The future of FET (Future and Emerging Technologies): A possible nucleus for the European Innovation Council

  • Innovation Team profile
    Innovation Team
    23 February 2016 - updated 4 years ago
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FET Advisory Group
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The Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme has the potential to become the leading research and technology visionary funding programme within and beyond H2020.
Its complementary schemes allow different methodologies and scales to be addressed, starting with new ideas and moving up to long-term (grand) challenges. The combination of an open, bottom-up scheme that is able to identify emerging topics efficiently (FET-Open), with a scheme that covers already identified themes in a systematic way (FET-Proactive), and a scheme that addresses grand challenges (FET-Flagships), is unique among the portfolio of EU research programmes.
FET has demonstrated that it is a flexible, adaptive programme able to evolve in response to changing circumstances. It has also proven its ability to boost innovativeness in Europethrough the creation of topical research and innovation communities and networks. To boost innovation further will require widening its community to include smaller groups and Europe’s most innovative SMEs.
FET is a fully funded part of Horizon 2020. However, the observed dramatic oversubscription in FET-Open cannot be solved by just tightening the submission rules. The FET-Open and FET-Proactive budgets should also be further increased in proportion to the thematic widening that has been implemented in H2020.
A decision making FET Board consisting of acclaimed researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs, could be instrumental in rising prestige of the FET programme. This Board could evolve from the current FET Advisory Group.
Positioned as an evolving entity, FET is a natural model upon which to build the European Innovation Council because of its inherent focus on community building, its openness, its target driven outlook, its flexibility, and its responsiveness, all of which are fundamentally important characteristics in a rapidly changing world. FET also has significant potential to act as a seed for innovation.