This paper aims to discuss a foresight study conducted in Singapore’s national R&D agency to help science and technology decision makers identify key capability areas of R&D investment to support the manufacturing industry’s growth in the country and the region.
Using horizon scanning, scenario analysis and expert opinion, nine capabilities are identified as core areas to be developed to support the country’s future growth of product-service systems.
The results of a Delphi survey involving 30 industry and academic thought leaders recommend priorities of these capabilities. This paper concludes with a discussion of the study implications for theory, research and practice in the domain of servitisation and product-service systems.
The foresight study presented here on the future of servitisation in Singapore demonstrates one of the first fully fledged applications of foresight in constructing a coherent vision of future product-service system markets. In this study, the authors applied systemic foresight methodology (SFM) comprising the first six phases: initiation (scoping), intelligence (scanning), imagination (scenarios), integration (priorities), interpretation (strategies) and implementation (action).For future research, an ideal step would be to proceed with the final phase of the SFM, impact, to develop indicators for servitisation and to monitor and evaluate the transition process.
Manufacturing and services are no longer distinct concepts with a clear divide. Manufacturing firms not only become more service dependent but also produce and provide services for their consumers. This transformation towards servitisation implies fundamental re-organisation of the production and management practices. Furthermore, through new business models, new and loyal customers will be gained, which will in turn bring additional income, while making the companies less prone to economic and business fluctuations.
The results of this study have practical implications for policymakers of public and private sectors that are interested in playing a key role in future product-service system innovation. These have implications for developing the human and intellectual capital that are required for supporting the future innovation. Institutes of higher learning and vocational institutes should also consider incorporating new curricula and modules to build the capabilities for knowledge creation and transfer.
The findings of the present study on strategic growth areas and relevant critical capabilities provide new directions for research in the field of servitisation. Among the nine capabilities identified, the top three were advanced customer intelligence capability, socio-physical service quality, traceability and maintainability and integrated strategic decision-making. From the results, it is apparent that advanced customer intelligence capability is both an area of importance to Singapore and the world.
This paper aims to analyse the necessity and sufficiency of researchers’ and engineers’ competencies in the area of science and technology, given oncoming technological changes. Five key questions are addressed concerning the skills and abilities of PhD holders: What competencies do researchers have at present? What competencies are currently used? How valuable are they at the present time? Will they be in demand in 10-15 years? And how relevant are these competencies for working on projects in priority areas of science and technology development? Design/methodology/approach: The analysis was based on data collected by two empirical studies conducted in 2010-2013. A survey of researchers and engineers described the issues with competencies related to the areas of science, technology and innovation. Study among 1,884 PhD holders employed in research institutes, universities and enterprises was carried out. In addition, 30 in-depth interviews were also conducted with experts representing the most promising areas of science and technology development in Russia – nanotechnology, biotechnology and the power engineering sectors. Findings: The results from quantitative and qualitative analyses indicate that general competencies such as fundamental theoretical knowledge, ability to work on projects, teamwork and creativity will be in demand in 10-15 years, rather than highly specialized skills. Employers tend to develop needed skills of researchers involved in innovations directly on the workplace, during the realization of a project. Originality/value: This is the first paper to use solid broad statistical evidence to outline a clear idea of the technological and scientific research competencies that would be required in the future.
The current paper aims to present the Scan-4-Light study, which was conducted for the systematic scanning and analysis of the Searchlight newsletters as a rapidly growing collection of articles on trends and topics in development and poverty. Built upon the concept of the systemic foresight methodology, the Scan-4-Light approach involves the integrated use of horizon scanning, network analysis and evolutionary scenarios combined with expert consultations and workshops. The study identified the emerging trends, issues, weak signals and wild cards; created high-value visualisations to emphasize the results and findings; and produced narratives to increase the impact and awareness of the development issues. The Scan-4-Light project has resulted in a large number of specific outputs, providing the views of the Searchlight newsletters' contents at various levels of granularity. It has set out to show how the tools used here can be applied to illustrate the relationships among issues, and how these vary across countries and regions over time, and are linked to various stakeholders and possible solutions to problems. Scan-4-Light demonstrates how foresight tools and techniques can be used for the analysis of complex and uncertain issues, such as development and poverty, in a systemic way. The Scan-4-Light approach can be applied in a number of areas for scanning and identifying emerging trends and issues, and understanding the relationships between systems and solutions. The paper gives evidence that most of the issues, if not all, related to development are not isolated, but interlinked and interconnected. They require more holistic understanding and intervention with an effective collaboration between stakeholders.
Sectoral foresight activities often identify technological opportunities but leave the question open who will pursue them. Here, entrepreneurial activities have become increasingly important for the introduction and commercialization of new technological solutions. The same is true for Russia’s oil and gas industry, which requires a major technological upscaling to stay competitive. Promising start-ups though face often high barriers and fail to commercialize superior technological solutions.
