Campoby Mario Campolargo

Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) is an incubator and pathfinder for new ideas and themes related to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Europe, supporting high-risk research with a potential for substantial technological or societal impact. The scheme encourages the exploration of new approaches and provides sustained support to emerging areas that require long-term fundamental research. FET looks for breakthroughs in ICT that open the way for new forms and uses of information and information technologies. Its mission is to go beyond the conventional boundaries of ICT and to venture into uncharted areas, to seek fresh synergies, and to promote cross-pollination and convergence between different scientific disciplines, the arts and humanities.

by Jari Kinaret

The FET Flagship Pilot on graphene and related two-dimensional materials targets a revolution in information and communication technology, with impacts reaching into most areas of the society. Our mission is to take graphene and related layered materials from a state of raw potential to a point where they can revolutionize multiple industries - from flexible, wearable and transparent electronics to high performance computing and spintronics. This will bring a new dimension to future technology – a faster, thinner, stronger, flexible, and broadband revolution. Our program will put Europe firmly at the heart of the process, with a manifold return on the investment in terms of technological innovation and economic exploitation.

by Barbara Simpson

The FET Flagship pilot "Guardian Angels for a Smarter Life" will develop enabling technologies for electronic personal assistants. Joining expertise from 13 different European countries, the Guardian Angel Project endeavours to take energy harvesting, communication, sensing and computation to an exciting level of performance and efficiency.

by Steven Bishop

Today, society and technology is changing at a pace that often outstrips our capacity to understand and manage them. As the recent financial crisis demonstrates, the systems that we have built to organize our affairs now possess an unprecedented degree of complexity and interdependence among their technological, social and economic components. This complexity often brings about counter-intuitive events driven by positive feedbacks that lead to domino-like cascades of failures. Neither the precepts of traditional science, nor our collective experience from a simpler past, adequately prepare us for the future. Thus the need to understand our complex world is the most urgent human challenge of the 21st century.

by the ITFoM Consortium

The IT Future of Medicine (ITFoM) initiative will produce computational models of individuals to enable the prediction of their future health risks, progression of diseases and selection and efficacy of treatments while minimizing side effects. As one of six Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Flagship Pilot Projects funded by the European Commission, ITFoM will foster massive advances in ICT to enable the generation of these models and, moreover, to make them available for clinical application. The programme will yield long term benefits for the medicine of the future and will lead the way towards truly personalized health care.

by Henry Markram

Today, brain disease affects some 164 million European citizens at an annual cost of many hundreds of billions of euros. Yet despite huge investment in research, there are still very few brain disorders whose causes are fully understood, and very few drugs that do more than relieve symptoms. In the past, 95% of brain research was funded by pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Today they are pulling out. The number of new patents for brain-related drugs and brain implants is dropping every year. “Brain-inspired” computers face similar problems. The human brain is a highly flexible, very fast, massively parallel system that consumes just 20-30 Watts. Computers and robots with a fraction of these capabilities would transform 21st century society. Yet we still cannot build computers that match the human brain on even the simplest cognitive task.

by Paolo Dario

Humans have moved beyond their evolutionary inheritance by progressively mastering nature through the use of tools and the development of culture. Current welfare, however, is not without challenges and its sustainability is at stake in our private, social, economic, urban and physical environments. One source of these challenges is the ageing of the population. In fact, in 40 years’ time nearly 35 per cent of the European population is projected to be 60 years old or over. Paradoxically the increase in life expectancy, is now creating new challenges. How to provide an ageing society with sustainable solutions in order to remain active, creative, productive, and above all, independent?

Next issue: July 2018
Special theme:
Human-Robot Interaction
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