PREFET end of project radiography

Carrying out evidence-based and participatory technology foresight for future and emerging technologies


PREFET was an EU funded project within H2020 from November 2018 until October 2020, focused on the detection of early-stage technology trends and their analysis, combining the most advanced data mining AI engines with human intelligence and crowd/expert perception, tools for the implementation of responsible research and innovation, and innovation capacity building.


PREFET implemented a process iterating from manually identified trend seeds to Intelligence-Augmented desktop research supported with text-mining, data-mining and machine-learning. “Weak signals” were detected, and trends were “informed” (insight generation), resulting into a list of “45 pre-validated Trends”. Trends were mapped with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to leverage responsible research and innovation (RRI), thus research and innovation that are socially desirable and ethically acceptable. In parallel, they were opened to an on-line consultation involving more than 2,000 researchers in ICT, Health Sciences, Biotechnology and Environmental Sciences; enriched with interviews with artists, architects, and designers. A workshop around prioritisation of technology trends was organised in November 2019 (called Trendington), resulting into a list of “top 20 future and emerging trends”. Finally, two workshops were organised with an Expert Committee in order to evolve this list towards a roadmap.


In parallel, these trends were transformed into “play-grounds” where building disruptive project ideas, and several added value activities were carried out in this direction and for offering researchers top level training, interactions and information, under the umbrella of the so called PREFET IdeAcademy.


As a result of all this, all public deliverables from the project have been published in PREFET’s website. Apart from the roadmapping exercise on future and emerging technologies, particularly relevant are those explaining the PREFET Methodology followed (D2.2, 2.3, 3.1 and 3.3. They are complemented with a paper published at ISPIM 2020 available from the project’s homepage).


The project’s deliverables are available here


Background information

FET-Open and FET Proactive are now part of the Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) Pilot (specifically the Pathfinder), the new home for deep-tech research and innovation in Horizon 2020, the EU funding programme for research and innovation


Photo by Samuel Clara on Unsplash