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Future and Emerging Technologies

Find the most recent information on EU Funding activities in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) by visiting our ICT in FP7 website , which covers ICT in the 7 th Framework Programme (FP7) 2007 - 2013.

Find the most recent information on Future and Emerging Technologies activities in
the 7th Framework Programme 2007-2013 on our FET Proactive   - FET Open Web sites.


Complex Systems (CS)
Proactive Initiative in the 6 th Framework Programme

Welcome to the homepage of the proactive initiative in 'complex systems'. FET is committed to invest into 'complex system' research as it will allow to explore new design and control paradigms and lead to the conceptual breakthroughs necessary to conceive the next generation of information technologies . In order to be successful research has to be balanced between focus on IT core problems and the need to explore concepts in complex systems in a multitude of domains.

A coordination action ONCE-CS runs a website with useful information on complex systems in Europe. It also is conducting an ongoing consultation for the "Living Roadmap" .


What is CS?

The information revolution has relied on our capacity to extend - with much ingenuity - Moore's law over several decades. In time, however, we will reach a fundamental barrier for design and control of systems: the complexity limit. Systems become increasingly larger and have ever more components and information flow in the system increases exponentially. Mastering their complexity - the high level of interdependence between their often very heterogeneous components - becomes a major hurdle threatening to slow down the information revolution. Designing, controlling, modelling and monitoring behaviour of such systems are the fundamental challenges that the CS initiative addresses. We need new paradigms as we are rapidly moving from systems based on closed hierarchical structures to open and distributed, networked organisations. Recent studies of complex systems as they occur in nature, society or even engineering - whether these are living organisms, animal societies, ecosystems, markets, cultural groupings, or the Internet -suggest that we can learn lessons from these systems on how to design and control a new generation of complex IT systems. These aspects were emphasised in a call in 2003 .

The follow-up call in 2005 addressed the specific issue of simulation of complex systems. In the last decade almost every branch of science and technology has made use of advanced computing and information technologies. This convergence of computing with the sciences and technology is creating a revolution in the very nature of scientific discovery and technological design. The need for simulation as a tool of design and scientific analysis arises in many areas: For many systems, simulation is the only practicable method of developing an understanding of their properties - sometimes replacing, sometimes complementing experimentation For instance in molecular biology, revolutionary novel methods of data acquisition are providing a wealth of information that combined with more powerful means of analysis could advance our understanding of living systems to entirely new levels. In technology, simulation is often the only feasible way for (a priori) validation of system behaviour. In society, simulation could help inform decisions about inherently complex matters such as national security, the deployment of new technologies, or environmental policies. New computational approaches must be found to tackle the resulting challenges and to continue the momentum of this 'new era' of convergence of computing with science and technology.


Events: future / recent / past


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Initiatives called in the area of Complex Systems

FET Proactive Initiative: COMPLEX SYSTEMS in 2002-2003

Timetable: Simulating Emergent Properties in Complex Systems 2005 - Call CLOSED

  • Call opened: May 18th, 2005
  • Infoday: Brussels, June 2nd, 2005
  • Call closed: 21 September 2005, at 17:00 Local Brussels time
  • Evaluation: end October 2005
  • Start of projects: May-June 2006