FET Flagships support ambitious large-scale, science-driven research activities which are supposed to lead to a scientific breakthrough. Research initiatives within this programme tackle grand science and technology challenges requiring cooperation among a range of disciplines, communities and programmes. Due to their overarching nature and magnitude they can only be realised by means of a collaborative long-term, sustained effort (over a period of about ten years).
Based on the consideration that visionary and cross-disciplinary research cannot solely be managed by national programmes or by EU research funding, FET Flagships are supposed to implement European FET research on a novel and higher level. A multi-disciplinary, international concentration of scientific and financial capacities in the form of FET Flagships shall thus enable long-term and target-oriented research initiatives, and lead to pioneering scientific, technological and socio-economic change.
Two FET Flagships are currently supported by the European Commission: "Graphene" and the "Human Brain Project" (HBP). After a pilot phase and the first part of a 30-month ramp-up phase under FP7, the major part of this ramp-up phase as well as the actual operational part within the project phase (from the end of 2015 to 2023) will fall under Horizon 2020. The European Commission will annually fund the operational project phase of both FET Flagships with EUR 100 million each, while in each case 50% of the sum will be provided by the European research framework programme and the other 50% will be provided by national funding programmes and/or industry partners.
The objective of the Flagship "Graphene" is to explore and develop graphene, a modified, two-dimensional form of carbon. This Flagship intends to unify the still fledgling and highly fragmented research area at European level in order to concentrate existing knowledge and resources and to exploit synergy effects in a more effective way. The consortium will be coordinated by the supervising Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and other eight leading partners, including the German AMO GmbH.
Human Brain Project
The objective of the FET Flagship "Human Brain Project" (HBP) is mainly to integrate the hitherto high fragmented field of neuroscience. There will be a technological background for an ICT-based brain research in the form of integrated platforms. Three of these integrated research areas, namely neuroscience, medical science and ICT, shall enlarge the knowledge about how the human brain works, explore examination and treatment methods, and enable revolutionary new computer systems by means of brain simulations. There are eleven partners responsible for the specific project areas within the HBP consortium (coordinator: Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland; German participation within the management team: University of Heidelberg, Jülich Research Center, Technical University Munich).