Three complementary action lines
NEST supports three action lines which operate in parallel:
ADVENTURE projects are ‘visionary’ research projects that will develop new scientific and technological opportunities in areas identified by the researchers themselves;
INSIGHT projects assess new discoveries or newly-observed phenomena which could indicate risks or problems to society;
PATHFINDER initiatives are focused on specific, highly challenging objectives in emerging scientific and technological fields, and involve groups of complementary projects.
In addition, NEST SUPPORT actions will be carried out, such as methodological studies and activities to promote dialogue with the research community on emerging scientific and technological development. Proposals for NEST SUPPORT actions must be directed towards one or more of the objectives specified in the work programme. NEST SUPPORT actions must aim to help the Commission implement the NEST activity.
The key requirement for ADVENTURE projects is that they must be very challenging and ambitious. They aim to develop new scientific knowledge and technological capabilities with very high potential impact, using unconventional and innovative approaches. The ambitious and challenging objectives of ADVENTURE projects mean that, if successful, they should lead to significant scientific and technological achievements. However, it is understood that their initial promise may not always be fulfilled.
ADVENTURE projects may be undertaken in any research field where there are far-reaching new opportunities, including, in particular, multidisciplinary fields. Furthermore, as the objective of NEST is not simply to duplicate other parts of the Framework Programme, the subject matter of ADVENTURE projects should cut across or lie outside the research areas supported by the FP’s thematic priorities.
ADVENTURE projects are implemented as STREPs (Specific Targeted Research Projects) and Co-ordination Actions.
INSIGHT projects are designed to investigate and evaluate new discoveries or newly-observed phenomena which may indicate new risks and potential problems for European society. They shall generate and consolidate scientific understanding, as well as assist in formulating responses to address such risks and problems.
As with other NEST activities, INSIGHT projects may, in principle, be undertaken in any scientific field. Their key attribute will be that they address newly-apparent developments which suggest significant potential risks. In character with NEST’s principles, the emphasis will be on innovative and unconventional approaches.
INSIGHT projects are implemented through STREPs (Specific Targeted Research Projects) and Co-ordination Actions.
The aim of PATHFINDER initiatives is to help European scientists take the lead in pioneering new fields, and to build up European capability in such fields. NEST will focus here on clearly-identified areas with substantial longer-term promise for Europe. In cases where PATHFINDER initiatives prove their potential, this should also prepare the ground for wider support to new fields in future European research programmes.
New emerging fields and topics for PATHFINDER initiatives are identified and selected on an annual basis by the European Commission on the basis of a range of inputs, in particular through consultations with the scientific community, outputs of other NEST projects, and high-level scientific advice.
PATHFINDER topics are emerging research areas selected on the basis of their scientific importance and potential long-term contribution to the EU´s competitiveness and science base, while taking into account the relevance and timeliness of the topics themselves.
Selected PATHFINDER initiatives for 2003 - 2004
PATHFINDER initiatives for
2004-2005 (in preparation)