Proactive FET Observatory for early trends, project building and social responsibility



Coming up with radically new ideas based on excellent science and materialize those creating real benefits for society is a tremendous challenge. In spite of the fact that innovation based on disruptive knowledge remains as the ultimate solution for achieving real progress, the emergence of breakthrough technologies seems to have slowed down. The success of ideas for breakthrough technologies not only relies on the capability and inspiring potential of researchers but in the matching of the ideas with real social needs and the economic, political and environmental context.

There is a need for early detection of promising ideas under this dynamic context and provision of tools to help researchers accelerating the kick-off of their development, thus increasing the probabilities of becoming successful in the creation of long-term impact, both for science and society.


PREFET is an 18-month FET-Open Coordination and Support Actions project under Horizon 2020 programme Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Open, also known as the EIC Pathfinder pilot.

The primary objective of the PREFET project is to deliver tools and methodologies to pre-validate new and emerging trending technologies, providing the RRI context for their successful implementation, and helping researchers improve their project building integral processes of FET like ideas at early stages for good planning and decision making.

Our Role

Within PREFET, Trilateral Research leads the Integration of the RRI dimension work package to facilitate the pre-incorporation and implementation of RRI into the FET context to better align FET processes and outcomes, with the values, needs and expectations of society. Moreover, Trilateral facilitates cross-sectoral understanding and evaluation of the RRI in FET and helps FET stakeholders make better-informed decisions related to their future investments and development activities.

To that extent, Trilateral is responsible for organising an RRI-FET Trendington event: “A European Discussion Around the Hottest Trends in Science and Technology”, for researchers to gain insights about future European research agendas, including research funding policy at the European level for the coming years, such as Horizon Europe and Marie-Curie.

Trilateral will also contribute to tasks focusing on: massive data analysis for trends identification using human and machine intelligence; final “RRI-Technology Trends analysis; capacity building towards RRI-FET proposal ideas through the creation of IdeAcademy; dissemination and communication activities; project management activities including developing a data management plan (DMP).



The key outputs of the PREFET project include a methodology platform with specialized unique tools enabling systematic identification of new and emerging technologies beyond the FET portfolio and for supporting researchers in their early-stage decision and ideation steps, in particular:

  • Enabling researches to pre-validate their ideas in relation to technological medium-term perspectives.
  • Effectively detecting major flaws to be addressed or opportunities to be explored, and key players to cooperate with at the EU and international levels via an interdisciplinary approach.
  • Actively supporting good project ideation through a complete interactive set of tools that guide the researcher through the whole process in a simple, logical, and organized way, addressing critical points essential for successful projects.
  • Maximizing the alignment of the R&I activities with social needs and benefits, guaranteeing an intelligent investment of the public and private funds in “real trends”. PREFET project will go further by integrating those factors through a proactive workflow inherently linked to the RRI context and to the concept of the mapping of FET ideas with the seventeen 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).



PREFET will:

  • Strengthen European leadership in the early exploration of visionary, new and emerging technologies and with a strong engagement of scientists, citizens, innovators and policymakers by including PREFET’s stakeholders’ views about future trends from the very beginning of the project
  • Improve long-term innovation potential in Europe both from the abundance of novel ideas and the range of actors ready to take them forward by determining the worldwide “Rockstar’s” of future and emerging technologies and selecting candidates with an innovative research background
  • Improve readiness across Europe to engage in inter-disciplinary research collaboration and to take up new, open and responsible research and innovation practices, with due attention to aspects such as education, gender differences and long-term societal, ethical and legal implications. We aim to achieve it by developing IdeAcademy, an innovative training “school” focused on building skills oriented to create winning project ideas aligned with FET gatekeepers and a customized RRI tool for their proposals.

For more information and updates visit the PREFET project website and follow us on Twitter @PREFETeu


Please contact our team for more information:


Agata Gurzawska,  Associate Research Manager at Trilateral Research



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 824748

‘Risk Assessment Report and Methodology’

You can view the Executive Summary and Table of contents of the Project Solebay Risk Assessment Methodology Report.

Please sign up to the Solebay mailing list to download the Full Solebay project report.