Archive for the ‘Regional’ Category

EFP Brief No. 244: Survey of Future Market Research and Innovation Needs

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

This brief presents the results of a survey conducted as part of the WBC-INCO.NET project initiative to support innovation capacities in the Western Balkans region. The WBC-INCO.NET project seeks to promote the bi-regional dialogue on science and technology between the EC, the member states and the Western Balkan countries. The survey aimed to pinpoint both present and likely future research and market needs as well as identify possibilities for collaboration in the region.

Future Research and Market Needs for the Western Balkans Region

This brief presents the results of a survey conducted as part of the WBC-INCO.NET project initiative to support innovation capacities in the Western Balkans region. WBC-INCO.NET partners from the Western Balkans include research and policy stakeholders from the following countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYRo Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244). The survey aimed to pinpoint both present and likely future research and market needs as well as identify possibilities for collaboration in the region.

The findings of the survey will support other activities that together will provide a clear overview of the region’s current situation and future needs in regard to innovation. These activities should help to prepare an action plan for further cooperation in innovation between the Western Balkan countries (WBC) and serve to establish closer cooperation between research and innovation stakeholders in the region (i.e. publicly funded researchers and innovative companies). This should include expertise from the industrial sectors and the fields of innovation management and market entry. It should also involve exploring EU programmes, other than FP7, and supporting programmes of other institutions that are directed toward increasing innovation in the WBC.

Survey among Stakeholders

Two questionnaires were jointly designed by the European Commission JRC-IPTS (Seville) and the Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences (Croatia). The questionnaires addressed market and research stakeholders, including selected firms and entrepreneurial researchers, and aimed to identify current and future research and innovation needs in order to support the design of a joint action plan towards 2030.

The methodology employed consisted of five phases:

  1. Initially, a literature review on innovation was conducted to identify important aspects that would have to be taken into account when designing the questionnaires. The selected aspects were:
  2. i) Importance of different stakeholders in the innovation process.
  3. ii) Specific actions that can improve regional cooperation as well as innovation.

iii)   Factors necessary to stimulate regional cooperation divided in human resources, entrepreneurship infrastructure, expert assistance and cooperation between industry and research, fiscal and financial obstacles, and national and local regulations.

  1. iv) Likely outcomes of enhanced regional cooperation.
  2. The first questionnaire was submitted to selected firms in the WB region.
  3. Building on the results of the first questionnaire with the aim to compare them, a second questionnaire was sent to research stakeholders in the region.
  4. A statistical analysis was conducted for both questionnaires and the results were crosschecked.
  5. The results were circulated within the consortia for final refinements.

It must be emphasised that the findings indicate only  potential needs in the region, which need to be refined by further analysis and discussed with industry, research and regional stakeholders, for instance in a workshop for this purpose.

The response rate of the industry questionnaire was low: only 20 firms replied, which nevertheless allowed the team to perform some analyses. The response rate of the researcher questionnaire was higher.

Interesting Results of the Industry Survey

The respondents were asked to assess the importance of 14 stakeholders for firms’ innovation capacities.

Top Three Stakeholders

As the top three stakeholders, the respondents identified:

  1. Employees in the respondents’ enterprise or enterprise group
  2. Professional and industrial associations
  3. Universities and colleges
Bottom Three Stakeholders

The bottom three stakeholders were:

  1. Cluster networks
  2. Suppliers and customers from the WBC region
  3. Venture capital firms/angel investors
Interesting Results of the Researcher Survey

Figure 1 (below) compares the proportion of researchers that ranked various factors influencing university-industry collaborations as highly important. A majority of the researchers assessed all the factors as more important in the future than today, which suggests that the researchers feel that other barriers need to be overcome in the short-term.

Figure 1. Important factors for university-industry cooperation today and 2030
244_bild1

Industry and Research: Diverging Views on the Needs for Research and Innovation

Based on the results of the surveys in the field of research, the following points can be highlighted:

  • The most important actions to improve cooperation between business and research in the region, both in the present and in the future are (1) more funding for knowledge/technology transfer activities and expert consultations and (2) more funding for collaborative research between universities and businesses.
  • Whilst state and local regulations as well as expert assistance seem critical for innovative performance today, investment in human resources and infrastructure emerge as crucial to enhance cooperation in the future.
  • The analysis of the questionnaire administered to both research and business stakeholders reflects disagreement as to which potential outcomes of enhanced regional innovation collaboration are to be considered more relevant. The only outcome that both equally perceive as important is access to new markets. This suggests the need to build both more awareness of new opportunities and (new) capabilities in the region. To this end, improved communication, including the respective infrastructure (e.g. ICT), and mobility seem to be critical.
  • The answers industry and researchers give when asked about the most important actions to improve regional innovation activities differ substantially. The three actions least important to industry are among those actions that the participating researchers considered most important:
    • common programmes for mobility of personnel in the region between universities and business to establish cooperation between science and industry,
    • a consistent legal framework aimed at facilitating foreign direct investments in the WB region, and
    • the progressive liberalisation and mutual opening of the service market within the WB region.

The only action that business and researchers both perceive as important (ranking third for both of them) is developing regional initiatives for large infrastructural projects. Such an outcome highlights the need for enhanced communication and understanding between these two groups of stakeholders in order to achieve a joint agenda.

  • Finally, of the research topics identified by industry as important to trigger regional innovation through collaboration, the ones that the researchers also appear to be interested in are
    • the environment,
    • information management systems: monitoring through ICTs and the automation of information management systems, artificial intelligence and agent-based software and
    • new approaches and frameworks to enhance foreign direct investment and cross-regional investments in the region.

Diverging Views  between Industry and Research

Hot Policy Topics:
Need for More Technology Transfer

A strong divergence between the views of industry and research in terms of present and future actions as well as areas for collaboration has emerged. This call for policy measures aims at improving communication between the two groups of stakeholders to facilitate the move towards a common agenda.

Presently, a strong need is also felt for policies that provide more funding for knowledge/technology transfer activities and expert consultations as well as collaborative research between universities and businesses.

Action Needed: Improving Innovation Capacities

This exercise is part of a wider project that aims at defining a long-term strategy for scientific collaboration within the Western Balkan countries and between them and Europe.

The critical issues that emerged in the survey call for further analysis and discussion. In particular, it is suggested that industry and the research community gather to discuss the following aspects:

  • Investments in knowledge and technology sharing, expert consultations and collaborative research
  • Decrease in regulation
  • Strengthening of human resources
  • Improvements in infrastructure (including ICT)
  • Building of awareness of innovation benefits
  • Fostering of mobility
  • Enhancement of communication between different stakeholders
Shaping the Future: Critical Factors

This project was part of the larger WBC-INCO.NET project, which ultimately will develop a joint action plan for the WBC. The results will feed directly into the process at three levels:

  1. The development of a common vision for the WBC: This vision should set the longer-term objective(s), which are to be defined by authoritative experts in the field and endorsed politically.
  2. The translation of the vision into a strategic research agenda (SRA), which entails specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based (SMART) objectives. The strategic research agenda should make the vision operational and link the implementation of the vision’s objectives with existing competences in Europe (or in the region) and new ones to be developed.
  3. The implementation of the SRA: All participating public authorities should gear their programs and funding towards the implementation of the SRA in a coherent manner. The full toolbox of public research instruments should be explored and used to implement the individual joint programming initiatives. Regular monitoring and evaluation of progress against the SMART objectives should be ensured and the results reported to the political level.
Authors: Cristiano Cagninc         cagnin@cgee.org.br

Elisabetta Marinelli       Elisabetta.Marinelli@ec.europa.eu

Sponsors: European Commission
Type: Quantitative survey

(The survey was conducted as part of the WBC-INCO.NET project)

Organizer: EC – Joint Research Centre – Institute of Prospective Technological Studies
Duration: 2008-2012
Budget: n.a.
Time Horizon: 2030
Date of Brief: July 2012

Download EFP Brief No. 244_Research and Innovation Needs in the Western Balkan Countries

Sources and References

For sources and references see the WBC-INCO.NET website:

http://wbc-inco.net/

The brief is based on the report by IPTS in collaboration with IVO-PILAR:

http://wbc-inco.net/object/document/7423

EPF Brief No. 243: Towards Gender-transformative Climate Change Adaptation Policies

Friday, December 21st, 2012

This climate policy research demonstrates that in India’s agriculture-dominated and gender-biased economy, the future of India’s adaptation strategy hinges on how well gender is integrated into agriculture-related policies and programmes. India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change, which lays out India’s strategy for mitigation and adaptation, recognises that women suffer more from climate change impacts than men. However, it fails to recognise that women are also integral to climate solutions. The research concludes with a set of policy recommendations for policy-makers and other actors.

Why Should India Focus on Gender-Responsive Adaptation?

There is growing scientific and anecdotal evidence in India that climate vagaries are affecting the life and work of its people, especially the 72% of its populations that lives off climate-sensitive agriculture and related activities. An overwhelming 60% of India’s agriculture is rain-fed and prone to recurring natural disasters like floods, droughts and cyclones which, according to climate scientists, will become more frequent, intense and unpredictable. These rain fed areas are also home to majority of the poor and marginalised farmers. India’s 11th Five-year Plan (2007-2012) notes the increasing ‘feminisation’ of Indian agriculture and a dominance of women workers in livestock rearing and collection of minor products from forests.

While India is the world’s 5th largest greenhouse gasses emitter and the 6th largest carbon emitter, these constitute just 4% and 3% of the global emissions respectively; also, India’s per capita emissions are 70% below the world’s average. Following a low-carbon growth strategy is important, and India has already embarked upon one, but there is far less policy focus on adaptation. As the Stern Review (2006) notes: ‘adaptation policy is crucial for dealing with the unavoidable impacts of climate but it has been underemphasised in many countries. Adaptation is the only response available for the impacts that will occur over the next several decades before mitigation measures can have an effect.’

Overcoming Gender-specific Disparities

Without an effective adaptation policy, India cannot achieve its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) or its MDG-based National Development Goals as set out by the Indian Planning Commission. Climate change impacts often threaten to erode or inhibit development gains. Women are typically responsible for providing their household with climate-sensitive resources like water, food crops, fodder and firewood; they are also less likely to have the education, opportunities, authority and productive resources to adapt to climate change impacts. Without gender-specific disparities being addressed by adaptation policies, climate change will add another layer of gender inequality, especially in the farming sector.

The fourth assessment report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes that gender differences affect the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of women and men. After decades of gender-blind climate negotiation texts under the UN Framework on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC), women and gender concerns were mentioned in the December 2010 Conference of Parties (COP 16) Cancun text.

Understanding Gender-specific Impacts of Climate Change

Using a gender lens, the research (a) analysed adaptation policies and programmes as laid out in the NAPCC and (b) gathered evidence from four disaster-prone rain fed agro-climatic zones in four states (India consists of 28 states and 7 Union Territories) for evidence-based policy recommendations. The four agro-climatic zones were:

  • The Himalayan eco-system in Himachal Pradesh (HP).
  • The flood plains of Eastern Uttar Pradesh (UP).
  • The Sunderbans coastal area in West Bengal (WB).
  • The drought region of Andhra Pradesh (AP).

The research objectives were:

  • Understanding some of the socio-economic impacts of climate change at the local level where gender-specific disparities are most intense.
  • Identifying some of the gender-responsive policy gaps in the national adaptation missions and in specific state-level climate change plans, and suggesting possible corrections.
  • Identifying some areas where women and men can both participate in, influence and benefit from scientific work on adaptation
  • Assessing how gender-responsive the work of grassroots NGOs working on adaptation is and how this can be up-scaled in a gender-responsive manner by the Central and State government’s climate-related policies and plans.

The research employed a range of tools and techniques. These included:

  • Literature Review
  • Participatory collection of field-data by four grassroots NGOs, each in one of the above agro-climatic zones.
  • Consultations with gender/climate experts
  • Policy analysis
  • A Delphi exercise

How Women and Men are Impacted Differently by Climate Change

There is little evidence to show the different impacts of climate change on men and women. The need to identify and study these differences is critical for making gender-responsive adaptation policies and programmes.

