Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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Future and Emerging Technologies

Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) go beyond what is known! Visionary thinking can open up promising avenues towards powerful new technologies.

The visionary aspects and exploratory characteristics of FET might make it sound like a kind of magic, but the mission of FET is actually very concrete: to turn Europe's excellent science base into a competitive advantage.

FET actions are expected to initiate radically new lines of technology through unexplored collaborations between advanced multidisciplinary science and cutting-edge engineering. It will help Europe grasp leadership early on in those promising future technology areas able to renew the basis for future European competitiveness and growth, and that can make a difference for society in the decades to come.

Under Horizon 2020, FET actions have been allocated a provisional budget of 2 696 million euro.

The FET programme has three complementary lines of action to address different methodologies and scales, from new ideas to long-term challenges:

  • FET Open funds projects on new ideas for radically new future technologies, at an early stage when there are few researchers working on a project topic. This can involve a wide range of new technological possibilities, inspired by cutting-edge science, unconventional collaborations or new research and innovation practices.
  • FET Proactive nurtures emerging themes, seeking to establish a critical mass of European researchers in a number of promising exploratory research topics. This supports areas that are not yet ready for inclusion in industry research roadmaps, with the aim of building up and structuring new interdisciplinary research communities.
  • FET Flagships are 1-billion, 10-years initiatives where hundreds of excellent European researchers unite forces to focus on solving an ambitious scientific and technological challenge, like understanding the Human Brain or developing the new materials of the future, such as Graphene.
FET Newsletter:

Work programme preparation 2016/17

For updated info about the next Work Programme (2016-2017) preparation, visit our dedicated page.



From 07/09/2016 - 02:00 to 10/09/2016 - 02:00
Brussels, Belgium,

This international conference brings together researchers dealing with swarm intelligence to share ideas on current developments and applications and to present their latest research. ANTS2016 welcomes paper submissions on any aspect of swarm intelligence. Read more

From 29/04/2016 - 02:00 to 30/04/2016 - 02:00
Livorno (IT),

Participate in the first outdoor challenge of soft robots in terrestrial locomotion, underwater exploration and dextrous manipulation, and win a €5000 prize. The call for expression of interest closes on 31 October 2015 (extended deadline). Read more

From 14/12/2015 - 01:00 to 16/12/2015 - 01:00
Cambridge (UK) ,

The conference is being organized in Cambridge by two Future and Emerging Technologies projects: MULTI and TOLOP. It will cover a number of CMOS-tech-related topics, and shed light on complex logic operations in molecular media. Read more


26/11/2014 - 12:13

Many scientists point out that the goal of social sciences is not simply to understand how people behave in large groups, but to understand what motivates individuals to behave the way they do. Could this fundamental insight be transformed in a step forward towards the solution of important societal challenges like traffic congestion or the sustainability a fully electrified transportation system? Among others, those are the questions that DATASIM project tried to address. Read more

24/11/2014 - 12:44

Chalmers University of Technology, the coordinator of the Graphene Flagship project Chalmers will launch its massive open online course on graphene. The course will be free of charge and accessible to anyone with a computer. The teacher is Jie Sun, Assistant Professor in the Quantum Device Physics Laboratory of the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience. Read more

17/11/2014 - 11:28

Just imagine being able to surf through the brain and its 86 billion neurons - well now you can! Scientists have developed the first high-definition 3D model of a complete human brain - it is called BIG BRAIN. Read more


19/11/2015 - 10:13

Latest news on Future and Emerging Technologies research, funding opportunities, latest project news, reporting on workshops & conferences and future events. Read more

17/11/2015 - 13:59

Did you know the Horizon 2020 Future and Emerging Technologies programme "FET-Open" receives an extremely high number of submissions each year and the chances of new brilliant ideas to be funded by the EU programme have dramatically dropped? It leaves a lot of great interdisciplinary thinking unrewarded and a lot of people disappointed - this problem needs to be addressed if "FET-Open" is to remain credible as an early detector of future technologies. Read more

09/11/2015 - 17:20

Interested in research and innovation? Join our new Digital4Science platform, explore its possibilities and contribute to discussions. Read more

Project stories

29/10/2015 - 22:50

An artificial society of robots inspired by marine biology will bring a number of benefits for underwater technology, and help to protect the waterways of Venice from further damage. Read more

14/10/2015 - 18:51

The ABIOMATER project will explore how magnetically controlled metamaterials – engineered materials with properties not found in nature – could be used to improve medical devices and implants, upgrading treatment options for patients. From lenses to tissue engineering, the team plans prototypes within three years. Read more

29/09/2015 - 18:15

Controlled odour emission could transform video games and television viewing experiences and benefit industries such as pest control and medicine. The NANOSMELL project aims to switch smells on and off by tagging artificial odorants with nanoparticles exposed to electromagnetic field. Read more


30/09/2015 - 12:46

The Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Advisory Group has produced a report which proposes to put FET at the nucleus of the European Innovation Council. Read more

25/09/2015 - 17:40

Horizon 2020 is the EU’s biggest ever programme for research and innovation, and it has got off to an excellent start. This brochure presents information on the first 100 calls for proposals that closed by 1 December 2014. Read more

24/09/2015 - 20:03

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever. Almost €80 billion of funding is available over seven years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private and national public investment that this money will attract. This publication presents the full set of Key Performance and Cross-Cutting Issues Indicators for Horizon 2020, including those for the European Institute of Technology and EURATOM. Read more

Press Release

13/10/2015 - 18:51

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation said: "Research and innovation are the engines of Europe's progress and vital to addressing today's new pressing challenges like immigration, climate change, clean energy and healthy societies. Over the next two years, €16 billion from Horizon 2020 will support Europe's top scientific efforts, making the difference to citizens' lives." Read more

08/04/2015 - 18:50

Researchers, businesses and innovators from Ukraine will now be able to fully participate in Horizon 2020, the European Union's research and innovation funding programme, on equal terms with EU Member States and other associated countries. Read more

05/12/2014 - 18:33

Today (5 December 2014) the European Union and Switzerland signed a comprehensive international agreement associating Switzerland to parts of Horizon 2020, Research and Training Programme of Euratom and the ITER project. This will see Switzerland participate in project consortia in eligible programmes on an equal footing with EU Member States, while financially contributing to these programmes with an estimated €400 million until the end of 2016. Read more