Report on the Impact Assessment of the IST-FET Open Scheme
The Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) activity of the EU's IST-FP6 Programme has recently undertaken an exercise to assess the scientific and technological impact of its FET-OPEN scheme. This impact assessment is based on the achievements of projects that FET funded in the period 1994-2004. The report with the main findings is now available.
The different EU Framework Programmes for RTD have had a strong tradition of support for collaborative technology research of a basic and longer-term nature in the area of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
Dating back as far as 1989, with the advent of the 2nd Framework Programme (FP2), came the consensus that supporting basic research in ICTs is a solid investment the payback of which, even if it does not come in the form of short-term industrial applications, is and will be significant. In FP3 and FP4, the follow-up actions on basic technology research aimed to lay the foundations for 'next wave' ICT technologies that would underpin the future developments of European R&D. In addition to research, these actions also focused on community building and on developing knowledge, skills and infrastructure and were designed to be open both in terms of research agendas and communities addressed. Many of the activities launched under these actions, known today as the FET-OPEN scheme, have since passed into the 'mainstream' RTD under the subsequent framework programmes.
Recently, the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) activity of the EU IST-FP6 Programme has undertaken a broad exercise to assess the scientific and technological impact of the FET-OPEN scheme. This impact assessment is mainly based on the achievements of projects funded in the period 1994-2004 (ie, FP4, FP5 and FP6 projects). According to the report findings, the FET-OPEN scheme proved to be particularly successful in opening new S&T possibilities, setting the agenda for future ICT research programmes, providing/exploring alternative technology solutions for industry, and confirming the path-finding role that FET has in IST.
It is the ambition of the IST-FET team to continue the FET-OPEN scheme in the coming FP7, thus retaining the core values which have characterised its success to date and continuing to support visionary, high-risk, high return long term multidisciplinary collaborative research.
The FET-OPEN Impact Assessment Report can be downloaded from: http://www.cordis.lu/ist/fet/press.htm
FET-OPEN scheme: http://www.cordis.lu/ist/fet/home.html
Gustav Kalbe, FET-OPEN co-ordinator