This research gathered data from the four agro-climatic zones and used a gender lens to show how the same climate change impact affected women and men differently. The research revealed that men’s primary way to adapt was to migrate from farms which meant that women were left behind to both till the unproductive land and to continue their care roles. This put an additional burden on women because they had to till the unproductive land or labour in other fields, while continuing to shoulder their care-giver responsibilities with no support from the spouse. The table below captures this gender difference from the four zones.

Gendered Impacts of Climate Change
Climate Change Impacts on women Impacts on Men
Lower food production Least to eat; sleep on an empty stomach

Need to take on additional work as wage labour which also led to more feminisation of agricultural labour (WB, UP, AP)

They get first priority to available food in the family
More natural disasters – cyclones, floods, water-logging and droughts; infrequent rains; intense rains Longer distances to walk to get water and fuel-wood

Loss of fodder and livestock

Drought/infrequent spells of rains – harder ground to do agricultural work on

Intense rains – more weeds and weeding is a woman’s job

Distress migration
Higher summer temperatures; longer summers Lower milk production among animals

More tiring work in fields even in April (HP)

Longer waking hours to work in the field early morning and late evening to beat the heat (AP, HP, UP)

Lesser tasks in the field.

Distress migration

Effect on regeneration of species and upward shift of the forest tree-line Medicinal herbs and fodder unavailable in forests now (HP) No effect
Social impacts

 

 

Higher indebtedness – women go to take loans and have the responsibility to pay off loans!

Increased male migration results in more women and child trafficking and HIV/AIDS spread

Greater poverty and frustration among men leads to increase in domestic abuse/violence

Distress migration

 

Adaptation Interventions Involve Women more but also Affect them Differently

Most grassroots development organisation working on farm-based livelihoods with rural men and women have willy-nilly adopted techniques that help small and marginalised farmers adapt to climate vagaries. Adaptation can be understood to be ‘development-plus;’ or development measures that take into account climate-proofing; or climate change adaptation interventions that help in also achieving development gains. According to a World Resources Institute study (2007), ‘adaptation uses the same toolbox as development measures, is more integrated than development interventions and factors in the dimension of ‘additionality’ on account of climate variability.’

Most NGOs this research study examined have similar approaches to integrating adaptation measures into farming practices. They build on traditional knowledge, adopt a diversified livelihoods basket, and add value through applied scientific and technological interventions. All this is done by first mobilising groups of farmers – both men and women but more women farmers. The reason for making women active players is because NGOs acknowledge that women farmers are more responsive than men farmers and achieve greater success. So women, more than men, are the main mobilizers of peer groups, recipients of knowledge and skills and risk-takers. Yet, these roles are hardly acknowledged by NGOs in documents, meetings and advocacy initiatives.

Working with women also does not usually translate into women owning more productive assets or accessing more government schemes or participating more in government or community-level decision-making bodies. While women do reap some benefits and are also more empowered than earlier in some respects, many adaptive interventions put more time and labour burden on women as compared to men. The table below illustrates a few of the differential impacts of on-the-ground adaptation interventions on men and women and some of the policy gaps that need to be addressed.

Gender Analysis of Adaptation Interventions
Adaptive Interventions Gender Analysis Policy & Programme Imperatives
Organic/low chemical input agriculture with diversified products Improved food security for both women and men

Women put in more labour and time to prepare bio-fertilizer and bio-pesticide

Higher fodder and fuel-wood yields for women

Less information/ knowledge/ inputs accessed by women

Less participation in decision-making bodies

Incentives to promote availability of bio-inputs

Incentives to promote joint farm land titles to spouses and leasing public land to women farmers groups.

Development of women-friendly technology to reduce drudgery

Availability of local weather-related information to women farmers.

Increased use of traditional saline/ drought/ flood resistant seeds and local livestock varieties More food security for both women and men

Gives women fodder/ fuel-wood

Enables women to store and exchange seed, not buy from seed markets

Opportunity for women to reclaim traditional knowledge

Promote farm-to-lab, in addition to the current lab-to-farm approach

Make local varieties available

Popularize seed banks, grain banks and fodder banks

Recruit women and men farmer trainers in extension work

Rain-water harvesting Benefits women more because it ensures improved food security and availability of water for livestock and homes Promote water harvesting structures for kitchen gardens, roof rainwater harvesting and for small farms;

Revive traditional ponds and wells.

Empowerment of Women

Women need to be at the core of planning and implementation of adaptation interventions. This includes collection of gender-disaggregated data at all levels, gender-based monitoring and evaluation and gender-budgeting. The four-C framework given below sums up the main policy recommendations.

  • Counting women in at planning, designing, implementing, resourcing and evaluating stages of all programmes and schemes. Currently, there is a huge deficit on gender-disaggregated data for policy making.
  • Converging programmes and schemes at the planning and design stage through multi-sectoral and multi-ministerial bodies and at the implementation stage through local government agencies and local elected bodies. A specific need is to mandate gender-responsive ‘Local Action Plans on Adaptation,’ (or LAPAs) integrated with the Village Development Plans made by local elected bodies.
  • Capacity building and empowering women and men at the level of local elected bodies, local government agencies, within scientific institutions working on adaptation and within relevant NGOs and community-based organizations. Gender-responsive decision-making institutions are basic building blocks for egalitarian adaptation policies.
  • Collaborating with key stakeholders – adaptation science researchers, government agencies and departments, local elected bodies, user groups, civil society groups and legislators – to build resilience among the most vulnerable people through participatory innovation, utilization of traditional and local knowledge, adding value through scientific and technological interventions and converging all resources.

Within this framework, the research identifies policy-level recommendations for specific actors – legislators, government planning bodies, government officers, local elected bodies, adaptation research scientists, civil society organizations and community-based groups.

These policy recommendations form a blueprint of what India’s approach and policies must be in the coming decades to ensure that both men and women are able to reap the benefits of a climate-resilient path to development.

Authors: Aditi Kapoor, Alternative Futures    email address: aditikapoor2@gmail.com  
Sponsors: Heinrich Böll Foundation, Germany and Christian Aid, U.K.  
Type: National foresight and policy advocacy research  
Organizer: Alternative Futures (Rakesh Kapoor) afmailbox@gmail.com  
Duration: 08/2010 – 05/2011 Budget: 20,000 € Time Horizon: 2030-2050 Date of Brief: July 2012

Download EPF Brief No. 243_Gender-transformative Climate Change Adaptation.

 

Sources and References

Ministry of Environment and Forests (November 2010), Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment (INCCA) Report 2, Government of India, New Delhi

Stern, N. (2006). The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

Adger, W. N., et al. (2007). Assessment of adaptation practices, options, constraints and capacity. In Parry, M. L., et al. (Eds). Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,   Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 717-743.

Agarwal, Bina. (1994). A Field of One’s Own: Gender and land rights in South Asia. Cambridge University Press, New York.

——- (2010). Gender and Green Governance: The political economy of women’s presence within and beyond community forestry. Oxford University Press, New Delhi.

Dankelman, I. (2002). Climate Change: Learning from gender analysis and women’s experience of organising for sustainable development. Gender and Development 10(2), 21–29.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). (2003). Gender: Key to Sustainability and Food Security; Gender and Development Plan of Action (2002-07).

Government of India. (2008). Eleventh Five Year Plan Vol I-III (2007-2012). Planning Commission. Oxford University Press, New Delhi.

IWRAW Asia Pacific. (2009). Occasional Papers Series No. 14, Equity or Equality for Women? Understanding CEDAW’s Equality Principles, International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific, Malaysia.

Krishna, Sumi, ed. (2004). Livelihood and Gender: Equity in Community Resource Management. Centre for Women’s Development Studies. Sage Publications, New Delhi.

EFP Brief No. 229: Taiwan Agricultural Technology Foresight 2025

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

This was the first time that Taiwan conducted a large-scale expert opinion survey using the Delphi approach. The goal was to identify research topics relevant to shaping the future of agriculture in Taiwan. Applying roadmapping, the project presented policy suggestions at the end of 2011. The suggestions have been incorporated into the Taiwanese govern-ment’s Council of Agriculture (COA) research agenda as evidenced by COA’s call-for-projects announcement.

The Role of Agriculture in Taiwan

Taiwan was one of the leading countries in subtropical agriculture several decades ago, but now agriculture has lost its importance in job creation, domestic production and international trade. However, agriculture is still at the root of the economy and has many functions beyond production – it provides the food we eat, conserves the environment we live in, and is a force for social stability.

Taiwan, with nominal GDP $427 billion US dollars and GDP (PPP) per capita $35 thousand US dollars in 2010, is known for its manufacturing capabilities today, but it used to be exporting a lot of agricultural products and technologies to many countries long time ago. Since 1959, more than 100 agricultural missions have been dispatched to more than 60 countries, among which about half missions are currently at work in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific.

In fact, Taiwan’s total land area is about 36,000 square kilometers, most of which is mountainous or sloped. Therefore, agriculture is practiced mainly in the plains, which comprise 29 percent of the country. As a subtropical island characterized by high temperatures and heavy rainfall, Taiwan offers bio-diversities for agriculture, but also lends itself to the breeding of insects and disease. Particularly, there are frequently typhoons causing natural disasters in the summer and autumn every year.

There have been significant changes in Taiwan’s agricultural exports over the years however. Years ago, Taiwan exported sugar cane, rice, and canned mushrooms or asparagus. Now Taiwan’s main exports are aquaculture products (e.g. tuna, eel, tilapia), leather and feathers, and its main agricultural imports include corn, soybeans, wine, tobacco, cotton, lumber, beef and wheat. In 1953, the average value of agricultural production increased 7.3 percent annually and exports increased at a rate of 9.3 percent, but beginning in 1970, agricultural exports fell behind agricultural imports. In 2010, imports were USD 12.8 billion and exports were USD 4 billion. The production value based on agriculture is estimated approximately 11.2 percent of GDP, while primary production accounts for only 1.5 percent of GDP in Taiwan.

The Revitalization of Agriculture in Taiwan

In order to revitalize the agriculture sector to meet the challenges of trade liberalization, globalization, the knowledge- based economy and particularly, climate change, the Taiwanese Government’s Council of Agriculture (COA) commissioned a project- Taiwan Agricultural Technology Foresight 2025 – to the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER). This four-year project (2008–2011), with an annual budget of USD 350 000, conducted foresight-related activities including demand surveys, trend and policy analyses, horizon scanning, visioning, essay contests, training workshops, two-round Delphi surveys, road mapping and development of policy suggestions (short-, mid- and long-term development plans and priorities) (see Figure 1).

The project aimed to identify R&D priorities to meet the long-term objectives for agriculture in Taiwan such as to improve farmers’ productivity and livelihoods, to develop resource-efficient and environmentally-friendly ways to do farming, and to ensure food safety by instituting a traceability system, which were embedded in a vision of making a better living in Taiwan in terms of industrial development, environmental protection and life quality respectively.

Environmentally-Freindly Farming for Taiwan’s Future

In 2008, TIER set up a task force with six researchers and two assistants to learn the foresight techniques, mainly from Japan. It built up a data-base of social needs, technological trends, research resources, critical issues and agricultural policies nationwide and worldwide.

Under the support and approval of COA, the project set up the Planning Committee, including government officers, agricultural experts, senior research fellows, social scientists and an economist. The Planning Committee decided that the project’s target year was 2025, and that the purpose of the foresight was to identify R&D priorities to meet the long-term objectives for agriculture in Taiwan such as to improve farmers’ productivity and livelihoods, to develop resource-efficient and environmentally-friendly ways to do farming, and to ensure food safety by instituting a traceability system, which were embedded in a vision of making a better living in Taiwan in terms of industrial development, environmental protection and life quality respectively.

