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FET-Open research projects

Specific challenge: Supporting a large set of early stage, high risk visionary science and technology collaborative research projects is necessary for the successful exploration of new foundations for radically new future technologies. Nurturing fragile ideas requires an agile, risk-friendly and highly interdisciplinary research approach, expanding well beyond the strictly technological disciplines. Recognising and stimulating the driving role of new high-potential actors in research and innovation, such as women, young researchers and high-tech SMEs, is also important for nurturing the scientific and industrial leaders of the future.

Scope: Proposals are sought for collaborative research with all of the following characteristics:

•                Long-term vision: the research proposed must address a new, original or radical long-term vision of technology-enabled possibilities that are far beyond the state of the art and currently not anticipated by technology roadmaps.

•                Breakthrough S&T target: research must target scientifically ambitious and technologically concrete breakthroughs that are arguably crucial steps towards achieving the long-term vision and that are plausibly attainable within the life-time of the proposed project.

•                Foundational: the breakthroughs that are envisaged must be foundational in the sense that they can establish a basis for a new line of technology not currently anticipated.

•                Novelty: the research proposed must find its plausibility in new ideas and concepts, rather than in the application or incremental refinement of existing ones.

•                High-risk: the potential of a new technological direction depends on a whole range of factors that cannot be apprehended from a single disciplinary viewpoint. This inherent high-risk has to be countered by a strongly interdisciplinary research approach, where needed expanding well beyond the strictly technological realm.

•                Interdisciplinary: the proposed collaborations must be interdisciplinary in the sense that they go beyond current mainstream collaboration configurations in joint science- and technology research, and that they aim to advance different scientific and technological disciplines together and in synergy towards a breakthrough.

This call is open to early-stage research on any new technological possibility.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 4 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: Proposals must aim at one of the following two impacts:

•                Initiating a radically new line of technology by establishing Proof-of-Principle of a new technological possibility and its new scientific underpinning, or

•                Kick-starting an emerging innovation eco-system of high-potential actors around a solid baseline of feasibility and potential for a new technological option, ready for early take-up.

The active involvement of new and high-potential research and innovation players, which may become the European scientific and technological leaders of the future, is encouraged. Impact is also sought in terms of take up of new research and innovation practices and, more generally, from making leading-edge science and technology research more open, collaborative, creative and closer to society.

Type of action: Research and Innovation Actions