In an interview (via What Culture) at the 2011 Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas, Foster explained that he began developing the project, code-named “S.E.T.I.,” in 2006 with Kevin Severson. Severson, sadly, died of a stroke last year, but Foster’s continued working on their idea. It seems Foster’s already done quite a bit in terms of fleshing out the concept:
The series concept is fully developed, subject to change of course, with a solid 5-7 year series plan, pilot script and a conceptualized finale that intends to define Star Trek for generations, extensive character bios, costume and ship/set designs, and more. This is a drastic departure from the typical 8-10 page treatment of the previously pitched Star Trek series ideas that have not included even a pilot script.
Foster envisions his series as a return to Roddenberry’s original concept. “[W]hile Star Trek has moved on with other series that were not exactly in line with Gene’s original vision, the roots are there to tap into,” he said. Don’t expect something too old-fashioned, though — Foster also lists Joss Whedon, Ron Moore, Manny Coto, and J. Michael Straczynski as his inspirations on his site.
Timeline-wise, the new series will very definitely be moving forward. The show will take place in the post-Voyager era, and will remain faithful to pre-2009 canon as well as Star Trek: Enterprise canon. (Since Abrams’ 2009 film took place in an alternate timeline, Foster’s story would not be in conflict with Abrams’.)