Visioning for Research Topics

In order to link the foresight and policy, the project set up the Strategy Formation Committee, with ten subcommittees corresponding to the ten research areas of COA, each of which was comprised of agricultural experts and senior scientists. The members of the Strategy Formation Committee were nominated by the Planning Committee and then approved by COA. The duty of the Strategy Formation Committee was to depict 2025 visioning in each research area and to figure out the research topics to meet the needs for shaping the future agriculture in Taiwan identified by the Planning Committee.

In 2009, the Strategy Formation Committee proposed more than 100 research topics for the project. The TIER task force tried to consolidate some of them and organize them in a uniform format. Then, the Planning Committee identified the final 74 research topics and the related key questions for the Delphi questionnaire.

In 2010, the TIER task force built up an on-line survey platform and carried out two rounds of Delphi survey. There were 675 experts and scientists on the list of the first round, 546 of which participated in Delphi survey (response rate of 80 percent), and 512 of which questionnaire were effective. Then there were 546 experts and scientists on the list of the second round, 413 of which participated in Delphi survey (response rate of 76 percent), and 407 of which questionnaire were effective.

Based on the survey responses to 74 research topics, the project compiled the indices of industrial development, environmental protection, life quality, national priority and government support respectively to measure the research topics in different aspects. The standard deviations of all indices at the second round became smaller than those at the first round, so it implies that the Delphi survey of the project did converge for reaching consensus.

The survey shows that the government should support those research topics with higher ratings in environmental protection as well as in life quality particularly due to agricultural multi-function (externality). It is, however, slightly correlated between industrial development and government support to be needed for those research topics because some of them could be developed by the private sector. These research topics have been incorporated into COA’s research agenda as evidenced by COA’s R&D system call-for-projects announcement.

Attracting the Young Generation

Besides, in order to attract the young generation to think about the future of agriculture, the project invited young people to participate in the Taiwan Agricultural Technology Foresight 2025 contest (see Figure 2).

Foresight for Policy and as Policy

This was the first time that Taiwan conducted a large-scale expert opinion survey using the Delphi approach, in order to identify the research topics to meet the needs for shaping the future agriculture in Taiwan. The project made policy suggestions by road mapping at the end of 2011, and these have been incorporated into COA’s research agenda as evidenced by COA’s R&D system call-for-projects announcement.

The major contribution of the project has been the government’s support for the research topics of ‘national priority’ in terms of industrial development, environmental protection and life quality, with equal weights embedded in the vision of making a better living in Taiwan. The project is expected to improve farmers’ productivity and livelihoods, particularly for smallholders; to develop resource-efficient and environmentally-friendly ways to do farming in Taiwan’s limited land area; to reinforce the links between production and consumption of agricultural products by implementing a traceability system.

Authors: Julie C. L. Sun           juliesun@tier.org.tw

 

Sponsors: Council of Agriculture, Taiwan

 

Type: National foresight exercise
Organizer: Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, Julie C. L. Sun      juliesun@tier.org.tw
Duration: 2008–2011 Budget: 1 Mill USD Time Horizon: 2025 Date of Brief: July 2012  

Download: EFP Brief No. 229_Taiwan Agricultural Technology Foresight 2025.

References

The website of Taiwan Agricultural Technology Foresight 2025, http://agritech-foresight.coa.gov.tw

COA R&D project management system, http://project.coa.gov.tw

EFP Brief No. 212: Tech Mining

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

The main purpose of the exercise is the development of new methods to discover patterns that new technologies follow and the opportunities they offer for innovation. This brief attempts to foster a new understanding of the mechanisms generating innovations. It presents a methodology to identify future technology opportunities based on text mining of scientific and technological databases. Assisting priority or agenda setting, the method could be useful for technology managers and corporate decision-makers in planning and allocating R&D resources.

New Methods to Anticipate Opportunities around Technologies

The analysis of new technologies has been of interest for many years. The increase in disruptive innovations and scientific research in recent years is driving institutions and also companies to develop methodologies for identifying technologies of the future. However, it is necessary to develop methods suitable for discovering the patterns according to which these technologies are likely to evolve. This will make it possible to convert them into opportunities for innovation as an essential prerequisite for maintaining competitiveness in the long-term.

Scientific and specifically patents databases are generally regarded as precursors of future or ongoing technological developments. Therefore, the analysis of such databases should enable identifying certain technology gaps that potentially could be transformed into opportunities.

Against this background, the project “How to anticipate opportunities around technologies” moves towards understanding the mechanisms generating innovations.

This exercise was designed and launched in light of the need to foster and accelerate scientific and technological innovation. Scientific publications and patent records are analysed as the empirical basis of the study. Experts are then asked to comment on the results of the analysis. The methodology applied to monitor new technologies uses the tech-mining approach and a combination of quantitative analysis and expert knowledge.

We will demonstrate how this instrument allows anticipating opportunities around technologies drawing on examples from two different industrial sectors. The methodology has been developed working with data from two different technological fields in order to compare and validate results. The two technology fields are waste recycling and “non-woven” textiles and their applications.

The project is running from 2010 until the end of 2012. The application to the waste recycling sector is financed through the SAIOTEK programme of the Basque Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.

Quantitative Databases and Qualitative Knowledge

The exercise deals with the identification of opportunities based on scientific articles and patent information, using quantitative methods to process the information and expert knowledge for assessing it. The main goal is to identify the most important factors influencing the development of a new technology and to understand the mechanisms generating innovation.

The project team is comprised of researchers from the Industrial Engineering and Management Departments of the two technical universities University of the Basque Country and The University of Valencia and the R&D centre TECNALIA. The collaborating R&D centre has been granted the right to make first use of this research.  

Tapping into the Scientific Knowledge Base

The exercise is divided into two phases. In Phase I, the technologies were defined in order to analyse the scientific knowledge in the respective technology field and outline the technology landscape using the knowledge contained in articles and patents databases. We applied the tech-mining approach in the first step, then used a cross-correlation matrix and finally performed principal component analyses (PCA). This resulted in visualisations of the technology sectors where it is possible to determine gaps around technologies. Figure 1 shows the characteristics of the scientific information analysed for the waste recycling sector.

Assessing Emerging Technologies

In Phase II, we will use qualitative techniques in order to assess the potential for the emerging technology gaps found. These interim results will be discussed with the experts (“bottom up”) to identify potential opportunities. The R&D centre will contribute upon request. They will play a key role particularly in identifying opportunities in the last phase. Previous works in this field were considered as well (see references).

The Tech-mining Methodology

The foresight method developed in this analysis is innovative because it combines qualitative knowledge and quantitative data allowing the conclusions from the individual analysis to converge into a variety of industrial scenarios. Figure 2 shows an outline of the methodology. It retrieves and downloads the information on these two sectors using the Derwent Patents and Environmental Abstracts databases. The downloaded information is analysed using text mining techniques.

In recent years, text mining has been an expanding area. The introduction of natural language techniques that use semantic algorithms combined with the most advanced statistical techniques, such as multivariate analysis or cluster analysis, have become powerful tools for discovering and visualising the knowledge contained in scientific literature.

Identifying Innovative Investment Opportunities

Phase I of the project has been completed; the major socio-economic trends have been identified and the results disseminated as a paper to the international community exemplifying the analysis for the waste recycling sector. At this point in the project, the main findings, for instance on new technologies in waste recycling, can already be utilised by innovative companies.

One of the analyses was to determine the year in which the descriptor appeared for the first time (see Figure 3). The results allowed us to assess the new terms, such as “detritivores” or “allelopathy” in 2009, which belong to the biotechnological field. These terms, which we call weak signals, only appear once or twice.

Biotechnological terms surfaced as we mined titles and terms in abstract in databases for 2010. These particular trends are also recognisable within the International Patent Classification IPCs for this period.

We are working on creating multiple technological maps. For example, there have been several analyses of the patent applications downloaded from the Derwent database. Figure 3 shows a result obtained after the cross-correlation of the individuals (patents) in a two dimensional space according to similarity of the International Patent Classification limited to four digits, ergo according to their technological contents. IPC is used to assign them to a similar technology group. Then we used the maps to identify patent clusters and areas where patents are lacking. The green ellipses drawn in Figure 3 represent the gaps where there are no patents.

In a further step, we screened and investigated the patents adjacent to each gap to determine the meaning of the patent gaps. The objective was to analyse the emergence of each gap and evaluate certain indicators that we expected to tell us whether the gap represents a technologically valuable area or not.

Qualitative indicators were defined such that the density of the gap measures the average number of claim items of adjacent patents and the half-life of the patents in the vicinity of the gap while allowing to evaluate the documents on patents on the gap borders in terms of how they relate to the most up-to-date keywords.

In order to establish a methodology to analyse the emerging technologies, we determined the year when the keywords, i.e. the descriptor, appeared for first time, as mentioned above. It is possible to classify these keywords into two types: keywords of emerging or declining frequency. By comparing, we can contrast the number of keywords by years between the different gaps. In essence, this procedure allowed us to measure emerging technologies through the keywords found in the patents surrounding the gap.

In the field of non-wovens, the tech-mining methodology allowed us to identify several emerging technology trends, among others the increasing use of nanotechnologies in the patented inventions.

During Phase II, we will validate the methodology. An advance in research requires the participation of experts in the field of waste recycling and non-woven textiles who can assess the articles in terms of newly found references. The opinion of the experts about the potential impact of newly identified technologies will allow us to determine the most innovative areas of work.

Bio- and Nanotechnology Innovations for Waste Recycling and Non-woven Sectors

The main contribution of this study to research policy is that it provides a methodology to identify new and emerging technologies leading to innovations. An institutional policy encouraging the tendencies identified should be able to increase regional competitiveness.

Our analyses support decision-making through understanding how innovations are generated, enabling decision-makers to anticipate and address the challenges identified and the emerging weak signals. Furthermore, once the project is completed, we will have applied our method to two practical cases from the waste recycling and non-woven sectors. With these examples, we want to demonstrate how the methodology suggested can be applied to anticipate opportunities.

The method could be particularly useful for technology managers and corporate decision-makers in order to plan and allocate R&D resources. Governments and regional development agencies could also use it to improve innovation policies in terms of planning and decision-making.

However, in many cases, new technologies are a necessary but not a sufficient condition for successful innovations. A wide range of non-technical factors are relevant as well (demand, regulations etc.). For successful implementation, it will be necessary to identify the innovation pathways.

We believe that in a context of increasing uncertainty and financial constraints, these results show that foresight methodologies such as tech-mining offer a positive return on investment for policy and decision-makers.

Authors: Rosa Mª Rio-Belver1     rosamaria.rio@ehu.es

Ernesto Cilleruelo2       ernesto.cilleruelo@ehu.es

Fernando Palop3          fpalop@ingenio.upv.es

Sponsors: Departamento de Industria, Innovación, comercio y turismo – Basque Government – Programa SAIOTEK
Type: Sectoral forward looking analysis
Organizer: 1University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, C/ Nieves Cano 12, SP-01006 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

2University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Almed. Urquijo s/n, SP-48030 Bilbao, Spain

3Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Camino de Vera s/n, SP-46022 Valencia, Spain

Duration: 2010-2011 Budget: 45,000 € Time Horizon: 2012 Date of Brief: March 2011  

 

Download EFP Brief No. 212_Tech_Mining

Sources and References

Cozzens, S.; Gatchair, S.; Kang, J.; Kim, K.; Lee, H.J. ; Ordoñez, G.; Porter, A. (2010): Emerging Technologies: quantitative identification and measurement. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management 22 (3): 361-376.

Belver, R.; Carrasco, E. (2007) Tools for strategic business decisions: Technology maps. The 4th International Scientific Conference “Business and Management.Vilnius, Lithuania 5-6 October. Selected Papers. Vilnius Gediminas Technical University Publishing House “Technika”, 2007, 299-303.

Huang, L.; Porter, A.; Guo, Y. (2009): Exploring a Systematic Technology Forecasting Approach for New & Emerging Sciences & Technologies: A Case Study of Nano-enhanced Biosensors, in Proceedings of the Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy. Georgia Tech University, Atlanta, USA, 2–3 October.

