FTA supporting effective priority setting in multi-lateral research programme cooperation: the case of EU-Russia S&T cooperation
This paper addresses the issue of priority setting for research programming in a multi-layered and multilateral context, taking into account the interests of diverse stakeholder groups. It proposes a framework for reducing complexity in a context where societal challenges are multifaceted and largely interconnected, decisions on research programming are highly fragmented and stakeholders are extremely diverse. The framework includes methodological recommendations for thematic priority setting through the application of Future-oriented Technology Analysis (FTA). Also the importance of achieving clear policy impacts (see Johnston and Cagnin, 2011) is addressed by including principles for optimising this impact. We use the case of an ERA-NET project supported under the EU’s FP7 programme, the ERA.Net RUS, which aims at coordinating R&D and innovation policies and support programmes between EU Member States, countries associated to the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) and Russia. A combination of foresight methodologies such as expert workshops, a Delphi survey, roadmapping elements, and prioritisation techniques were applied to select relevant topics for a research call. The paper highlights how foresight embedded in a multilateral programme cooperation project can support priority setting and how the foresight design can be adapted according to a set of coordination dimensions and design principles. Furthermore lessons will be drawn in order to achieve direct impacts, not only on the programming of calls for research projects addressing grand societal challenges (e.g. climate change, major diseases, demography and migration, etc.) between a wide range of countries and regions belonging to different parts of the world, but also on the EU level policy agenda and on the long-term strategic collaboration between world regions. Strategies for communicating foresight results to relevant policy makers at EU and national levels (e.g. in Russia) and for achieving impact herewith are also outlined.
One of the most important issues for the world society in the XXI century is a task to provide pure water for citizens. As evidenced results of expert survey, made by the Higher School of Economics
significant part of water sources for drinking water in Russia doesn’t meet necessary requirements. And one of the most adequate solutions to meet this challenge is using the nanotechnologies in processes of water purification that can solve the set of problems such as polluted sources, obsolete equipment, increased risk of diseases etc. Roadmap “Applying Nanotechnology to Water Treatment” was launched by summarizing opinions of expert community participants both national and foreign regarding the most significant nanotechnologies and products made with their help which are used or can be used for water treatment and purification purposes. The aim of the research is to make special innovation routes R&D-technologies-products-markets that could be used by federal and regional authorities and Russian companies working in the field of water purification. The roadmap becomes the first largescale national foresight exercise in the area of nanotechnologies for water purification.
The goal of the conference is to help build cross-disciplinary networks of analysts, software specialists, and researchers to advance the use of textual information in multiple science, technology, and business development fields. Within this context, conference themes will include, but are not limited to:
DataSourcing, preparing, and interpreting data sources including patents, publications, webscraping, and other novel data sources
Text-mining tools and methodsBest practices in software-based topic modeling, clumping, association rules, term manipulation, text manipulation, etc. Visualization
Applied researchFuture-Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA) Intelligence gathering to support decision-making in the private sector (e.g., Management of Technology)
Purpose – This paper aims to depict foresight programmes as extended service encounters between foresight practitioners, sponsors, and other stakeholders. The implications of this perspective for evaluating the outcomes of such programmes are to be explored.
Design/methodology/approach – The range of activities comprising foresight is reviewed, along with the various objectives that may underpin these activities. The more substantial foresight programmes are seen in terms of a series of steps, in each of which various partners can be involved in generating service outcomes and later steps of the process. The arguments are illustrated with insights drawn from various cases.
Findings – A foresight programme is likely to feed into more than one policy process, so that the foresight activities can be linked to various stages of the policy cycles, as well as engaging participants with different degrees of inﬂuence on the policies in question. The outcomes of the foresight activity are also heavily shaped by the degree of involvement of various stakeholders, not least the sponsoring agency and any other groups it seeks to mobilise. Seeing foresight as a service activity brings to the fore the notion of co-production, and the importance of the design of the service encounters involved.
Research limitations/implications – The task of evaluating foresight is a challenging one, and comparison of foresight activities needs to bear in mind the different scale, scope, and ambitions of different programmes. Simple static comparison of formal inputs and outputs will miss much of the value and value-added of the activity.Practical implications – A dynamic approach to evaluation stresses the learning of lessons about the roles of multiple stakeholders – and the responsibilities of sponsors as well as practitioners. Originality/value – Foresight programmes are frequently commissioned, and often have signiﬁcant inﬂuence on decision-making. Attempts to systematically evaluate these efforts have begun, and this essay stresses the need to be aware of the complex interactive nature of foresight, highlighted by viewing it in service terms.
In the past decades Foresight has been significantly developed as a tool for long-term forecasting in the field of power generation and energy efficiency. Such research aims at investigation of the most promising innovation strategies in this area, identifying various (including alternative) ways to achieve technological and market goals with the participation of best qualified experts. Such Foresight method as Roadmapping is widespread in the world practice. It helps to shape complex and interrelated views on prospects of innovation development in specific areas of energy efficiency, it links R&D programmes with creation of technologies and products, as well as their subsequent commercialization. The paper provides an overview of the world Foresight experience aimed at creating vision of the future and building innovation strategies related to energy efficiency. Special attention is paid to the Russian research practice, in particular to different types of Foresight projects implemented by the specialists of State University - Higher School of Economics. The authors describe the results of main projects dedicated to shape the future of energy-efficient technologies and to develop of innovation strategies on their application.
The publication was prepared in the scope of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities “Advancement of the Bilateral Partnership in Scientific Research and Innovation with the Russian Federation”. The paper presents an analysis of best practices in STI priority setting in the EU member states (UK, Germany, and Finland) and in the Russian Federation; compares priority systems adopted by various European countries; and identifies prospective subject areas for further development of international cooperation.
The materials included in the publication will help public authorities, companies, R&D organisations, universities, technology platforms, innovative territorial clusters, and other organisations to identify priority development areas, subject fields, and critical technologies.
The FTA community relies on a set of disciplines and methods, which try to better understand and shape the future from different methodological perspectives. Whilst the community has grown since the first edition of the International Seville Conference on Future-oriented Technology Analysis (FTA), there is still little dialogue and exchange between those applying quantitative and those applying qualitative methods. The FTA events have, since the beginning, provided an avenue to debate methodological aspects and this paper summarises and furthers the discussion developed during the 2011 edition, building on the debates at the conference and between members of the conference Scientific Committee, to which the authors of this paper belong. In particular this paper describes the methodological state of the field through a tripartite taxonomy of increasing levels of qualitative and quantitative integration. It shows how significant progress has been made for simpler forms of combinations but not for more sophisticated (and perhaps more promising) ones. Following that, it suggests that an epistemological divide, common to the social sciences as a whole, combined with cultural differences and misconceptions within the FTA community are amongst the factors undermining further methodological integration. The paper concludes by suggesting some steps, combining research and practice, to overcome such barriers.
The paper presents methods and algorithms for identifying complex concepts relevant for the domain of technological foresight within text collections. An approach based on the so called “black box” principle and combination of statistical and linguistic methods is proposed.
This illuminating book combines theory and practice to analyze the experiences and impacts of foresight activities in various European countries. It includes case studies with a focus on different societal issues including national development, science and technology, and sustainable development.