What is FET?

Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) are key ingredients in modelling the science, society and lifestyle of tomorrow. Europe knows it. And has set up an important funding programme for scientists who are keen to turn ideas into innovation, the future into now.


  1. FET in a nutshell
  2. EU policies for long-term society development
  3. How to get funding for your research?
  4. FET innovation for tech scouts
  5. About FETFX

FET in a nutshell

Whether it’s about green cities, robots, new materials, or cancer therapies, countless ground-breaking opportunities which can shape our society are opening up. With the European Innovation Council, Europe is now calling out to innovators, scientists and researchers who can tackle the issues-at-large using new and innovative technologies that are not yet available in the market. The future is now. We can make it happen as Future, and Emerging Technologies are just around the corner.


The Future & Emerging Technologies (FET) Programme is all about transforming advanced scientific ideas into radically new technologies for the future


FET actions are research projects that look at innovative ways on developing out-of-this-world technologies coming from various scientific fields. For three decades, they have helped Europe become an exemplary figure in research, development and innovation. With the newly minted EIC Pathfinder Pilot Programme, the European Commission wishes to continue supporting futuristic high-risk research projects that are in line with the FET ideals.



billion euro allocated for FET research projects by the EU


FET projects funded up to 2016


countries participating in FET projects

FET fields of action

FET projects will expand current scientific boundaries in a number of complementary, yet often interconnected research areas. Most resources will be invested on the so-called Flagship Projects. These are large-scale, decade-long interdisciplinary challenges tackling radical innovations in modern science.


Currently, three Flagship Projects are ongoing: the Human-Brain, the Graphene and Quantum-Technologies projects. All these initiatives explore at a grander scale our future in neuroscience, advanced materials and information technology.


The science of today is the technology of tomorrow
– Edward Teller


But FET goes beyond these! Artificial intelligence, human-computer interactions, plant- and insect-inspired robots, amputees recovering the sense of touch and bionic hands – these are just part of a bigger picture that FET projects can do for society.


As you can see, future is closer than ever before. Once it’s calling us, it’s time that we jump on board!

EU policies for long-term society development

With FET, the story goes like this: first comes basic research, followed by exploitation of their results for society. To keep the spirit of European innovation alive, policymakers need to keep their ecosystem alive. They would need to see the big picture and gather evidence which shows FET as a catapult to many monumental disruptive technologies in the years to come and the positive change it promises to our society.


With the upcoming Horizon Europe, the succeeding framework of Horizon 2020, the European Commission wishes to measure the impacts of research lines including FET’s by using a mission-oriented policy approach.


With this motive, they called together innovators and technological experts to launch what is now called the European Innovation Council (EIC). It will focus on breakthrough technologies that can bring dramatic improvements and radical disruption to crucial sectors like health, agriculture, transport and so on in Europe.  Through their guidance, projects concentrated on Future and Emerging Technologies will eventually emerge and challenge society’s perception of high-risk innovation as they bring their groundbreaking solutions to society and to the European market.


How to get funding for your research?

With the EIC taking center stage, how will a scientist be able to get funding and introduce radically new technologies to society that are still at their early stages?


FET-Open and FET-Proactive are two FET funding schemes you can apply to. These are part of a newly adopted umbrella funding scheme called the EIC Pathfinder Pilot Programme. It offers grants up to €4 million in order to allow scientists and researchers from various Member States and Associated Countries to come up with futuristic technologies based on interdisciplinary collaboration.


But if you’re part of a FET project that wants to build a business idea out of it, you can opt for the EIC Accelerator pilot.

FET innovation for tech scouts

Most of the FET-Open and FET-Proactive projects are known to have low Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs). Given their visionary and disruptive nature, these projects have a chance to enter the market in due time. They just need all types of support including the industrial key players.


Also known for being highly risky, these projects need to play in a different environment in order to prosper. They need to be seen and nurtured in a different light. This is where tech scouts come in: they can get their hands and tap on the hidden potential some FET projects have for their companies’ future. With their help, FET projects can get the spotlight and feature the excellency of European innovation at a commercial scale.


FETFX (pronounced “FET effects”) is a developing cross-media communication platform which connects science, industry and society, in order to tell stories on Future and Emerging Technologies and engage directly with the general public across Europe and beyond.


Our key mission is to foster the public understanding of how FET research – apparently far from reality and direct applications – is actually needed to generate innovation and benefit society in the long term.