Lee, S.; Yoon, B.; Park, Y. (2009): An Approach to Discovering New Technology Opportunities: Keyword-based Patent Map Approach. Technovation 29: 481–497. doi:10.1016/j.technovation.2008.10.006

Porter, A.; Newman, N. (2011): Mining external R&D. Technovation 31 (4): 171-176, doi: 10.1016/j.technovation.2011.01.001

Porter, A.; Kongthon, A.; Chyi, L. (2002): Research Profiling: Improving the Literature Review. Scientometrics 53 (3): 351–370. doi:10.1023/A:1014873029258

Rio, R.; Cilleruelo, E. (2010): Discovering technologies using techmining: the case of waste recycling. The 6th International Scientific Conference “Business and Management 2010. Vilnius, Lithuania 13-14 May. Selected Papers. Vilnius Gediminas Technical University Publishing House “Technika”, Vilnius, 2010, 950-955.. doi:10.3846/bm.2010.127

Rio, R.; Larrañaga, J.; Elizagarate, F. (2008): Patentalava. Dynamics of Innovation Strategies and their Relationship with the Evolution of Patents. The Alava province case, in The 5th International Scientific Conference “Business and Management”. Vilnius, Lithuania, 5–6 October. Selected papers. Vilnius: Technika, 475–480.

Yun, Y.; Akers, L.; Klose, T.; Barcelon, C. (2008): Text Mining and Visualization Tools – Impressions of Emerging Capabilities, World Patent Information 30: 280–293. doi:10.1016/j.wpi.2008.01.007

Zhu, D.; Porter, A. L. (2002): Automated Extraction and Visualization of Information for Technological Intelligence and Forecasting, Technological Forecasting and Social Change 69: 495–506. doi:10.1016/S0040-1625(01)00157-3

EFP Brief No. 206: Future Strategies for Ageing Management in the Working World of Salzburg Province

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

The projected demographic change and the resulting necessity of a longer working life represent considerable challenges for (1) the individual quality of life and work of employees, (2) the innovative capacity and productivity of companies and (3) the negotiability of the welfare state. As its goal, the foresight project set out to analyse the concrete situation and development potential of the working world in the Province of Salzburg and depict the options for taking action at the micro-level (individual), meso-level (organisations) and macro-level (socio-political actors) in the form of scenarios. The project placed particular emphasis on transferring research results into practice.

Demographic Change in Salzburg Province

As in all of Europe, Salzburg Province also conforms to the population development trend that has been evident now for decades: a rising number of older people in retirement in contrast to a consistently sinking number of younger people of employment age. Because of this, a longer term of employment is required in order to secure the social systems and to maintain economic strength.

Simultaneously, the employment-related difficulties are increasing for those in the workforce, for instance, through more rapid and increasingly complex work processes, time pressure or the devaluation of professional qualifications over time. In addition, a lack of professional specialists is expected, which is heightened further by the demographic development.

In order to meet the challenges arising from the change in population structures and the workforce, it is important to become proactive and take determined measures in a timely fashion.

In research and politics, the need for action is recognised in principle; however, there are deficits in implementing large-scale and in-depth problem-solving options in practice. Therefore, the project begins with sensitising and supporting actors in implementing age management in the working world.

Flaws in Existing Concepts

Existing concepts…

… neglect the holistic perspective, are attentive exclusively to the target group of employees who are already older at present, and focus only on certain fields of action;

… do not give enough attention to individual actors whose interests often contradict each other and result from short-term thinking;

… presuppose that companies have a certain resource potential. These concepts are therefore not suitable to the general conditions of the smaller companies characteristic of Salzburg Province.

In addition, many actors appear to be overwhelmed by the complexity of the problem and the numerous recommendations of how to tackle it. They often react to this by postponing necessary measures or even refusing to take action.

A Holistic View on Ageing in the Working World

Against this background, a two-part project structure emerged. First of all, it was important to grasp the specific situation in Salzburg Province in a basic research phase and to analyse the developmental stages to be expected in each of the topic areas and fields of action at the different societal levels (individuals, organisations, socio-political actors) that are significant for the further development of the regional labour market. Parallel to this, the project sought to identify the factors so far preventing employment appropriate for an ageing workforce. A further emphasis of this research phase was how age management concepts should be conceived for small companies to be able to apply them.

On the other hand, the focus was placed on attempts to put the research findings into practice in an implementation-oriented transfer phase. Particular attention was paid to the enterprise and branch structure of Salzburg Province. The transfer phase involved an awareness-raising process regarding age management in the working world. The target groups here were both the companies as well as their employees – from the apprentice on up to the senior employee.

The aim of the project “Future Strategies for Ageing Management in the Working World of Salzburg Province” is to set impulses for a working world in which companies facilitate the work capabilities of employees and societal structures are created to enable longer employment with a high quality of work life for everyone. In the process, it is important to take the diverse fields of action into consideration that together form a working world appropriate to ageing (Fig. 1).

Innovations for Demographic Change in Work Life

The target variables in the basic research phase were (1) the individual quality of life and work of employees, (2) the innovative capability and productivity of the companies and (3) the negotiability of the welfare state. With an eye to these main target variables, we analysed the challenges resulting from the ageing of the population for individuals, companies and socio-political actors and determined the measures to be taken to establish a living and working environment appropriate to ageing and the barriers in the way of implementing urgently needed measures. The complexity of the problems was described from multiple perspectives using the scenario technique in which the potential consequences of successful or, in some cases, unsuccessful age management was systematically varied on several levels.

Methodical Procedure

In an initial step, we reviewed the findings in the relevant research literature and of previous projects. In a second step, we conducted interviews with regional and supra-regional experts who were able to give a first overview of the relevant factors regarding developments in the working world.

Expanding on the analysis of research to date and the explorative interviews with the experts, a total of four extensive structural analysis workshops (MICMAC) were organised for the central fields of action (education, health, business operations and society). These structural analyses were conducted by involving regional actors who were noted for their positions of authority and professional competence in each particular field of action.

Based on the workshop results, influential factors decisive for the working world of Salzburg Province were identified and their reciprocal effects were described in a consistency analysis. Systematic variations allowed projecting numerous potential paths of development in the Salzburg working world. The three most plausible and significant development tracks were then compactly designed as scenarios.

In this way, the first project track led to differentiated scenarios that illustrate the complexity of the topic while allowing to integrate the individual research results. Thus, the scenarios primarily enabled formulating the comprehensive and complex connections resulting from the demographic changes for the company context and beyond. They were meant to create awareness for the problem and were used as the basis for a second, practice-oriented project track, involving a maximum diversity of actors across all sectors. This second step was aimed at devising ways of giving higher priority to the necessary long-term structural and behavioural changes over short-term planning horizons.

Scenarios: Creating a Working World Appropriate for Ageing

The scenario process revealed that the degree of activity on the political and operational level is significant for establishing age management in the working world. Political and operational activity thus form two axes along which the scenarios vary, leading to three conceivable scenarios. The fourth scenario in this scheme based on active political and reactive operational activity was excluded as implausible.

Scenario 1: Everyone for Him/Herself

In the first scenario, neither political nor company actors are actively involved in age management in the working world. Everyone struggles on his or her own and is driven by the demands prevailing in the modern working world.

Scenario 2: Leader of the Pack

The second scenario depends on high initiative within the company itself. With persistence and readiness to make investments, a few succeed in mastering the challenges of a changing working world. The political initiative is missing that is necessary to push the less innovative and strong enterprises towards appropriate management of ageing.

Scenario 3: Salzburg Gets Busy

In this scenario, the political and organisational actors take collaborative action and establish suitable working structures. Step by step, they create a working world appropriate to ageing.

Involving Older Employees, Young Workers & Socio-political Actors

The second line of the project centred on putting the research results into practice. Three scopes of application with different priorities were realised in order to make use of the lessons learned from the scenarios in the working world.

  1. The first module was to develop a model for age management in small and medium-sized businesses. Considering the particular situation especially of small-sized businesses, we developed instruments for assessing the current situation and sensitising actors to the problem of demographic change and devised measures to address the challenges. In a scenario workshop, employees were able to expand on what they expected regarding their own future career.
  2. A second module aimed at sensitising young workers. The apprentices were given opportunities to become familiar with the topic of “Labour and Age” in a creative way. They received information about the demographic change and its consequences for the working world and were instructed in a theatre workshop about preparing for the future challenges to be faced.
  3. The third and most important use of the scenarios was to sensitize socio-political actors. The scenarios provided a means of demonstrating to politicians, social partners and public institutions the underlying factors and connections and allowed to derive recommendations for action to establish age management in the working world.

The practical experience modules were carried out in close collaboration with the Salzburg Occupational Health Services Centre for healthful employment, which plans to implement the project results in its future work with companies and their employees.

Individual and Structural Adaptation Strategies

Demographic changes take place over relatively long periods of time. Seen from one angle, this enables projecting demographic trends relatively reliably, but it also makes it more difficult to influence them in the short- and medium-term. For the actors in Salzburg Province, this means two things: they can influence the process of demographic change only to a very limited extent, and in shaping the working world, the task consists mostly of adapting to future developments with expectancy and efficiency. Against this background, the research process brought forth the following findings:

  1. Structure:

Successfully surmounting the challenges of demographic change requires that the actors in Salzburg Province coordinate their efforts. A particular responsibility falls to the political actors who are in charge of the general structural conditions providing the framework for the job market in Salzburg Province. Due to the complexity of the topic and the economic structure of the region with its many small businesses, it is hardly realistic to expect any comprehensive initiative on the organisational level, or as the case may be, independent initiative on the individual level. Decisive factors for the formation of age management in the working world in Salzburg Province are closely linked with the amount of political action, on the one hand, and with the amount of involvement at the company level, on the other. Individual behaviour in the working world in Salzburg Province can be viewed as a consequence of action at higher levels of social organization and cannot be expected to act as a major force in initiating change.

  1. Actual age at the onset of retirement:

The workforce must adapt to a longer working life. The political goal is to prolong working life and delay retirement. Early retirement based on exceptional circumstances and in cases of hardship is now more difficult. What measures are taken at the level of legislation and implementation will be decisive as to whether the extension of working life will be cushioned by welfare state regulations in socially responsible ways or whether the additional burden must be carried by each and every individual alone.

  1. Working capability:

The prerequisite for a longer working life is maintaining the ability to work. This poses a problem particularly in professions defined by hard physical labour and mental stress. Here it is rarely possible to remain healthy and motivated until legal retirement age. Thus, the primary goal must be to retain the individual ability to work. This pertains most of all to physical and mental health but also to skills and motivation.

  1. Skilled workers:

It is worth considering that a shortage of qualified workers in the wake of demographic change could lead to competition for the “best and brightest”, a situation already found today to some extent within some companies. Companies as well as the Salzburg Province itself are well-advised to shape the economic and other framework conditions so that the region remains an attractive economic location.

  1. Qualification and job market:

Not every group in the job market can be expected to live up to the demands of life-long learning. For this reason, we can assume that there will be stronger polarity in the job market between a group of well to very well qualified workers and a group of rather poorly qualified ones.

The better qualified will be highly sought after in the future and will perform challenging tasks whereas the rather poorly qualified workers will be left with the simpler and fairly stressful activities. The situation of the less qualified will worsen in the future due to the fact that certain qualifications will probably be required even for simple jobs. The demands in regard to knowledge, skills and proficiency will tend to rise even for positions requiring lower qualifications. Initiatives will thus be required in order to profitably integrate this part of the workforce in the working world throughout their entire working life.

  1. Women:

More strongly integrating women and retaining the ageing population in the job market would contribute to better utilising the potential workforce and better distributing stress in the working world. A very effective measure to that effect is improving structures for childcare.

