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Regular version of the site

Article

Twenty years of S&T priority setting in Russia: lessons learned

Foresight. 2018. Vol. 20. No. 5. P. 449-466.

Purpose

This paper aims to present a retrospective analysis of the experience gained in the course of 20 years’ history of S&T priority setting and critical technologies’ identification, in terms of expected and actually achieved effects and lessons learned.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology is based on analysing project documentation and reports, as well as on interviewing project team members. Each project’s effects are evaluated in terms of the six key foresight functions.

Findings

The key factors affecting success of priority S&T areas and critical technologies’ selection and implementation have been identified. They include focusing on practical implementation, linking S&T with socio-economic goals, combining thematic priorities with infrastructural and functional ones, as well as integrating priority selection in the S&T policy process.

Research limitations implications

The task of evaluating priority setting exercises over a long period requires a substantial information base to provide a comprehensive comparative analysis. The projects considered in the paper also need to be analysed in a context of socio-economic development.

Practical implications

The lessons learned presented in the paper could contribute to further development of approaches to selecting science and technology priorities and critical technologies, and their more efficient implementation.

Originality value

Priority setting has significant influence on policymaking and decision-making at the national and industry level. The evaluation of a unique 20-year experience provides substantial information and practical hints for further increasing efficacy of this instrument.