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Digital Agenda: Commission consults on Future and Emerging Technologies
The European Commission is launching a public consultation to identify promising and potentially game-changing directions for future technological research.
The research directions for future and emerging technologies will shape our economy for decades to come. The right strategic choices will mean a better future for all, from protecting our environments to providing better healthcare to Europeans. Therefore the Commission is inviting scientists, researchers, engineers, innovators, artists, entrepreneurs and individuals to submit their ideas before November 30th 2012. Do you have a big idea for the future? Then let us know!
The consultation is structured under two themes: research direction in FET and arguments for the importance of this research. All interested parties can submit their ideas on what this research should be and its expected impact. The contributors to the public consultation are invited to answer a series of concrete questions on FET research and its contribution to some of the great societal challenges of our age, like global warming, energy supply, pollution, ageing of society, global crises, peace or democratic deficit.
The answers to the public consultation will be used as input for identifying topics for future FET work programmes.
The Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) research programme forms a key part of the Commission's Horizon 2020 research proposals. The objective of FET is to foster radical new technologies by exploring novel and high-risk ideas building on scientific foundations. By providing flexible support to goal-oriented and interdisciplinary collaborative research, and by adopting innovative research practices, FET research seizes the opportunities that will deliver long-term benefit for citizens, the economy and society.
Examples of how FET is changing the face of European research include:
In 2000, FET launched a major initiative on NEURO-ICT, bringing together for the first time scientists from life sciences and neurophysiology, and computer scientists and engineers to co-develop understanding about the human brain. This work has resulted in a number of new research directions and industrial spin-off companies, for example, in the areas of "machines that think", or the development of novel clinical tools that can help in the diagnosis and treatment of brain disease.
FET launched 'Proactive Initiatives' on Nano technology and Quantum ICT, involving researchers who went on to win two Nobel Prizes for Physics. The initiatives bring together physicists and software and hardware engineers to develop new forms of computer technology.
FET launched a Proactive Initiative on Bio-chemistry-based information technology which has created since 2009 the first research union at the intersection of biology, chemistry and information technologies.
A related FET program, "FET Flagships" is offering €1billion in funding to two projects looking to solve "grand challenges" faced by Europe, with winners to be decided in 2013.
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