  1. Attitudes and values:

Less concrete but no less effective than welfare state and company regulations are the ideas entertained throughout society about the working world. The images of the working world in the minds of the general population have a considerable influence on behaviour in the labour market, for instance, concerning job preferences and choice of profession. Deficit-oriented perceptions of ageing, stereotypical gender roles or assumptions about the stages in an employment biography strongly affect individual working behaviour. Changes in the “labour market culture” in the service of age management in the working world could be one of the most powerful influences of all.

Authors: Katja Linnenschmidt   katja.linnenschmidt@fh-salzburg.ac.at

Dirk Steinbach             dirk.steinbach@fh-salzburg.ac.at

Elmar Schüll               elmar.schuell@fh-salzburg.ac.at

Sponsors: Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)
Type: Regional foresight project covering a single issue
Organizer: Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, Centre for Futures Studies
Duration: 11/2008–10/2011 Budget: € 400,000 Time Horizon: 2030 Date of Brief: Dec 2011

EFP Brief No. 206_Future strategies for ageing management in Salzburg Province

Sources and References

Ilmarinen, Juhani; Tempel, Jürgen (2002): Arbeitsfähigkeit 2010 – Was können wir tun, damit Sie gesund bleiben? VSA Verlag, Hamburg.

Steinbach, Dirk; Linnenschmidt, Katja; Schüll, Elmar (2011): Zukunftsstrategien für eine alternsgerechte Arbeitswelt – Trends, Szenarien und Empfehlungen. LIT-Verlag. Vienna.

www.fhs-forschung.at/zfz

EFP Brief No. 201: Towards Professionalising ‘International S&T Cooperation Foresight’: Epistemological and Methodological Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Monday, November 7th, 2011

The purpose of the SEA-EU-NET foresight process is to open up and structure the discussion on the potential future cooperation(s) between the EU and Southeast Asia in the field of S&T. We assess potential “futures” of organising S&T relations between the EU and Southeast Asia in 2020 and discuss their current implications and geopolitical consequences.

Combining Asian and European Research Dialogues

The SEA-EU-NET project started in 2008 with the mandate to facilitate the bi-regional EU-ASEAN science and technology dialogue and to expand scientific collaboration between Europe and Southeast Asia in a more strategic and coherent way. Among many other things, SEA-EU-NET participated in the official EC-ASEAN COST (Committee on Science and Technology) meetings in Manila and Bali and presented project outcomes and recommendations. Complementary to the official EC-ASEAN dialogue, the SEA-EU-NET project organised stakeholder conferences in 2008 in Paris/France, 2009 in Bogor/Indonesia and 2010 in Budapest/Hungary, which served as platforms to discuss opportunities and pitfalls for stronger S&T collaboration between the two regions. The next stakeholder conference is scheduled to take place in Hanoi/Vietnam in November 2011.

These meetings involved a large group of policy makers, scientists and science administrators. The close links between the official EC-ASEAN dialogue and the SEA-EU-NET project stakeholder dialogue has led to an enhanced level of S&T cooperation between the two regions.

The SEA-EU-NET S&T International Cooperation Foresight

The SEA-EU-NET foresight exercise was launched during the Bogor/Indonesia 2nd SEA-EU-NET Stakeholder Conference in 2009 and has been designed to fit into and support these interlinked policy dialogues aimed at further increasing S&T cooperation levels. With this foresight exercise, the project aims at supporting the building of and commitment to shared visions of the future of S&T cooperation.

Given the current stage of science and technology cooperation between ASEAN and EU, the process was mostly expert-driven. Regarding a specific and very central stakeholder group, however, it was participatory: All scientists with recent cooperation experience (ASEAN-EU co-publications since 2005 have been used as a proxy for cooperation) have been invited to participate.

The format of “International Cooperation Foresight” (ICF) should be discussed separately from national technology foresight activities. Theoretical and methodological backgrounds have been provided by the work of the members of the former Policy Research in Engineering, Science and Technology Institute (PREST) and current Manchester Institute of Innovation Research as well as by the UNIDO Foresight Manual.

Our experience with the exercise has shown that ICF needs to take into account a large number of “soft” drivers of future scenarios and related forecasts, basically all of which can be influenced to some extent by one of the two major stakeholder groups (S&T and other policy makers; scientists). For instance, ICF needs to take into consideration the financial resources available for cooperation (a driver directly influenced by S&T policy making) and trust among the research communities of the cooperating countries/regions (a driver reflecting the scientists’ attitudes).

Thus, for international S&T cooperation foresight involving high-level policy making and research communities, most parts of the external context are in fact contingent variables internal to the process. Parts of what might be external variables in a technology foresight for an enterprise (e.g., the existence of certain policies or regulatory obstacles or the availability of natural resources) are internal variables for the ICF process (policies and regulations can be shaped by the policy-making stakeholders; decisions can be made to protect natural resources or make them available; etc.). This fact has to be taken into account when designing the foresight methodology.

These considerations also partly motivated our decision to look at a ten year perspective, i.e. the 2020 future of S&T Cooperation between ASEAN and the EU. While the horizon of the Europe 2020 strategy also played a role, we have looked for a time horizon that can be considered without having to take into account possible major system changes, which would again add complexity.

Scenario Building, Delphi Surveys and Backcasting

This foresight exercise applied a combination of (singular success) scenario building, Delphi surveys and backcasting. Concretely, the stakeholder discussions regarding the 2020 future S&T cooperation were kicked off in a success scenario oriented driver identification workshop. High-level policy makers from Southeast Asia and Europe were asked to identify ‘drivers’ and ‘shapers’ of a future basic success scenario of bi-regional S&T cooperation based on drivers presented in the literature and to comment on and rate the relevance of the various drivers identified. We discriminated the regional focus of the answers: participants could rate the perceived relevance for either Southeast Asia or Europe. Given the interactive atmosphere in the workshop, this combining of scenario building with backcasting elements proved to be a successful strategy.

We continued the driver identification with the second major stakeholder group, namely the scientists, selecting those who had recent ASEAN-EU co-publication experience. With the help of an open e-mail consultation asking respondents for the factors that they believe might influence what future S&T cooperation between the two regions might look like, the individual responses of about 1,200 scientists were collected, analysed and synthesised into a set of around 40 drivers. The drivers then were validated in a two-stage Delphi survey, presented as directional variables (pointing towards increasing cooperation)and formulated as concrete recommendations in the original wording of the scientists (which we correctly believed would make it easier for their peers to follow their reasoning). We distinguished between answers given from a Southeast Asian perspective and a European perspective (irrespective of the current region of residence).

In the second Delphi round, approximately 560 scientists checked the average relevance ratings given in the first round, further commented on them and partially corrected their previous answers. This led to a series of concrete recommendations for instruments to enhance S&T cooperation and was followed by thorough desk research to identify interdependencies among the most relevant drivers.

The results up to this point have been published and made available to the European Commission, the policy and scientific community as well as the wider public as a SEA-EU-NET report (www.sea-eu.net/object/doc­ument/2469.html.

The next step was to feed the results back to the target groups, especially the policy makers in both regions. While there were no project resources for an additional workshop with European policy makers, we were able to arrange a half-day session during a major SEA-EU-NET event in Chiang Mai/Thailand in May 2011 that attracted around 20 policy makers from 8 of the 10 ASEAN member countries, which we consider a big success.

Rather than generating additional output, the goal of the workshop was to feed back the evidence produced by the SEA-EU-NET foresight and to further inspire a joint process of creating common visions of the future.

Two relevant preparatory steps realised by the foresight team were (1) a more refined 2020 success scenario of ASEAN-EU S&T cooperation that presented a desirable future in the form of a newspaper article narrative (looking back from 2020 towards 2011 outlining what has gone well in this decade) and (2) linking the SEA-EU-NET cooperation foresight with relevant regional foresight processes, namely the future ‘paradigm shifts’ identified in the ‘Krabi Initiative’ on the future of science and technology in ASEAN.

The link between both foresight processes was achieved by proposing the following two questions to the participants: How can future ASEAN-EU S&T cooperation support the Krabi Initiative paradigm shifts, and what would succession of S&T cooperation mean in this context? These overriding questions were discussed in five knowledge café panels (one for each of the five paradigm shifts in the Krabi initiative). The outcome of the discussions is currently being used by the SEA-EU-NET foresight team to refine the draft success scenario.

In a final step, the foresight report mentioned above will be amended and will form a central chapter in an upcoming SEA-EU-NET book publication to be presented to the S&T cooperation policy making and scientific community, inter alia at the next SEA-EU-NET Stakeholder Conference in November 2011 in Hanoi/Vietnam.

Successful Pilot Community Building and Open Dialogue among Stakeholders

One indicator to assess the success of the exercise is the number of stakeholder participants in the process. In terms of the members of the scientific community who we were able to engage in the process, it clearly was a success: 280 qualitative answers were collected during the open e-mail consultation. Around 1,200 scientists participated in the first Delphi survey round. This corresponds to approximately 12-14% of the invitees. About 560 scientists participated throughout the whole process and also finished the second Delphi survey round.

Regarding the participation of policy makers, we faced two limitations: our resources for conducting a face-to-face drivers workshop but also the limited pool of policy makers knowledgeable in EU-SEA S&T relations. We consider it a success that 16 participants (7 Southeast Asian and 9 European) policy and programme makers actively participated in the first driver assessment scenario workshop in November 2009 and around 20 Southeast Asian policy makers in the second success scenario workshop in May 2011.

Regarding the impact on the policy of the European Commission, as the client of the exercise, it is too early for a final assessment. We have submitted the foresight report to our project officer in February 2011. Apart from the internal discussions that might be triggered by the report (but are not visible to us), we will look for open dialogue with the EC, for instance during the upcoming SEA-EU-NET events, the most prominent one being the next SEA-EU-NET Stakeholder Conference in Hanoi/Vietnam in November 2011 where EC representatives will also participate. The impact on policy cannot be evaluated yet.

First results of the foresight exercise, most notably the results of the scientist consultations, have been presented to a wide audience of policy and programme makers and researchers during the SEA-EU-NET stakeholder conference in Budapest/Hungary in November 2010. The foresight report has been shared with the around 1,200 participants from science in the process.

Methodological reflections based on this exercise have been published in the Russian Journal “Foresight” of the Moscow Higher School of Economics. Depending on future project resources, the process can be continued in the future. Recommendations coming out of this international S&T cooperation foresight study can be found below. The recommendations have been formulated very recently. It is too early to discuss possible realisations of the recommendations.

Dialogue between Policy Makers and Scientists

This foresight exercise has the mandate and has been designed accordingly to produce policy recommendations. They can be found in an abbreviated form below.

As this foresight exercise aimed at structuring and stimulating policy dialogue on future S&T cooperation between Southeast Asia and Europe, the recommendations feed into this dialogue. While it is too early to evaluate the outcome of the exercise, it will hardly be feasible to link the possible implementation in the future of measures growing out of these recommendations to the influence of the foresight process, even more so as the recommendations emanate (bottom-up) from the stakeholder communities engaged in the policy dialogue or the related scientific practice.

Another outcome might be a closer consultation practice between bi-regional S&T policy making and the scientists actually engaged in cooperation. Among possible, unintended results might be a situation where S&T policy makers recognise, in the follow-up of these discussions, that the future of S&T collaboration lies in a bilateral rather than a bi-regional setting.

We believe that the foresight exercise has benefited the participants in that it has helped them in structuring their own and their peers’ thinking about the future of S&T cooperation between Europe and Southeast Asia. This can prove relevant to policy makers when they design future policies and to scientists when they think about engaging in international cooperation. We will collect feedback on the exercise among the two major stakeholder groups, i.e. the policy makers and the scientists. With regard to the scientists, we have shared the foresight report with them recently (April 2011) and informed them about our steps for disseminating the results.

Recommendations: Enhancing Shared Responsibilities

The key recommendations for policy makers coming out of SEA-EU-NET’s international S&T cooperation foresight study can be summarized as follows:

  • Further discuss the report among the stakeholders involved in the process of policy development.
  • Keep scientists engaged in the dialogue on and planning of S&T cooperation.
  • Foster coherence between STI policy and other policy areas.
  • Consider internal diversity of both regions and their needs.

