In the opinion of FET Advisory Group (see the report Response of the H2020 FET Advisory Group to the Commission as input to the EC, regarding the Horizon 2020 Strategic Programme 2016-2017), FET has the potential to become the leading research and technology visionary funding scheme in the innovation process within and beyond H2020. An evolutionary model of the future FET programme, which could boost the visionary emerging technologies in the EU in a way similar to how the ERC boosted fundamental research, is very much needed. It will require not only broadening the thematic interest relative to the current FET, but also widening its community towards smaller groups, including most innovative SMEs.
Bottom-up approaches are fundamental for innovations with disruptive market potential, hence the FET scheme should continue strengthening provision for bottom-up approaches to ensure rapid adaptation.
Conditions for innovation and entrepreneurship require building a fertile ecosystem. FET should become a key enabler of this process. Decisions about which innovations to bring to the market cannot be made in advance and require a great deal of adaptation during the course of a project. The future FET should provide enough flexibility to allow serendipity to take place and to accommodate innovative outcomes. Thus the FET schemes should support all phases of funding, thus leveraging national instruments and providing incentives to the EC stakeholders.
Regarding the formulation of new FET proactive calls, taking into account the results from the online consultation for new FET Proactive topics that we conducted earlier this year, we are gradually converging on a range of topics for which FET may provide funding under its Proactive scheme. These topics are grouped under 4 headings, each of them containing 2 or 3 more specific topics:
Collective technologies for societal change
- Being human in a technological world
- New science for a globalised world
Biotech and computing for better life
- Intra- and inter-cell bio-nano-chem technologies
- Bio-electronic medicines and therapies
- Cognitive neuro-technologies
Alternative technologies for smart devices
- New computing paradigms and their technologies
- Quantum technologies
- Nano-optomechanical and electronic devices
New technologies for Energy and Materials
- Ecosystem engineering
- Complex bottom-up construction
The titles of areas and topics, as well as the short paragraphs describing them are all work in progress. We intend to converge on descriptions that will attract paradigm-changing interdisciplinary proposals on future technologies, in the spirit of FET.
Timeline for Work Programme preparation:
January - July 2015: Preparation of detailed FET Work Programme 2016-17 (including discussion within the FET Program Committee)
Summer 2015: Opinions of the FET Programme Committee
Third quarter 2015: - Adoption of FET Work Programme 2016-17
- Publication of the first calls for 2016