Highly relevant but with room for improvement, FET Flagship evaluation says
After three years of activities, the Flagship instrument, and its implementation through the two Future & Emerging Technologies (FET) Flagships, namely Graphene and the Human Brain Project, has been evaluated by a panel of high-level experts.
The objective was to assess the strategic relevance of the Flagship instrument and to provide recommendations based on the lessons learned from their implementation so far. These can then be applied both for improving the implementation of the two current Flagships, as well as the ones that are either under preparation such as the Quantum Technologies Flagship or other ones that the European Commission may launch in the future.
The report indicates that the Flagship instrument is highly relevant as part of Europe's Research and Innovation Strategy and has the potential to have a huge impact. However, there is room for improvement and the report proposes a number of recommendations in that respect.
According to the evaluation panel, the Flagships demonstrate their effectiveness in delivering excellent science, but their future effectiveness in supporting innovation still needs to be demonstrated. Additional work should be undertaken on refining this aspect. In particular, the stakeholders need to consider further, how best to achieve, in one instrument, what are often seen as very different objectives – excellent science and excellent innovation. Further improvements are also desirable to both the strategic and operational management of the Flagships.
As for the strategy boards of the Flagships, these need to be more positioned within an international context. This will allow for benchmarking of European leadership in the respective fields and for informing on future investments. The experts found that some of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) used by the Flagships were very traditional in the sense that they are too oriented to describing typical research outcomes. Further development of the KPIs would be needed, also to help emphasise and clarify differences with other research and innovation instruments of Horizon 2020.