Target 25 per 10M€ (2020)
Baseline FP7 - unknown (2013)
Source

H2020 KPI - DG RTD or project periodic reporting

Chart URL See the chart

SME participation in FET research

Target 250 SME participations in FET in H2020 (2020)
Baseline 120 SME participations in FET in FP7 (2013)
Source

Standard participant analysis

HPC - European supply industry is a source of growth and jobs

Timeframe: 2020

Indicators

4071

European companies' share of the HPC market (systems and software)

Target 12,5% (2020)
Baseline ca. 4% (IDC study on HPC) (2009)
Source

This indicator is part of the KPIs of the PPP.

Link to DG CONNECT's Top Level Targets

  • Europe 2020 - 3% of the EU's GDP should be invested in R&D, complemented by a future EU 2020 Headline Innovation Indicator
  • DAE - To double public investment in ICT R&D to € 11 bn by 2020
  • DG CONNECT is a lean, modern, effective and efficient public administration

Europe is able to early identify and seize high-risk S&T opportunities of long-term benefit for citizens, the economy and society.

Europe recognized worldwide as major hub for leading edge S&T research, attractive to top-class researchers and to industrial investment (indirect influence).

FET contributes to increase investment in R&D in Europe towards the target of 3% of GDP and to the realisation of the ERA.

Read more
  • http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/future-emerging-technologies-fet
  • http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/h2020-section/future-and-emerging-technologies