Which emerging fields of technological research should the EU be investing in? What novel areas of science, mathematics and technology would benefit from deeper exploration? Share your views by April 30th and help us identify where to focus our future work in Horizon 2020 – the EU's research and innovation framework programme.

"We are looking for the big picture! We expect new ideas for grand challenges in science and technology requiring large scale collaboration and multidisciplinary exploration.  Thierry Van der Pyl, Director for Excellence in Science. (see blog)

The Commission is seeking feedback on three topics in the Digital4Science discussion platform

The Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Proactive and FET Flagships consultations aim to identify promising and potentially game-changing directions for future research in technological, multidisciplinary domains that will be the basis for a future economic growth, jobs and for a better society. Given that today's digital society relies on mathematics and algorithms for big data, computing and on supercomputers able to perform complicated calculations in seconds, the consultation on mathematics seeks to explore new areas where mathematics could make a difference for Europe. Ideas and views gathered in this consultation will help the Commission prepare its FET Work Programme for 2018-2020

The European Commission invites everyone: individuals, scientists, businesses, organisations to propose ideas for tomorrow's innovative research under Horizon 2020. These are not traditional consultations but rather open discussions, in which contributors can suggest ideas for a new FET Proactive initiative, propose a new FET Flagship topic or new areas for research in mathematics

Participants can select the consultation they want to contribute to and post their own ideas, answering some orientation questions. For example, they are asked to describe their vision for a game-changing future technology and to define how it is new and how it could make a difference for people and businesses in Europe). On the Digital4Science platform contributors can also comment on each other's ideas already posted, within each consultation.


€2,7 billion is being invested in Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) under the new research programme Horizon 2020 #H2020 (2014-2020). This represents a nearly threefold increase in budget compared to the previous research programme, Framework Programme 7 (FP7). FET actions are part of the Excellent science pillar of Horizon 2020.

The essence of FET is to stimulate the technological breakthroughs that will bring about radical change in the future. By providing flexible support to goal-oriented and interdisciplinary collaborative research, and by adopting innovative research practices, FET research seizes the opportunities that will deliver long-term benefit for our society and economy. 

  • FET Proactive initiatives aim to mobilise interdisciplinary communities around promising long-term technological visions. They build up the necessary base of knowledge and know-how for kick-starting a future technology line that will benefit Europe's future industries and citizens in the decades to come. A similar participative process, aimed at obtained the widest possible input, was used for the current work programme (2016-2017).
  • FET Flagships are science-driven, large-scale, multidisciplinary research initiatives built around an ambitious unifying vision. They tackle grand S&T challenges requiring cooperation among a range of disciplines, communities and programmes, including both academia and industry. Their overarching nature and magnitude implies that they can only be realised through a federated and sustained effort (in the order of 10 years duration).
  • Mathematics: As science becomes data-driven, data analysis and computing become central to research. Big data and HPC give promise to enable exploring completely new scientific frontiers, there are unlimited possibilities! Mathematical methods and algorithms are the basis for the needed data processing and data analysis. The potential of mathematics was already explored in a successful online consultation which provided excellent food for thought for a workshop held in November 2014. The conclusions of that workshop were collected in a report