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The Knowledge-Sharing Platform

01 Feb 2018

Study looks at impact of FET programme

FET-Traces is an impact assessment project which researches the scientific and technology-related traces of the projects and approaches under the research funding scheme “Future and Emerging Technologies Open” (FET Open and FET Proactive). The FET scheme promotes high-risk research, offset by potential breakthrough with high technological or societal impact. The FET-Traces project has now published its final report "Visionary and collaborative research in Europe: Pathways to impact of use-inspired basic research". The report was prepared jointly by the German Fraunhofer Institut and the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT). 

Analysing the FET programme using bibliometrics, an online-survey and case studies, the report finds that FET research has relevant impacts on the areas of knowledge production, the economy, people and society. Amongst others, the study found a high level of interdisciplinarity in 68 percent of all projects, and 31 percent of FET researchers branching out into a new area and trying out exceptionally innovative, high-risk projects; 40 percent of the FET projects had at least one partner from industry; 12 percent of FET projects led to the founding of a spin-off company; and a relatively high share (17 percent) of researchers reported societal impacts of their FET projects, with 9 percent saying that their research in FET contributed to tackling Europe’s grand challenges and 8 percent reporting "other societal impacts". There are also other societal impacts in the areas of technology assessment, mobility, healthcare, regulation, education, air quality and others.

The report concludes that due to the fact that it supports "a specific mode of research that can be characterised as "use-inspired basic research", the FET programme is a unique research funding programme within the European research funding landscape". The authors therefore state that the results of their impact study suggest that FET research should be strengthened in the future as it has specific and highly relevant impacts in all four impact areas considered.

Visionary and collaborative research in Europe: Pathways to impact of use-inspired basic research

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