This paper discusses the experiences of a Russian oilfield service start-up in commercializing a self-developed technology for increasing the productivity of oil wells.
The start-up faced conservatism from corporate decision makers, declining oil prices and suboptimal protection of intellectual property rights. The company overcame most barriers through moving into other markets outside of Russia, as closing a deal with customers in the USA and Canada went much faster than the extended business cycles of national oil companies.
This paper connects sectoral foresight activities to the real-life experience of a start-up. The findings suggest that entry barriers need to be included in the planning process to really pave the way for a greater impact.
Purpose - This paper aims to report the author’s observations and opinions during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2014. Discussions presented focus on recent technological developments and their impacts on society with three plausible future scenarios; the energy agenda with new technological advancements and future energy partnerships; and the dynamics of Russia’s future development agenda amid the Ukraine crisis. Design/methodology/approach - The paper includes a commentary on the SPIEF 2014 Forum. Ideas presented are extended through the review of relevant references and future scenarios. Findings - Technological development will continue to shape societies and may even result with the transformation of social classes. Energy will remain as a top priority area on the global and regional socio-economic agenda, with political implications across the world and in Russia. Research limitations/implications - A number of research questions arose through the discussion on the relationships between science, technology and society; future energy technologies; and geo-politics. Social implications - Technological development will certainly have implications on society. The paper explores those impacts through “visionary”, “negative” and “different” scenarios. Similarly, the transformations in the energy sector will have broader social and environmental impacts. Originality/value - With the original ideas presented, this viewpoint paper addresses some of the grand social, technological, economic, environmental and political challenges that societies face today.
Purpose: This paper aims to analyse three individual foresight projects referring to the natural resources sector in Russia, their interconnection and influence on policy decision making. Design/methodology/approach: The three foresight studies used different methodologies depending on the project's goal. First the projects' interconnections are explained. Second, each of the studies is characterised from different viewpoints, including their aims, structures, methodologies and results. Finally their influence on policy-making is evaluated. Findings: The paper concludes that implementation of these three interrelated studies allows identification of S&T&I priorities that have a strong connection with policy decision making. Therefore, on the basis of this experience, it is suggested that a widespread national Delphi survey for the identification of science and technology (S&T) priorities should be complemented by the identification of key long-term demand for resources and reshaped management systems. Originality/value: For the first time the paper presents an analysis of Russian foresight projects connected to the natural resources area and an evaluation of their influence on policy decision making.
Purpose – The aim of this paper is to develop a specific strategic foresight methodology and integrate this into roadmapping which is suitable for corporations. To date, reasonable practical experience has been accumulated, but there is a lack of a comprehensive conceptual approach for using strategic foresight and roadmapping to solve management problems.
Design/methodology/approach – This approach integrates corporate strategic foresight and roadmapping in several stages. During the foresight phase, the authors create scenarios of long-term development determined by long-term macro trends and challenges to identify “points of growth” and system of priorities for company growth. A strategic roadmap enables the company to form a “corridor” for specific projects and create a long-term action plan to implement the priorities identified in the first phase. Using a project roadmap makes it possible to ensure the implementation of a specific project, defining a system of goals, the necessary measures, their timing and financing, as well as indicators to assess their effectiveness.
Findings – The core result of the suggested methodology is a set of possible trajectories of innovation development, reflecting the whole technological chain involving R&D – technology – product – market. Each path involves a sequence of organizational actions and key decision-making points that are necessary to be taken to introduce new technological solutions and develop innovation products with new features to the customer/user. These routes support decision-making in such fields as the choice of the product line, establishment of new partnerships with developers of innovation technologies, decisions regarding “insourcing-outsourcing” and the requirements for relevant scientific and technological breakthroughs. It allows corporations to create strategies for commercializing innovation products.
