FET Proactive supports unconventional, high-risk basic research concerning selected trends and topics to open up new research areas and to set up networks for relevant actors. This concept will facilitate the step from collaboration between a small number of researchers to a cluster of projects that in each case address certain aspects of a research theme and exchange results.
In contrast to FET Open, FET Proactive calls are topic-based and linked to specific calls for proposals. Multidisciplinary and international research clusters working on novel ideas as well as matured concepts and trends will be funded. Thus, FET Proactive starts when basic research has identified a new promising area. It supports large-scale research efforts to overcome scientific or technological obstacles prior to a growing interest in certain thematic fields of conventional industrial research.
The choice of topics is linked to current and upcoming societal and industrial challenges. Specifically, topics are being generated by advancing successful initiatives related to previous calls as well as by introducing completely new issues identified in close collaboration with stakeholders, e.g. the topics for the 2014 call which were largely the result of a public consultation carried out by DG Connect. In the future the FET Advisory Group, a high-level expert committee will play a major role in the definition of FET Proactive topics.
Six specific topics were identified in the 2018 call:
- Artificial organs, tissues, cells and sub-cell structures
- Living technologies
- Socially interactive technologies
- Disruptive micro-energy and storage technologies
- Topological matter