07 Sep / How OPEN is FET-Open?

FET-Open supports early-stage science and technology research and innovation ideas towards radically new future technologies in all disciplines.

That’s nice, right?  But with a success rate of less than 1.5% – exactly how open is FET-Open?

Since FET-Open is a bottom-up scheme that applies to all research and innovation topics and disciplines it sounds like the ideal channel for funding. However, when looking into the requirements and evaluation criteria, as well as the evolution process, it becomes clear that winning a FET-Open grant is not an easy task.

Thus the perceived ‘openness’ of FET-Open is misleading. In addition, many look at FET-Open as an almost immediate automatic alternative to all other themes and topics of Horizon 2020 (whether they checked other options thoroughly or not). Many proposals are being submitted to FET-Open with little or no match to the call requirements – not to mention the excellence criteria standards – while overloading the system and distorting the overall success rate statistics.

The outcome is well known – the oversubscription in FET-Open is skyrocketing and the success rate is very low. So, how can one know whether to apply to FET-Open or not?

Keep in mind that FET-Open is aiming to pathfinding Europe’s technological future by presenting radically new, high-risk ideas and accelerate development of the most promising emerging areas of science and technology. FET-Open is located on the excellence pillar next to the prestigious ERC grant.

Start with the call text and make sure that your project complies with the “6 gatekeepers”. Make sure that your consortium structure matches the requirements of FET-Open. Look at winning FET-Open projects, talk to colleagues that have applied, and get support and guidance from experts.

Make no mistake, achieving a FET-Open project funding is hard work and highly competitive. However, a proper preparation will help in improving your winning chances.


By Yoram Bar-Zeev in FET, Our blog