Originality/value – The methodology proposes to integrate the results of foresight studies and in roadmaps and finally in business planning, adopting innovative strategies and management decisions. It contributes to the development of common principles and approaches to the subject, while taking account of company-specific features that can significantly affect the decision-making mechanism. The methodology is applicable to foreign and Russian companie
This paper aims to present a set of strategic options for Research and Innovation (R&I) stakeholders in the light of new and emerging ways of organising and performing research. Design/methodology/approach: The paper first reviews the evolution of the R&I landscape and identifies the most influential stakeholders engaged in R&I. In the light of the scenarios developed for the year 2030, a set of strategic options are identified and assessed for each stakeholder group. Findings: R&I systems are now more complex than 50 years ago and will be even more in the future. Radical changes are expected in terms of the ways research is funded, organised and carried out. Some of these transformations are captured by the scenarios developed. The analysis of scenarios indicated that their feasibility and desirability differ across different sectors of industry, and research areas within the research landscape. Research limitations/implications: Scenarios and strategies presented in the paper bring new considerations on the way research activities are practiced. Further research is considered to be useful on the new modes of research and implications for academia, industry, society and policy makers. Practical implications: The discussion around the responses of different stakeholders vis-à-vis specific scenarios about the future in R&I practices and organisation gives a practical view about how to deal with associated emerging trends and issues. Social implications: Society is a crucial stakeholder of all R&I activities. The transformative scenarios suggest that society will not only be playing a reactive role on the demand side but also more proactive role on the supply side in the decades to come. Originality/value: The paper is based on work undertaken within the Research and Innovation (RIF) 2030 project. As R&I activities will be important for the development and competitiveness of the EU and its member states, the work presented here is considered to be of value by highlighting how to create more resilient strategies in a fast-changing R&I landscape.
This essay aims to introduce horizon scanning as an approach fundamental to most foresight studies. It combines a general review of the topic with an overview of a range of horizon-scanning approaches that are in use in the UK health system. Different approaches – shorter as well as longer-term, searching as well as broad scanning – are appropriate in different circumstances. In times of systemic change it is necessary to combine approaches of all types. Only a small sample of the huge range of horizon-scanning exercises has been studied, and the essay has not gone far into the question of how horizon-scanning relates to other elements of the foresight process. The implication is that horizon-scanning should be undertaken on a routine basis, and should be integrated into planning activities from the start. Horizon-scanning is a tool needed in activities such as planning for the workforce, and for health and safety issues. The essay covers a wide range of activities with real-life illustrations in addition to overall assessment.
Purpose – This paper aims at assessing the impacts of the national cluster policy, cluster age, cluster development benchmarks of neighbouring regions and the cumulative level of regional innovative capacity on the quantity and quality of cluster initiatives in Russia. Design/methodology/approach – Hypotheses’ testing was carried out by a series of calculations comparing the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of cluster initiatives; the number of new cluster initiatives to the number of neighbouring regions, where cluster initiatives had begun to develop earlier; and ranks of regions within the Russian regional innovation scoreboard to the quantity and quality characteristics of cluster initiatives therein. Findings – The results of the study empirically confirm that the national cluster policy significantly influenced the emergence and advancement of cluster initiatives in Russia. The proximity to the regions, having previously launched cluster support programmes, also had an impact on the emergence of new cluster initiatives. The cluster initiatives’ age had an ambiguous effect on their performance. Finally, the level of regional innovative capacity was correlated only with the number of cluster initiatives localised therein. Practical implications – The findings show that along with the direct effects of the national cluster policy for the government-supported clusters, there are positive externalities, e.g. the emergence of new cluster initiatives throughout the country. Originality/value – The research database of 277 cluster initiatives has been drawn up as a part of the first national cluster mapping and covers almost a decade of clustering activity in Russia. The study analyses not only the cluster initiatives supported by the federal government but also those developed independently.
Purpose. During the last decade Russian federal authorities have tried to build an effective national innovation system, strongly emphasizing a well-functioning science sector. The purpose of this paper is to look at future developments of Russian science from the perspective of recent policies and their perceptions by Russian scientists. Special emphasis is placed on the so-called ‘efficient contracts’ policy for researchers which should make the remuneration system of public R&D organizations more competitive.
Design/methodology/approach. The paper examines the results of an extensive survey of almost 1500 Russian scientists and managers at universities and public research organizations conducted by the authors in 2013 as well as recent statistical data and policy documents.
Findings. The paper concludes that some of the ambitious S&T goals set by the government will be hard to achieve in the next decade. The scientific landscape is likely to experience certain structural changes but will probably face many of the existing problems. Improvements in overall R&D performance will largely depend on how well the ‘efficient contracts’ policy is implemented.
Originality/value. The future development of Russian science is discussed based on major recent policy documents and the opinions of Russian scientists. The findings might be important for policy makers not only in Russia but other countries as well.
Purpose – This paper aims to describe and discuss the architecture of Russia’s Technology Foresight System (TFS). This paper introduces the reader to the integration of the TFS into the public administration system and, specifically, into the national strategic planning system.
Design/methodology/approach – To do so, the authors fall back on more than 10 years of experience in performing foresight exercises for Russian policy makers of their institution.
Findings – Thereby, the paper highlights the implications arising from the interaction between sectoral and national components of TFS and on application of the results of foresight studies (implemented within the framework of TFS) for the strategic planning.
Originality/value – Russia has a long history of technological planning and forecasting and engages regularly in extensive foresight activities of both national and sectoral relevance. Also, Russia’s leadership repeatedly stresses the importance of such foresight activities which are outlined by a national law since 2014.