The thematic initiatives, defined in wide consultations with research communities, are focused on novel and non-conventional topics that aim to spearhead research and support maturing of new multidisciplinary research communities. Proactive initiatives involve a set of complementary and collaborating projects, supporting building of new multidisciplinary research communities and enhancing Europe’s innovation potential.
In FP7 (2007-2013), FET Proactive supported 31 Integrated Projects (IP), 92 Strategic Targeted Research Projects (STREP) and 31 Coordination and Support actions (CSA) for a total funding of 480 M€. In FP7, FET-Proactive has launched 24 initiatives whose ambition was to address key scientific challenges, structure and support community building, shape the European Research Area along with Member States, and contribute to a common research and innovation framework for Europe’s future technologies and industrial applications nucleated in ICT.
The thematic areas supported by FET Proactive in FP7 are represented as addressing key challenges along three main axes:
- Computing & Communication
- Interacting with the environment
- ICT and Beyond
Examples of funded projects
Meet the robot octopus
Ever stopped to think how amazing octopuses are? Although their bodies have no rigid structures, they can bend in many directions and vary their body stiffness to manipulate with care and precision objects which, invariably, end up in their mouths! A group of engineers and biologists have taken inspiration from this marvel of nature to try to replicate octopus-like morphological characteristics in a robotic octopus prototype. The goal is to build a robot capable of moving across different surfaces, squeezing into small apertures, and manipulating objects using all eight legs. Watch this space, and look out, the robotic octopus is coming!
Computing with bacteria
The BACTOCOM project aims at building a simple computer, using bacteria rather than silicon. Microbes may be thought of as biological “micro-machines” that process information about their own state and the world around them. They can communicate with other bacteria, by leaving chemical trails, or by directly exchanging genetic information. BACTOCOM aims to evolve new functional structures based on the latter mechanism, in order to gain insight into biological systems. This, in turn, may suggest new methods for silicon-based computing.
Towards the quantum computer
The AQUTE project is developing quantum technologies based on atomic, molecular and optical systems for scalable quantum computation and entanglement-enabled technologies like metrology and sensing. AQUTE has been in the news recently as one of the project partners, Serge Haroche from Collège de France, was just awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in quantum optics.
More details about FET Proactive initiatives and areas are available.