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Foresighting the new technology wave

Expert Group

The European Commission (DG Research, Dir. K) set up a group of 25 experts ranging from physicists to sociologists, to deal with scientific and technological developments at the respective states of the art and create new systems and capabilities; that is, the convergence of Nano-, Bio-, and Information technologies, and Cognitive sciences (NBIC).

The starting point of this reflection was the US NSF report, which was analysed and discussed but does not constitute the focus point of reflection. It is a question of reflecting and proposing a European approach of the convergence of the sciences/technologies in relation to European cultural, ethical, socio-economic approaches; and European strengths and weaknesses in these technological fields. Cognitive sciences were considered as the most innovative research area for a European approach.

The general objective that guided the work of the group of the experts was:
To assess the potential impact of Converging Technologies on the European Union (EU) competitiveness and societal fabric, and the potential response of the EU and Member States to that, understand the dynamics behind the "Converging Technologies agenda" in the US, while examining what possibilities exist for a European approach to exploiting the potential synergies across these technologies, and develop guidance for new research agendas, notably in the cognitive and social sciences.

The group delivered the following reports:

And also

The group delivered also a final report tilted "Converging Technologies - Shaping
the Future of European Societies
" ( - 716 KB)(also available in FR and DE under the 'Publications' section of this site)

The work of the group terminated with a dissemination conference in Brussels on 14-15 September 2004 titled "Converging Technologies for a Diverse Europe"