Regional Foresight for Bridging National Science, Technology, and Innovation with Company Innovation: Experiences from Russia
Whereas national and corporate foresight are established instruments for anticipatory Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) policy and innovation strategy respectively, regional foresight is a rather new phenomenon in this arena. Placed in between national and corporate foresight, regional foresight can be considered to fulfill a bridging role by taking advantage of the corporate foresight done at corporations which is based in the regions and by focusing on the broader national foresight and the related challenges covered by these studies. In addition, regional foresight also involves stakeholders who might be engaged in national as well as corporate foresight, but presumably these stakeholders play a more important and prominent role in the regional foresight. Also, it is understood that regional networks are important for the successful implementation of the results. Also, at the regional dimension, it shows that stronger personal linkages exist than in national or corporate foresight. The article introduces and discusses two regional foresight case studies in Russian regions, namely, Bashkortostan and Samara. Regional foresight in both case studies was designed to mirror the quadruple helix instead of focusing on the triple helix only as it is done in many other regional foresight cases; e.g., the focus was extended beyond the science, government, and industry stakeholders by including civil society as well. However, the limitation of the case studies is the modest participation and representation of the innovative industry sectors which is also due to the general weakness of Russian industry overall. Still it is found that both cases not only created reasonable momentum for developing the regions in the STI dimension but also even broader economic and social welfare dimension.