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.

From green cities to robots, from new materials to cancer therapies, countless ground-breaking opportunities to shape our society are opening-up. The European Union has accepted the challenge and made roughly 2.7 billion euro available to develop new technologies and knowledge. Brilliant researchers from 36 different countries in Europe and beyond have already started converting this unprecedented amount of resources into developing revolutionary ideas that could change everybody’s lives. This is Europe making the future happen. This is a whole continent believing in Future and Emerging Technologies. This is FET.

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

FET in a nutshell

FET actions are research projects targeting the development of new technologies in a variety of scientific fields. For more than two decades they have helped Europe to be at the forefront of research, development and innovation. Currently, FET projects are part of the Horizon2020 EU Research and Innovation Programme, with available funds totalling 2.7 billion euro.



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, two Flagship Projects are ongoing: the Human-Brain and the Graphene initiatives. The former aims to unveil the functioning of our brain by bringing neuroscience and the most recent technological advancements together. The latter wants study and exploit the properties of graphene, also known as tomorrow’s wonder material. Moreover, a third Flagship Project has been approved, the Quantum-Technologies project. This moves toward the creation of a completely new, incomparably more powerful generation of computers and digital tools, based on technologies pushed to the limits of nature itself


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

But FET is much more than this! Artificial intelligence, human-computer interactions, plant- and insect-inspired robots, amputees recovering the sense of touch and bionic hands give a sense of what FET wants to make possible. Still not convinced? What about devices collecting solar energy by mimicking photosynthesis, or technologies providing therapies for cardiorespiratory and neurological diseases?


As you can see, future is closer than ever before. And when future is calling, it’s time to jump on board!


Further FET resources

The following documents provide an overview of the FET programme:



These documents provide an insight into the impact of FET research and the future of the FET programme:



More information on the FET Flagship is available in the following resources:



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.


FETFX is a EU funded project: learn more about the project.