FET Proactive nurtures emerging themes, seeking to establish a critical mass of European researchers in a number of promising exploratory research topics.

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The Future & Emerging Technologies programme (FET) focuses on research beyond what is known, accepted or widely adopted and supports novel and visionary thinking to open promising paths towards radically new technological possibilities. Encouraging researchers from different disciplines to work together on new technologies in specific themes is the essence of FET Proactive.

FET Proactive in Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness.

In Horizon 2020, FET Proactive initiatives involve a set of complementary and collaborating projects, building new multidisciplinary research communities and enhancing Europe’s innovation potential. In addition to research, FET Proactive activities also include:

  • generating a research roadmap for the area,
  • developing appropriate educational materials, and
  • disseminating results to raise the general awareness of the new technology benefits.

In the work programme 2016-2017, FET Proactive consists of 3 initiatives under the topic Boosting emerging technologies:

  1. Emerging themes and communities - The aim is to mature four novel areas and themes (Future technologies for societal change, Biotech for better life, Disruptive information technologies, New technologies for energy and functional materials) by supporting the design and development of transformative research themes. Within the Horizon 2020 work programme 2014-2015, the FET Proactive focused on Global Systems Science (GSS); Knowing, doing and being: cognition beyond problem solving (KnowDoBe); and Quantum simulation (Q-SIM). 13 projects have been selected for funding.
  2. FET ERANET Cofund - The challenge is to support the maturation of novel research topics and structuration of the corresponding communities in the FET domain, in complementarity and synergy with the FET actions directly funded by the Commission, and while fostering cross-fertilisation and synergies between the supported topics and communities.
  3. FET ERANET Cofund in Quantum Technologies - Research on quantum technologies in Europe is currently funded through several targeted initiatives at European, national and regional level. The aim is to foster synergy between these initiatives in the area of quantum technologies in order to create collaborations among the best groups in Europe and fostering broader partnerships around them to spread excellence and to broaden the European footprint of this emerging technology area.

FET Proactive also encompasses 3 initiatives under the topic High Performance Computing (HPC), implementing part of the European HPC strategy.

FET Proactive in FP7

The 7th Framework programme (FP7) was the European Union's Research and Innovation funding programme for 2007-2013.  While the current programme is Horizon 2020, there are many projects funded under FP7 which are still running.

In FP7, FET Proactive supported numerous initiatives whose ambitions were 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

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30 April 2013
Last update: 
16 March 2018
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