This study deals with the future of Open Collaborative Research in Europe. “Open collaborative” research is defined as research that is risky, potentially transformative, foundational, bottom-up, interdisciplinary, technology driven, and collaborative. The main findings of the study are as follows:
- Societal and economic challenges require new models of research.
- The internal dynamics of science requires a fast and collaborative approach to research.
- Existing thematic (top-down) programmes are too slow and too narrow to respond to these societal, economic and scientific challenges. Thus, the Open Collaborative Reserach model will become more prominent in the future.
- Fostering the Open Collaborative mode of doing reserach in Europe requires a firm decision for a centralised approach. Embedding many small Open Collaborative Research programmes into existing programme lines will not generate the required effects.
|What is Open Collaborative Research?||What it is not:|
|it focuses on new ideas which are foundational and which may have a transformative character,||it is not mainstream research,|
|it is risky (possibility to fail),||it is not about small changes of existing models or approaches,|
|it is bottom-up (defined by researchers),||it does not follow a policy agenda, a work programme or pre-defined research topics,|
|it has a fast and slim selection process,||it does not rely on track record alone,|
|it is collaborative (involves several researchers),||it is not descipline-oriented research,|
|it is interdisciplinary,||it is not pure basic science.|
|it is purpose-driven, which means that it aims at technology development.|
FET Open today
The FET Open programme of the European Commission is positioned as ‘the incubator for radically new research ideas and future research and innovation potential’ (http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ict/fet-open/home_en.html). FET Open aims to stimulate and capture new opportunities and developments in science and technology as they emerge.
- Is open to any new ideas, it is bottom-up with no predefined themes
- Is open at any time: a continuously open call
- Is open to anyone: anonymous evaluation of first step proposals
- Has a light and fast selection process: a two-step process starting with a short proposal
Vision: The future of Open Collaborative Research in Europe
- The funding agency, the researchers and the wider world form a virtuous symbiotic relationship
- The administrative processes capture the spirit of opportunity and keep new ideas flowing and capture the value from these ideas
- Open Collaborative Research will be stronger and more significant than today
- The European agency, institution or unit for funding Open Collaborative Research is well-known as a generator for ideas and innovations in Europe and even worldwide
- The future funding of Open Collaborative Research not only covers ICT and neighbouring fields, but is open to all of science and technology
- Open Collaborative Research has become a major pillar within the European research funding landscape and successfully complements the other pillars
Completed project (01/2011 – 2012)
European Commission, DG Information Society and Media
- AIT (Austrian Institute of Technology), Vienna
- TNO, Delft