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Working paper

Towards FET Concept: Pathway to Evaluation of Foresight Effectiveness, Efficiency and Validity

Afanasyev M., Cervantes M., Meissner D.
The increasing diversity and interdisciplinary nature of science and technology in a globalised  world are exerting mounting pressure on national research and innovation locations to develop  clear profiles. Among many instruments to meet this challenge is the systematic analysis and  continual monitoring of scientific, societal and technological trends – often done using Foresight.  Foresight is expected to provide a reliable basis for the future structuring and profiling of the  national research and innovation landscape. Foresight is a complex process which is also  reflected in the discussion of the effectiveness, efficiency and validity of Foresight.    In the recent years various aspects of Foresight evaluation have seen researchers’ attention across  different national and corporate schools of Foresight. Ranging from Foresight exercises’ impact  assessment (measuring effectiveness and efficiency of Foresight – summative evaluation) to  results verification (validation, windtunelling / wind tunnel testing of Foresight – normative  evaluation), separate approaches to the problem at hand exist. However, academic and  professional literature on the specific topic is rare, as a problem of openness of methodologies  also exists. Aside from these factors, there seems to be a consensus that Foresight science is  actively developing and there currently are many gaps in available evaluation methods, which  brings us to looking further into the supposed gaps.   The paper discusses in depth the effectiveness and efficiency in the light of Foresight and the  meaning of both for the validity of Foresight.