On 29 March 2017 the Future and Emerging Technologies Advisory Group (FETAG) published a report, which brings recommendations for new research initiatives to be funded through the FET Flagship program.
This scheme is part of the Excellent Science pillar of Horizon 2020 and is currently providing support to the Graphene and the Human Brain Project flagships. A new flagship on Quantum Technology is also under preparation.
The position paper, describes the threshold criteria and other considerations, for a consortium or a program to be granted a flagship and recommendation for 3 major Thematic Fields that a future flagship should belong to along with the argumentation how the chosen Thematic Fields fulfill the threshold criteria and additional criteria.
A summary of the recommendations is the following:
1. A FET FLAGSHIP should be a mega transformational program, with relevance to societal needs, based on academic excellence and Industrial capacity, with the potential to increase European competitiveness, for the benefit of the general public and the Member States.
2. A Future FET FLAGSHIP should belong to one of the following three thematic fields: Connected Society, Health and Medicine, the Environment. With current challenges, each Flagship should be aligned with the KET and involve the fastest ICT-based components, namely: Big Data, Robotics and AI, and new materials based components.
3. A FET FLAGSHIP focusing on the future and emerging technologies, should be multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary around its main S&T goal, but should involve researchers and scholars from the SSH area, to address the societal view point.
4. FET-FLAGSHIP funding must not endanger the funding of the two ‘bottom up’ programs FET PROACTIVE and FET-OPEN.
5. During the duration of a Flagship Program, transparency will be upheld regarding the process, the development and growth, and above all the tangible results emerging from the program.
6. There should be an independent Council created to overlook the process in a transparent way and FETAG offers process until an independent council is established.
The FET program turned into one of the most acclaimed excellent research initiatives of the European Commission and a crucial element of the Excellent Science pillar of H2020. The FET program is built hierarchically, with the signature FET FLAGSHIP built on the capacity of the exploratory bottom up FET-OPEN and the predefined thematic call FET-PROACTIVE.
The report can be found here.