The following list gives a brief overview of the recommendations formulated by the consulted stakeholder communities:

  • The most important motivations for scientists to cooperate are a) the goal of applying state-of-the-art science to a topic of mutual interest and relevance, b) the feeling of contributing to the development of a country and c) to solving global challenges, d) gaining access to a field, expertise and equipment, and finally, e) friendship and f) reputation.
  • S&T cooperation should be sustained on a long-term basis.
  • Find a balance between a) flexibly defined bottom-up approaches and the dedicated funding of S&T cooperation with a thematic focus and b) supporting cooperation in basic and applied research.
  • Personal contacts are more relevant than institutional agreements. Therefore, supporting mobility and networking is crucial.
  • Enhance equilibrated mobility in both directions, from Europe to Southeast Asia and vice versa.
  • Existing human and network resources should be harnessed creatively. Established scientific conferences could convene in Southeast Asia; retired scientists could be offered part-time positions; senior scientists could engage in cooperation and exchange within sabbatical schemes.
  • PhD student exchange should be supported to a higher degree.
  • Southeast Asian diaspora academics in Europe as possible facilitators of S&T cooperation.
  • Return and reintegration support schemes.
  • Reward schemes for successful cooperation.
  • Quality metrics for assessing the success of international S&T cooperation projects.
  • Regional training networks, joint research centres and other joint research infrastructure.
  • Bridging institutions offering administrative, research management and partnering support.
  • Simplification of administrative burdens like visa issues, material exchange and field access clearance procedures.
  • Open access to literature and sample databases.
  • Regional availability of joint research results.
Authors: Alexander Degelsegger                  degelsegger@zsi.at

Florian Gruber                                gruber@zsi.at

Isabella Wagner                              wagner@zsi.at

Sponsors: SEA-EU-NET, co-financed by the European Commission (FP7; grant agreement number 212334)
Type: International (S&T) Cooperation Foresight
Organizer: Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI), Alexander Degelsegger, degelsegger@zsi.at
Duration: Nov09 – Feb11 Budget: ~ 50,000 € Time Horizon: 2020 Date of Brief: July 2011  

 

Download EFP Brief No. 201_SEA-EU-Net Foresight

Sources and References

SEA-EU-NET Project website: www.sea-eu.net

Degelsegger, Alexander & Gruber, Florian (2011): Scientific cooperation between Southeast Asia and Europe in 2020. Driving factors as assessed by scientists and policy-makers, SEA-EU-NET Deliverable 4.2 to the European Commission, online at http://www.sea-eu.net/object/document/2469.html, last accessed: 24 July 2011.

Gruber, Florian & Degelsegger, Alexander (2010): S&T Cooperation Foresight Europe – Southeast Asia, in: Форсайт (Foresight), 4(3), 56-68.

ipts/Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (2007): Online Foresight Guide. Scenario Building, online at: http://forlearn.jrc.ec.europa.eu/guide/3_scoping/meth_scenario.htm; last accessed: 24 July 2011.

Miles, Ian (2005): Scenario Planning, in: UNIDO Technology Foresight Manual. Volume 1 – Organization and Methods, 168-193.

Popper, Rafael (2008): Foresight Methodology, in: Georghiou et al. (eds.): The Handbook of Technology Foresight. Concepts and Practice, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Schoemaker, Paul J.H. (1995): Scenario Planning: A Tool for Strategic Thinking, in: Sloan Management Review, 36(2).

Slocum, Nikki (2003): Participatory Methods Toolkit. A Practitioner’s Manual, Brussels: viWTA/UNU-CRIS/King Baudouin Foundation, p. 75.

Technopolis Group et al. (2008): Drivers of International Collaboration in Research. Background Report 4, online at: http://ec.europa.eu/research/iscp/pdf/drivers_sti_annex_4.pdf, last access: 24 July 2011.

UNIDO (2005): Technology Foresight Manual. Volume 1 – Organization and Methods, Vienna: UNIDO.

Vincent-Lancrin, Stéphan (2009): What is Changing in Academic Research? Trends and Prospects, in: OECD (ed.): Higher Education to 2030. Volume 2. Globalisation, OECD: Paris, p. 173

EFP Brief No. 195: Influence of Foresight on Public Policy in Flanders

Friday, September 30th, 2011

This brief presents the findings of a research project aimed at understanding the influence of policy-oriented foresight on public policy in Flanders. A foresight identifying six strategic clusters for technology and innovation policy in Flanders is analysed. The results of this analysis show that the foresight-oriented technology assessment (FTA) did have a significant impact on the policy process, but the greater effect might prove to be in its role as a reference point for future FTAs, which will then give shape to long-term technology and innovation policy in Flanders.

Assessing the Impact of Foresight

Policy-oriented foresight or foresight in a public policy context is aimed at supporting the decision-making process. By anticipating as much as possible different, alternative developments, it seeks to contribute to effective long-term decision-making. The policy process itself, however, is non-linear and often depends on temporary “policy windows” (Kingdon, 1995), which leave the specific role of exercises aimed at strengthening the evidence base of public action a little unclear. This is also the case for policy-oriented foresight.

The literature on foresight contains many studies that identify factors for success. However, little empirical evidence is available that policy actors actually use the outputs of foresight exercises aimed at supporting policy decisions.

Based on the factors for success found in the foresight literature, our research project analysed three case studies. The first case examined was a foresight identifying six strategic clusters for technology and innovation policy in Flanders. This brief assesses whether and how the foresight influenced the Flemish government’s policy decisions. The analysis of influence was informed by the evaluation literature since studies on foresight rarely address this question.

The first section of this brief provides insight into different aspects of the foresight research in this particular case. The assessment of the influence of the foresight in the second section is followed by a first set of recommendations on how to improve the relationship between policy-oriented foresight and public policy.

Foresight in Flanders

The Flemish Council for Science and Innovation (VRWI) conducted a foresight on innovation and technology in Flanders from 2005 to 2006. The VRWI is a strategic advisory council in the policy domain of science and innovation. It advises the Flemish government on its science and technology policies either in a proactive manner or at the government’s request. The council is a multi-actor arena where different stakeholders in the field of science and innovation meet. These stakeholders mostly have an industrial background, but they also include scientists from universities or representatives from other knowledge institutions in Flanders as well as government representatives from the administrative or political level. The VRWI operates as a ‘boundary organization’ (Guston, 2001) between science, politics and society; this will prove important for the influence of the foresight exercise that the organisation conducted on public policy in Flanders.

Approach towards Technology & Innovation

The foresight was set up in 2005 at the VRWI’s own initiative. It aimed at “providing a long-term reference point for technology and innovation in Flanders” (Smits et al. 2006:10). The starting point for the study can be traced back as far as 1997 when the VRWI and other key stakeholders in the technology and innovation field felt the need to gain more insight into the scientific, economic and societal developments that might possibly influence the welfare and well-being of the citizenry in Flanders. Together with a group of university researchers, a process was organised to develop an appropriate methodology that would serve to assess this problem. Methodological inspiration was found in foresights from Japan and Germany as well as those conducted at the European level.

Initially, the foresight had been designed as a rather broad exercise, addressing different societal, economic and scientific problems. However, this broad focus was not retained. The VRWI had initiated the foresight proactively, but upon further consultation with stakeholders, among them political actors, the scope of the study was narrowed down to focus on technology and innovation. Central to the analysis were those developments in the science, technology and innovation field necessary for Flanders to remain competitive both within the European area and the globalised world.

Once the focus on technology and innovation had been established, the different steps to conduct the foresight were put in practice. The VRWI took the lead while cooperating closely with the scientific research group that had developed the methodological approach.

Methodology

The foresight was conducted in three consecutive steps, leading to the formulation of specific policy priorities for six sectors (or clusters) of technology and innovation in Flanders. The third step was the actual foresight. There, the future was assessed with a medium-term horizon of about ten years, i.e. 2015. As will be elaborated below, the study was highly participative and intensive.

In a first phase, a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) was conducted on the different sectors in the technology and innovation field in Flanders.

The second phase of the study consisted of linking the results of the SWOT analysis with those of a broader European foresight. Based on this synthesis, a high-level group of experts (the ‘captains of industry’ in Flanders) identified six strategic clusters for technology and innovation in Flanders. These cover a broad range of technological and innovative domains and are clustered on a thematic base. The six strategic clusters that were identified by the high-level group in this second phase are

  • Transport, logistics and services supply chain management
  • ICT and services in health care
  • Health care prevention and treatment; food and agriculture
  • New materials, especially nanotechnology, and the manufacturing industry
  • ICT for socio-economic innovation
  • Energy and environment for the services and manufacturing industry

The first two phases took about a year to be completed. The selective expert consultation at the end of phase two set the stage for a broader consultation of experts via the Delphi method in the third phase. This final phase was framed in terms of the six strategic clusters identified. The actors consulted were all R&D experts in the field of technology and innovation in Flanders. In total, 130 R&D experts participated in the third phase of the study, which took six months to be completed. The experts were divided along the six strategic clusters identified and, using the Delphi method, were asked to assess 160 possible future developments as well as the current and future capacities in the field in Flanders.

Via two or more rounds of discussion, a consensus was reached between the experts in each of the strategic clusters. They identified 30 specific priorities in technology and innovation. Additionally, 85 of the 130 experts agreed to evaluate factors critical for the achievement of these priorities. The VRWI Council then validated these results and formulated specific recommendations for the different stakeholders: universities, industry and government. These recommendations were of particular importance to the latter. A more detailed account on the role of government within a broader technology and innovation context and the use of the results of the study is provided in the next section.

Diffusion of Results among a Wide Range of Actors

The foresight was captured in two reports. Firstly, a summary report introduces the 30 priorities, the factors for success and the set of recommendations. Secondly, a more technical report elaborates upon the foresight process itself. It provides a detailed account of the three phases that constitute the foresight.

Additionally, the Council and its president took specific action to promote the results of the study among a broad range of actors. They did this by presentations and road shows to diffuse the results. An important step in this respect was to engage the support of universities and industry not only before and during the foresight process but also after the foresight was completed. This assured diffusion of the results among a first and important set of stakeholders. A third important stakeholder, government, was much less intensely involved in the foresight. Diffusion of the results of the study among political and administrative actors is, however, an important factor for the foresight to have an impact on technology and innovation in Flanders. The next section assesses to what extent this was accomplished.

Influence on Public Policy in Flanders

Did the foresight influence the Flemish government’s strategic decision-making on technology and innovation? To answer this question, we must first consider the concept of influence itself. Moreover, we must describe the broader technology and innovation policy context in Flanders before we can adequately address the question of influence on policy there. These are the issues we will now turn to.

A Framework for Assessing Policy Influence

From the perspective of policy actors, influence of evidence on policy can be viewed as knowledge utilisation. There are three dimensions for the analysis of influence on policy: source, intention and moment. This brief focuses in particular on the first dimension of influence: the source of influence.

The source of influence of foresight on policy can be product-related or process-related. Product-related influence is the influence of the output of foresight, i.e. the results of the study presented in a report. The results of foresight can influence policy in different ways. We differentiate between four types of product-related influence:

  • Direct instrumental influence is reflected in official policy documents.
  • Conceptual influence is seen as “enlightenment” (Weiss, 1980) of policy makers.
  • Agenda-setting influence means that new topics can be discerned, which were previously not under the attention of policy makers.
  • Political-strategic influence takes place when political actors legitimise or oppose government actions based on the study’s results.

The foresight can also have a significant process-related influence on policy and policy actors. The involvement of political or administrative actors at an early stage of the process might promote a more future-oriented view on policy or a better understanding of the possible added value of foresight for policy. Indirectly, this process-related influence might enhance the product-related use of foresight since it makes policy actors more receptive to its outcomes.

