Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)

The Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme aims at developing radically new technologies by exploring novel and high-risk ideas building on scientific foundations. It promotes research beyond what is known, accepted or widely adopted and fosters novel and visionary thinking to open promising paths towards powerful new technologies, some of which could develop into leading technological and intellectual paradigms for the decades ahead.

In particular, it funds interdisciplinary collaborations that seek genuine cross-fertilisation and deep synergies between the broadest range of advanced sciences (physical sciences, information sciences, life sciences, environmental sciences, social sciences, humanities,…) and cutting-edge engineering disciplines (chemical, physical, biological, computational, geospatial, …) in order to turn new knowledge and high-risk ideas into a viable basis for radically new technologies. Thus, research in FET is complementary to incremental research as well as to the European Research Council, which itself is aiming at excellent individual researchers while FET supports collaborative research projects to open up new and promising fields of research, technology and innovation.

The combination of a game-changing long-term vision and technological concreteness positions FET research between blue-sky science on the one hand, and research driven by societal challenges or by industrial competitiveness on the other.

The FET work programme 2018-2020 consists of three major lines of activity in which calls for proposals will be launched:

  • FET Open – novel ideas for radically new technologies (part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot)
  • FET Proactive – boosting emerging technologies (topics that are 1) part of 2) not part of 3) in both FET and the EIC pilot)
  • FET Proactive – high performance computing (not part of the EIC pilot)
  • FET Flagships – tackling grand interdisciplinary science and technology challenge (not part of the EIC pilot)

The FET programme lines that are also part of the EIC pilot are also known as the EIC Pathfinder.

The EIC pilot was launched on 27th October 2017. The Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot aims to support top-class innovators, start-ups, small companies and researchers with bright ideas that are radically different from existing products, services or business models, are highly risky and have the potential to scale up internationally.

All information related to the EIC pilot can be found on the dedicated EIC pilot programme page on this website. 

Other FET related topics can be found in the Horizon 2020 cross-cutting activities 2018-2020 work programme. For battery research 246 million euros is reserved in 2019 and 2020 (work programme and dedicated programme page also available under related links). Calls on the topic High Performance Computing can be found in the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking work plan (related links).

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“Voices from the Future - 30 years of Breakthrough Technologies in Europe”

“This booklet provides a snapshot of the first 30 years of FET. It explains the evolution of the programme, through testimonials of some of the people who shaped its policy aspects, examples of projects and their impact on technology and economy, and profiles of FET researchers, who have been listening out for “voices from the future”.” This publication was produced under the FETFX project, the Coordination and Support Action dedicated to communication and outreach of the Horizon 2020 Future and Emerging Technologies programme, with specific focus to FET Open and FET Proactive, now part of the Enhanced European Innovation Council Pilot (specifically the Pathfinder).


EIC Pathfinder Pilot

Presentation on the EIC pathfinder (FET-Proactive) Work Programme for 2020.


EIC pilot roadshow - Brussels - 01.07.2019 - Presentations

EIC pilot roadshow- Brussels - 01.07.2019 - presentations

Submitted proposals - H2020-FETOPEN-2018-2020



EIT stakeholder consultations launched

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has launched three consultations to gather input from stakeholders and to inform their future activities.


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FET Disruptive Project Ideas Week

FET Briefing

FET BRIEFING communication training

Graphene Flagship

Graphene Week 2021