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research funding – Michael Friedewald Skip to main content

FET Open: Boosting the exploratory power of open research in Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)

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.
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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.

FET Open:

  • 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)

Commissioned by

European Commission, DG Information Society and Media


  • AIT (Austrian Institute of Technology), Vienna
  • TNO, Delft

Study on the Trends in European Public and Private Investments in ICT R&D and on the Globalisation of R&D and the Competitiveness of the European Innovation System in ICT (REDICT)

The study contributes to the growing debate around key points of European ICT policy-making among which:

  • Which are the main policies and instruments used by the member states to attract foreign and retain domestic R&D activities in ICT industries?
  • Which of those policies and instruments resulted in a visible improvement of the capacity of national innovative systems to benefit from the development of global research networks?
  • How are the European resources in ICT R&D distributed and what are the main factors shaping the European profile in this respect?

The study aims at deepening the existing understanding of the R&D capacities building processes in ICT sectors, and on the relative competitive advantage for the location of these capacities at the regional, national and European levels. The study provides a significant basis for the ongoing and future discussions about the economic impact of the ICT sector both within the political debate in the different EU countries and on the level of EU politics itself.

As a part of the implementation of the Lisbon policy goals, and given the particular role of the ICT industries in the wider context of globalisation of R&D activities, DG INFSO expressed a need for a documented overview of the developments of R&D in ICT in the 25 EU member states and in Europe as a whole. At present, no systematic survey exists with regard to R&D in ICT investments. The study aims at contribution to these open questions.


Finished project (12/2005 – 12/2007)


European Commission, Joint Research Centers, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS)


  • Fraunhofer ISI (co-ordinator)
  • ARC system research GmbH, AT
  • Hungarian Academy of Sciences IE/HAS, HU
  • TNO Innovation Policy Group, NL



Benchmarking nationaler und regionaler Politiken zur Förderung der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit des IKT-Sektors in der EU

Da der IKT-Sektor weiterhin einer der wichtigsten Treiber für das wirtschaftliche Wachstum und Produktivität sowie bei der Schaffung von Arbeitsplätzen darstellt, wurde im Auftrag der Europäischen Kommission ein Benchmarking nationaler und regionaler Politiken zur Förderung der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit des IKT-Sektors in der EU durchgeführt. Hauptziel der Studie war die Erweiterung der Wissensbasis über erfolgreiche Politikmaßnahmen in Europa, die für die Förderung der Wettbewerbsfähkeit des IKT-Sektor Vorbildcharakter haben können.

Im Rahmen der Studie wurden aktuelle Regierungspraktiken zur Förderung der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit des IKT-Sektors in der EU identifiziert und anhand vordefinierter Benchmarking-Kriterien bewertet. Es wurden insgesamt elf beispielhafter Politiken zur Förderung der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit des IKT-Sektors ausgewählt und genauer analysiert. Schließlich wurden Empfehlungen für Schwerpunktsetzungen und die Gestaltung von Politikmaßnahmen abgeleitet.

Der Endbericht wurde im Rahmen eines High-Level Workshops am 12. November 2004 der Öffentlichkeit vorgestellt. Die Ergebnisse dienen der Kommission als Ausgangspunkt für eine detailliertere Analyse der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit des IKT-Sektor in Europa.


Abgeschlossenes Projekt (01/2004 – 07/2004)


Europäische Kommission, Generaldirektion Unternehmen, Unit D4


  • Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Institute for Strategy, Technology and Policy (TNO-STB)
  • Louis Lengrand & Associates (LL&A)



Friedewald, Michael, Richard W. Hawkins, Isabelle Chatrie, Simone Kimpeler, Louis Lengrand, Martijn Poel, and Julie Rachidy, Benchmarking national and regional policies in support of the competitiveness of the ICT sector in the EU, Fraunhofer IRB Verlag, Stuttgart, 2005.


Friedewald, Michael, Simone Kimpeler, Richard W. Hawkins, Martijn Poel, Louis Lengrand, Isabelle Chatrie, and Julie Rachidy, “Benchmarking national and regional policies in support of the competitiveness of the ICT sector in the EU”, Final Report prepared for European Commission, Directorate-General Enterprises, D4 ISI, Karlsruhe, 2004. http://europa.eu.int/comm/enterprise/ict/policy/doc/ict-pol-finrep.pdf

Friedewald, Michael, Simone Kimpeler, Richard W. Hawkins, Martijn Poel, Louis Lengrand, Isabelle Chatrie, and Julie Rachidy, “Benchmarking national and regional policies in support of the competitiveness of the ict sector in the EU. Annex: Country reports”, Fraunhofer ISI, Karlsruhe, 2004. http://europa.eu.int/comm/enterprise/ict/policy/doc/ict-pol-annex.pdf


Friedewald, Michael, Richard W. Hawkins, and Simone Kimpeler, “Assessing European national policies to support the competitiveness of information and communication technology producers”, Info: The journal of policy, regulation and strategy, Vol. 8, No. 5, 2006, pp. 23-36.