Importance of the Specific Policy Context

From a historical perspective, technology and innovation policy in Flanders can be characterised as predominantly technology-pushed or supply-driven. Policy ‘demand’ was and is to a large extent adapted to industrial and scientific ‘supply’. In other words, technology and innovation policy in Flanders is usually developed bottom up. Public funding is mostly responsive to the R&D policy of industrial actors and of universities. It is to a much lesser extent coordinated (let alone steered) by government within a broader strategic framework. The foresight tried to provide such a strategic framework by identifying future technology and innovation priorities. Via its recommendations, it also assigned a specific role to the Flemish government for the framework to be implemented. In principle, the Flemish government could assume different roles, ranging from a hands-off and encouraging position (bottom-up policy approach) to a hands-on and actively steering role (top down). The latter is in order when the task at hand requires making strategic policy choices and taking the necessary actions to enable them.

Assuming that the foresight served as necessary input for establishing a strategic framework on technology and innovation in Flanders, the involvement of a broad range of stakeholders was not only a logical consequence in a supply-driven policy domain. More importantly, it secured the necessary stakeholder support for implementing the priorities–which is especially critical when the strategic priorities are defined by a hands-on, steering government.

Policy Influence Analysed in Documents

The influence of the foresight on public policy was analysed through a thorough document analysis and interviews. The document analysis included strategic policy documents, policy briefs, white papers, parliamentary documents etc. The interviews were carried out with political and administrative stakeholders as well as members of the VRWI responsible for the study.

Challenge-driven Innovation Approach Inspired by Foresight Exercise

At first, the report had no influence on public policy. The foresight report was published in 2007, at the end of the then Flemish government’s legislative period when policy directions had already been decided upon. The policies in place were further enacted toward the end of the legislature. Later on, however, the results of the foresight eventually significantly influenced public policy in Flanders in several ways.

First, there is reference to its results in official strategic policy documents, such as the broader strategic framework project “Flanders in Action” set up by the Flemish government to make Flanders a frontrunner region in the social as well as in the economic domain. This emphasis on the strategic level was translated into the Flemish government’s policy note 2009-2014 on innovation policy and the related policy briefs and actions. More recently, in May 2011, the Flemish government approved a conceptual brief giving shape to a more hands-on strategic approach in technology and innovation in Flanders. The focus on a ‘challenge-driven innovation’ approach is particularly inspired by the strategic orientation provided in the foresight. Moreover, the establishment of innovation nodes can be traced back, among others, to the strategic clusters defined by the foresight in 2007. It therefore seems fair to say that the foresight has had an important direct instrumental influence on public policy in Flanders.

The study is also well known among a broad range of actors in the policy domain. Especially the first two phases of the study (SWOT and relative positioning of Flanders in Europe) have served as a knowledge base for political and administrative actors in government, marking an important conceptual influence of the foresight.

When we consider the study’s influence on the political agenda, political attention seems to have been mostly directed toward the perceived need to make strategic choices for the domain. This need was addressed in the foresight and played a key role in conducting the exercise. Contrary to a predominantly hands-off approach in the past, the government now has come to consider, accept and implement a more demand-driven approach when deciding on innovation policy at the strategic level.

Thus, we can discern an important, directly instrumental and conceptual influence on policy in terms of agenda-setting. This is a medium-term influence, i.e. the effects are observed three to five years after the study was published. By contrast, there does not seem to have been any politically strategic influence.

Process-related Trade-off for Technology & Innovation Actors

Additionally, the foresight has also had an important process-related influence. It is considered an important first exercise of its kind in the policy domain since it was aimed, quite explicitly, at bringing about a strategic, long-term vision and making policy choices in technology and innovation in Flanders. It has introduced a certain dynamic among the actors in the policy domain itself. Several actors indicate, for example, that a follow-up foresight is necessary to develop an adequate long-term strategic policy in the domain of technology and innovation since this foresight dates from 2006 with a horizon of 2015.

Authors: Ellen Fobé                                      ellen.fobe@soc.kuleuven.be

Marleen Brans                                marleen.brans@soc.kuleuven.be

Sponsors: Flemish government: Policy Research Centre – Governmental Organization in Flanders 2007-2011
Type: Assessment of influence of foresight on public policy
Organizer: Research project: Evidence-based policy-making: matching supply and demand of quantitative policy information and foresight. Project supervisor: Prof. Dr. Marleen Brans; researcher: Ellen Fobé
Duration: 2010-2011 Budget: N/A Time Horizon: 2007-2011 Date of Brief: June 2011  

 

Download EFP Brief No. 195_Influence_of_Foresight

Sources and References

Project link and research themes of the Policy Research Centre – Governmental Organization in Flanders

  • http://soc.kuleuven.be/sbov/eng/research/epr14.htm
  • http://soc.kuleuven.be/sbov/eng/index.htm

References

  • Guston, D. (2000): Between politics and science: assuring the integrity and productivity of research. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Kingdon, J.W. (1995): Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies. Second edition, Boston: Little, Brown and Company.
  • Smits, E., Ratinckx, E. & Thoen, V. (2006): Technology and innovation in Flanders: priorities. Brussels: Flemish Council for Science and Innovation.
  • Weiss, C. (1980): Knowledge creep and decision accretion. Knowledge: Creation, Diffusion, Utilization 1(3), pp.381-404.

EFP Brief No. 182: The Future of European Innovation Policy

Monday, May 30th, 2011

This foresight activity was part of the EU FP7 Blue Skies Project aimed at piloting, developing and testing in real situations a foresight methodology designed to bring together key stakeholders for the purpose of exploring the longer term challenges facing their sector and building a shared vision that could guide the development of the relevant European research and policy agenda. One of the four topics chosen in this project was future innovation policy in Europe, as an example of a cross-cutting policy area that affects different policy levels – from European to regional. The exercise was received with great interest by stakeholders and policy actors, leading to high-level participation from member states and at the EU-level.

Preparing European Innovation Policy for the Challenges of the Future

The Europe 2020 agenda has moved innovation to the centre stage of European policy. In the area of innovation, the EU aims to launch a flagship initiative entitled the Innovation Union, outlined in an EC communication in September 2010 (EC 2010).

Stepping up innovation performance is regarded as key for overcoming the current economic crisis, for increasing productivity and creating new markets. It requires improving Europe’s attractiveness for investments in research and innovation, which is hampered by the low efficiency and effectiveness of these investments, even though major differences exist across EU member states and regions. This is an issue of major concern in the light of the changing patterns of global competition, with new countries, such as BRICS, which are entering the stage and quickly strengthening their innovation potential.

At the same time, it is increasingly recognised that, apart from these immediate economic goals, a more long-term concern with the sustainable development of European societies has emerged to demand greater attention. We are confronted with a number of societal ‘Grand Challenges’, which require major innovative, often systemic solutions in order to be tackled successfully: climate change and food supply, scarcity of valuable resources (e.g. water, raw materials, biodiversity) and the changing age structure of our societies, social disparities and healthy living, education systems to meet the demands of the knowledge society, to mention just a few.

These two core drivers of innovation, i.e. the interest in overcoming the economic crisis and tackling the Grand Challenges, which are to be addressed through investments in research and innovation, point to a delicate balance to be struck between the benefits that an individual entrepreneur can expect from his or her investments and the societal costs and benefits from such investments and related spill-over effects. Future innovation policy needs to devise the right framework conditions to reconcile these two important but sometimes contradictory cost-benefit considerations and to do so against the background of changing patterns, practices and models of innovation.

The changing nature of and demands on innovation require rethinking the existing rationales for policy intervention in the light of the EU 2020 agenda. An incremental improvement and upgrading of conventional innovation policies will not do the job; current innovation policy is riddled with too many fundamental flaws and deficits. A major overhaul is needed of the governance structures and processes in the field of innovation policy. It is not only a question of what future innovation policy should look like but also how to move towards a new organisational model for innovation policy. It should enable a coherent policy approach and thus ensure that counterproductive effects of different policy areas are avoided and that innovation is paid due attention also in other policy areas than those directly devoted to research and innovation. Moreover, it is crucial to establish a transparent and coherent division of labour between regional, national and European policy levels as well as efficient cooperation between member states, for instance, on issues such as access to research funding or the engagement of national organisations across borders.

Success Scenario Approach

Based on a comprehensive background paper, a workshop was organised in Brussels on 27/28 May 2010 with about 30 high-ranking experts and decision-makers. It focused on identifying perceived gaps in innovation policy to be tackled to support Europe on its way towards an Innovation Union.

The purpose of the workshop was to bring together experts from different policy areas and levels of relevance to innovation in Europe with experts from research and industry to analyse the relationship between sectoral, cross-cutting and innovation policy agendas and their implementation at the European and national level, and to explore the means and actions for improving their coherence. A first step in the process was to develop a vision how European institutions can take shared responsibility for innovation and formulate requirements and key challenges for the future of innovation policy. A second session aimed at identifying key policies to support effective innovation, with an emphasis on the European policy level. The results were condensed into a success scenario framework for future European innovation policy. As a third step, the workshop focused on matters of innovation policy governance; an issue that has not received much attention in recent EU innovation policy debates. The time horizon of the exercise was 2020.

Apart from its contribution to current innovation policy debates, the exercise was also to pilot and test in real situations a foresight methodology designed to bring together key stakeholders to explore the longer term challenges that face their area. The methodology is inspired by the notion of success scenario. The purpose of such a scenario is to set a ‘stretch target’ for all the stakeholders. In this specific case it aims to build a shared vision capable of guiding the development of the relevant European research and innovation policy agenda. This includes anticipating changes of the European research and innovation landscape, of national and European policies and of associated governance mechanisms, which would be needed to take forward that agenda.

Gearing Innovation Policy toward Grand Challenges

The combination of interactive success scenario development and desk-based innovation ecosystem mapping brought up a number of important findings. Three of them merit particular attention:

A Broader Understanding of Innovation

The workshop underlined that future innovation policy will have to be based on a much broader understanding of innovation than at present. Four main features will have to receive much greater attention than today:

  • Innovation takes place in an ecology of different actors and activities, comprising research, market and societal demands, finance, and institutional frameworks, i.e. it is based on a network of relationships between innovation actors and the environment structuring those relationships. The ability to source knowledge developed elsewhere or to be a knowledge supplier, as captured in the terminology of ‘open innovation’, has started to transform business models and processes. This development has led to an embedding of local knowledge production in global innovation networks, but it is also recognised that the local context still matters for providing appropriate solutions.
  • Users have a prominent role to play in devising innovations that are in line with specific and local requirements. Greater concern for the needs and interests of users is reflected in the growing recognition of the importance of innovation in services. While representing around 70% of GDP in most European countries, services have long been neglected by innovation policy. The public sector plays a much more important role for innovation than has been recognised in the past, as a user and shaper of innovation as well as by stimulating the capabilities of potential users to specify their demands on innovation.
  • This shift in attention also extends to what constitutes innovation in the first place. Social and organisational innovations are not only complementary to technological innovation but equally important novelties in their own right. Often, they cannot be dissociated from each other and require a stronger role and thus empowerment of people (OECD 2010). R&D is just one contribution to innovation. This is particularly obvious in the service sector where innovation takes place despite the lack of explicit and dedicated R&D.
  • Finally, it is also increasingly recognised that there is no single innovation model that fits the requirements of all fields of innovation. Greater diversity in research and innovation patterns can be observed, as reflected in the greater attention paid to sectoral and thematic specificities of innovation.

Future Requirements for Innovation Policy and Its Governance

A total of sixteen principles or “commandments” of future innovation policy and its governance were formulated in the context of the workshop. They apply to the European as well as at member states level:

In addition to these principles of innovation policy, six principles were formulated that should guide the future governance of innovation policy in Europe.

A Success Scenario Framework for Future Innovation Policy in Europe

The competencies of the EU in matters of innovation policy are limited. However, to make the most effective use of the specific advantages that these limitations imply, the participants of the workshop suggested a framework that builds on three major pillars of European innovation policy (see Figure 1 in the next column).

