Shaping FET in the last 3 years of Horizon 2020

  • Thomas Skordas profile
    Thomas Skordas
    2 August 2016 - updated 2 years ago
    Total votes: 5

The online consultations on FET Proactive, FET Flagships and Mathematics are closed and the results are now available. What's next?

Between February and May 2016, FET carried out on-line consultations on FET Proactive, FET Flagships and Mathematics aimed to gather input for the preparation of the next FET work programme for 2018-2020 (FET WP). I would like to share with you an overview of the contributions received and outline the next steps towards shaping the FET WP by the first semester of 2017.

For future FET Proactive initiatives, we received 59 contributions (and some 300 comments). They cover a broad range of S&T themes - examples include: complex adaptive systems and global systems science, new computational paradigms, bio-medical technologies, smart materials, robotics, high performance computing and human computer interaction. Many of the proposed themes have the potential for becoming future FET Proactive initiatives: they combine a high-degree of novelty with the need to consolidate a solid baseline for a new technological direction, and with potential to bootstrap the creation of an innovation system around the theme. We analysed all the contributions and will now consult the FET Advisory Group. Our goal is to propose our selection for future Proactive initiatives in the next FET WP.

For new FET Flagships, we received 24 contributions. These are still available online if you wish to provide further support or comments. The majority of these contributions represent the views of large research communities and address emerging grand challenges in a broad range of S&T fields. Most of them consider ICT either as an underpinning technology or as a still emerging technology area with its own grand challenges.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that FET Flagships have a very specific mission and role: while they address a grand S&T challenge requiring interdisciplinary cooperation, they are designed from the very beginning with the aim to convert scientific advances into technologies and into concrete innovations that benefit Europe's economy and society.

FET Flagships have to be based on established scientific communities and must show that they have an industrial perspective and commitment from the very beginning. We intend to use the received contributions as a starting point for the discussions between the EC and the Member States, which decide together where such large public investments (of the order of 1 billion Euros) must be made.

We will continue our consultations broadly both at Member States and at EU level which should lead to the identification of priorities to be discussed at a high-level conference in December 2016 under the patronage of Commissioner Oettinger. At this event, we will discuss options for selecting a few preparatory actions for candidate FET Flagships that will be introduced in the next FET WP. Such preparatory actions will help candidate Flagships further develop so that they are ready to become future FET Flagships. One or more of them would then be selected for funding in the next framework programme.

The consultation on mathematics obtained 181 contributions from a variety of mathematical fields. We intend to include the requirements for relevant mathematical competence in future calls and topics where modelling, simulation, optimisation, creation of new algorithms or big data analytics are mentioned. Mathematics will be an underlying and cross cutting competence in these fields.

I would like to thank all those of you who provided valuable contributions that will help us prepare the next FET WP. I will keep you informed of the progress we make in its preparation. In the meantime, you can still participate in our consultations by commenting on the ideas published.