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Which would you fund?

  1. FuturICT

    0 vote(s)
  2. Graphene

    3 vote(s)
  3. Guardian Angels

    0 vote(s)
  4. HBP

    0 vote(s)
  5. ITFoM

    1 vote(s)
  6. RoboCom

    0 vote(s)
  7. Other (specify what and why)

    2 vote(s)
  1. Jun 9, 2011 #1


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    Staff: Mentor

    The European Union's "Future Emerging Technologies" program sees innovative technologies enter into a competition to win a €1,000,000,000 funding prize! The six finalists are up, which one do you think deserves the funding and why?

    Here are some brief discriptions;

    The FuturICT Knowledge Accelerator and Crisis-Relief System: Unleashing the Power of Information for a Sustainable Future
    --A project aiming to create a virtual Earth capable of predicting calamities that may befall us and providing a platform to test how certain policies would affect the world.

    Graphene: Science and Technology for ICT and Beyond
    --An investment in the "material of the future" for use in electronics, spintronics, photonics, plasmonics and mechanics.

    Guardian Angels: For a Smarter Planet
    --A project aiming to develop autonomous and intelligent programs that will be integrated into our infrastructure and lives to make life easier and safer.

    HBP: Human Brain Project
    --Hoping to simulate the human brain at all levels this project aims to provide insights into how our minds work, supply treatments for neurodegenerative diseases and greatly advance the field of artificial intelligence.

    ITFoM: The Medicine of the Future: IT Future of Medicine: a revolution in healthcare
    --Utilising extensive databases of human biochemical pathways, tissues and disease combined with new analytical equipment this project hopes to streamline personalised medicine by comparing data from a patient to that of a database to construct effective nad efficient healthcare.

    RoboCom: Companions for Citizens
    --By developing artificial intelligence and robotics technology this project aims to make intelligent robots an integrated part of everyday life.

    A BBC report on the program can be seen here and the FET website (with descriptions of the projects and links to their websites) found here
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 9, 2011 #2
    I chose other. How about spending the money on pre-cooled jet engine R&D, which doesn't get enough funding? From what has been done so far, the concept seems promising enough.

    Another choice that I thought of is to split the money up into smaller grants for medical research, such as resarch into tissue engineering, anti-cancer tech., and improved imaging/tests. These are things which may improve people's health in more important ways than HBP or ITFoM would.

    ITFoM and RoboCom seem like even if they were successful in producing something that might be useful, people might not use it.

    HBP seems alright but pretty ambitious.

    Guardian Angels seems a bit silly. Do you really think people would buy clothes that will measure their vital signs any time in the near future? What's wrong with exisiting traffic and pollen sensors?

    FuturICT is a project for an earth simulator, and is not something that will produce a new tech that will be used in the world on a wider scale. Problably, this project would entail spending most of the money on supercomputers, which is not a horrible choice, but things like this already exist, right?

    Graphene research may have more merit than the rest but my priorities lie elsewhere.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  4. Jun 9, 2011 #3
    I voted for other. A study of the adverse effects of beer, potato chips and sedentary habits on middle-aged men. I figure the grant will cover the beer bill anyway.
  5. Jun 9, 2011 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    I think FuturICT would be brilliant if it could be pulled off (reminds me of Isaac Asimov's books featuring "psychohistory") but it seems a bit too science fiction. The weather is hard enough to predict let alone the entire Earth + human society.

    ITFoM and HBP both seem feasible.

    GA and RoboCom seem very blue sky, both require huge breakthroughs in AI.

    On that basis I would have to vote graphene, it may be less blue sky but it already has proof-of-principle and promises some remarkable advances in a variety of fields. If I had to go "other" I would either go for investment in European wide 4G or even 5G systems or like MisterX would invest in Skylon.
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