Pillar 1: Issue-oriented innovation policy: Focus on Grand Challenges

In line with the Innovation Union flagship initiative, a reframing of innovation policy as a means not only of enhancing competitiveness is recommended but also for addressing Grand Challenges. In order to achieve this, the policy instruments available to the EC are limited, but it could nevertheless spearhead the principle of recognizing and using all forms of innovation – technological, social, organisational and institutional – as equally important means of tackling societal challenges. This principle also implies that simply combining research and innovation policy is not enough because it would imply a restriction to research-led innovation and thus ignore the importance of the other dimensions of innovation needed to meet such challenges. Instead, the EC could strive to inject innovation objectives into its sectoral and cross-cutting policies: a range of powerful demand-side policy instruments could be used to support innovation for tackling Grand Challenges.

A number of concrete examples of first pillar policy initiatives were also suggested, such as

  • going beyond an integration of research and innovation policy and considering the integration of innovation agendas into sectoral policies, or
  • making innovation-friendliness a standard criterion for defining “good practice” regulations in sectoral policies.

Pillar 2: Systemic innovation policy: dealing with systemic deficits

Grand Challenges should not become the sole concern of European innovation policy. There are a number of cross-cutting problems and systemic deficits that need to be addressed through a targeted innovation policy at the European level, including the Community patent, the realisation of an internal market for innovation-oriented procurement, state aid rules, or the improvement of framework conditions for enabling the fast growth of high-tech companies. If indeed innovation becomes a major concern of sectoral and cross-cutting policies, systemic innovation policy initiatives are likely to receive widespread support in related policy areas as they will be recognised as crucial drivers for realising their mission of tackling Grand Challenges through innovation.

Examples of second pillar policy initiatives comprise

  • adjusting state aid rules and other elements of competition policy in order to remove inherent barriers to innovation and
  • revisiting public procurement practices and regulations to enable the full exploitation of their innovation-enhancing potential across borders and in the context of Structural Funds.

Pillar 3: Orientation and rationales for innovation policy in Europe: providing vision and leadership for innovation to become a horizontal concern in a multi-level policy context

The political competencies of the EU may be limited, but this apparent weakness offers the opportunity to fulfil the role of intellectual leader in the innovation policy debate in Europe. By identifying deficits, developing visions and formulating rationales for innovation policy, the EU can provide orientation and common reference points for all levels and areas of policy. This has already happened in the past; the momentum generated by the European Research Area concept is a clear example of leadership, in spite of limited formal competencies. Intellectual leadership has the potential of projecting strong messages, which can be communicated to the highest levels of decision-making as well as to the public. In this way, innovation can be assigned the highest priority on the policy agenda. The notion of Grand Challenges is very helpful in this regard because it has the potential for connecting seemingly abstract notions of innovation policy with the deepest concerns of citizens. However, in order to be convincing, European institutions must lead by example, i.e. the concept of innovation needs to be much more embedded in the actual operations of public administrations. An “entrepreneurial innovation policy”, for instance, requires that risk-taking and collaborative modes of policy-making are internalised in the EC services as a starting point if member states are to follow the lead.

Policy initiatives that are in line with Pillar 3 are, for instance

  • establishing a culture of co-development in public administration to enable effective procurement procedures, including the fostering of training and information exchange about experiences and good practices in co-development and
  • providing incentives to encourage experimenting and risk-taking in public administration at the European level, for instance, by alleviating provisions on personal financial liability for EC staff and by supporting a risk-tolerant and trust-based approach to managing innovation.

Keys to Future Governance of European Innovation Policy

By its very nature, the results of the exercise were very much geared towards providing policy insights, both with regard to substantive policies and the governance of innovation policy. Key questions of governance will need to be tackled in the coming years if the three pillars model is to be realized. At the workshop, some ten governance questions were formulated alongside with some first tentative inroads for dealing with them, but much more effort is needed to realize a significant change in European innovation policy governance:

  • How can innovation become a key concern across all sectoral and cross-cutting policies?
  • How can shared future visions be established that have the necessary weight to be meaningful for decision-making?
  • How can Grand Challenges be concretized to provide operational orientations that help ensure coherence and alignment across policy areas?
  • How can horizontal coherence of policy development and design be ensured?
  • How can a distributed model for policy implementation be defined?
  • How can coherence in innovation policy be achieved in a multi-level governance setting?
  • How can coherence with stakeholder opinions, interests and decisions be achieved?
  • How the EC can deliver a range of outcomes with less resources?
  • How can transparent and rational communication be ensured?
  • How policy learning based on local experiences with new forms of innovation be improved?
Authors: Matthias Weber matthias.weber@ait.ac.at

Luke Georghiou Luke.georghiou@mbs.ac.uk

Sponsors: EU Commission
Type: EU-level single issue foresight exercise
Organizer: FP7 Farhorizon Project Coordinator: UNIMAN, Luke Georghiou
Duration: Sept 08-Dec10 Budget: N/A Time Horizon: 2020 Date of Brief: Feb 2011  

 

Download EFP Brief No. 182_European Innovation Policy

Sources and References

European Commission (2010): Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative Innovation Union, Communication from the European Commission, COM (2010) 546 final, Brussels

OECD (2010): The OECD Innovation Strategy: Getting a Headstart on Tomorrow, Paris

Weber, M., Georghiou, L. (2011): Dynamising Innovation Policy. Giving innovation a central role in European policy, Synthesis Report of a Foresight workshop organised as part of the FP 7 Blue Skies Project FarHorizon

For further information on the FarHorizon project see http://farhorizon.portals.mbs.ac.uk/

EFP Brief No. 168: Forward-looking Activities in Support of ERA Vision 2020

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

As a part of the Ljubljana Process of governance of ERA, which was launched by the EU Commission and Council in May 2008, a common 2020 vision for the European Research Area was adopted on 2 December 2008. This vision stipulates that: “[…] by 2020, all actors should fully benefit from the free circulation of researchers, knowledge and technology.”1 Forward looking activities are indis-pensable for promoting the policy process of the ERA vision 2020 in order to speak with one voice, to jointly promote consistency between their R&D cooperation activities, and to develop joint initiatives that give Europe leadership in addressing global challenges and reaching sustainable development goals.

ERA Vision 2020

The 2020 Vision for the European Research Area (ERA) was developed in partnership by all member states and the European Commission and in consultation with associated countries. When adopting the 2020 Vision, the Council of the European Union invited member states and the European Commission to communicate it widely to stakeholders and society at large and to quickly focus policies and actions to make it a reality.

1               European Research Area Vision 2020 – http://ec.europa.eu/research/era/2020_era_vision_en.html

2 http://ec.europa.eu/research/era/2020_era_vision_en.htm

By 2020, all players are supposed to fully benefit from the Fifth Freedom3 across the ERA, which refers to the free circulation of researchers, knowledge and technology. The ERA is intended to provide attractive conditions and effective and efficient governance for carrying out research and investing in R&D intensive sectors in Europe. It seeks to create significant added value by fostering scientific competition throughout Europe whilst ensuring the appropriate level of cooperation and coordination. It is envisaged to be responsive to the needs and ambitions of citizens and to effectively contribute to the sustainable development and competitiveness of Europe.

3 The Fifth Freedom is derived from European Union law where the Four Freedoms is a common term for a set of treaty provisions, secondary legislation and court decisions, protecting the ability of goods, capital, services, people and labour to move freely within the internal market of the European Union. More precisely, they are the free movement of goods, the free movement of capital, the free movement of services and the free movement of persons.

The ERA Vision 2020 is predicated on the insight that good European governance must be based upon strategic forward thinking. This involves defining major societal challenges, underpinning the selection of themes in joint programming and helping to prioritise and focus research, thus laying the groundwork for future-oriented strategic thinking. The ex-ante analysis of societal trends in the world and the European Union on the basis of scenarios and identifying potential breakthroughs (“wild cards”) are all elements that allow decision-makers to highlight their choices under a new perspective.

Forward-looking Activities to Promote ERA

The European Commission, following up on its commitment to help member states better coordinate their research efforts, organised a conference session on forward-looking activities in October 2009 that underpinned the ERA vision 2020.4

Experts, representatives of the public sector and directors of DG Research attempted to identify the needs in this field. The participants discussed how a continuous process of forward-looking and horizon scanning activities for ERA could be organised in the future, how to ensure that this approach would lead to a better support and further integration of national research policies in ERA, and what could be the drivers to determine potential “grand challenges” and joint programming priorities.

Three-dimensional Strategy

During the session, Anneli Pauili, the deputy Director-General of DG Research, reflected on the main principle guiding forward-looking activities promoted by the EC, which is to combine three dimensions in these activities: ensuring that the abundance of information provided by experts is taken into consideration, involvement of stakeholders (researchers, companies, NGOs and public organisations), and involvement of relevant politicians to increase the likelihood of results being considered in policy-making.

Added Value through Joint Programming

At European level, there exist various networks, tools and systems to follow up on forward-looking activities. Consensus is growing that European research policy needs to be based on more systematic, continuous, forward-looking and pan-European activities. It is particularly important that member states and associated countries combine their research efforts through “joint programming”, which must not be content with simply finding the lowest common denominator but should rather strive to merge different perspectives and multiple visions of the future. Here is the clear link with the Lund declaration5 that stipulates, “The identification of major challenges must involve the relevant stakeholders, including European institutions, business, public sector, NGOs and the scientific community, and foresee the interaction with international partners.”6

4              http://ec.europa.eu/research/conferences/2009/era2009 /programme/programme_22-10_en.htm

5 The Lund Declaration (SE), adopted on 9 July 2009 at the “New Worlds – New Solutions” conference, stipulates that the EU must identify the major challenges for which public and private research need to develop sustainable solutions.

Forward-looking Activities Support Innovation Policies

In recent years, forward-looking activities have been used intensively to support impact assessment for climate action policies, and there have been unprecedented levels of employing such activities in day-to-day policy-making in many countries and in the EC. Within research and innovation policies, forward-looking activities have a corrective role (addressing deficiencies and systemic failures and policy lock-ins), a disruptive role (encouraging an emphasis on crisis or breakthrough events that can completely change the current status quo), a creative role (stimulating the conditions whereby new networks and structures can evolve and grow) and a more embedded role as an instrument of articulating, structuring and delivering research and innovation policy.

6 Interview with Anneli Pauili, the deputy Director-General of DG Research, Special Issue – Research EU – November 2009, http://ec.europa.eu/research/research-eu/era/article_era40_en.html

Barriers to Networking

The major barriers to networking in the related fields and thus to the integration of national approaches of forward-looking activities are the uncertainty surrounding sufficient funding, the unnecessary rivalry among modelling teams for access to funds and the frequent lack of sufficient size, variety and multi-disciplinarity of modelling teams.

New Wave of Interest in Foresight

The context of crisis and challenges has led to a new wave of interest in foresight, as alternative solutions and promising ways of moving forward are sought. Foresight has now become a pervasive activity at the institutional level to inform programme planning and to support structural change. Its role in EU Framework Programmes (FP) and ERA needs to be grounded in a greater involvement of stakeholders and users to encourage them to take ownership of the exercises. On the supply side, there is a need to maintain and extend the foresight community through support for research and community building activities and to help carry the results beyond their initial audience.

Common Understanding of the Potential of Forward-looking Activities

The ERA Conference 2009 resulted in a common understanding that forward-looking activities can be used in defining the future research activities, the annual work programmes, joint programming and international cooperation. In order to further shape the ERA vision 2020, forward-looking activities will have to

  • help reinforce the governance culture by integrating the long-term perspective and giving more space to cross-cutting issues,
  • help improve the quality and impact of European, national and regional research policies by comparing findings and methods and, consequently, by contributing to improved policy design and implementation at the European, national and regional level,
  • support model development, human capital of modellers and long-lasting capacity and network of models, modellers and databases on a transnational basis.

To be successful, forward-looking activities need the commitment and involvement of the initiator.

Improving Foresight in Research and Policy

Better Networking and Sharing of Resources

For the future of the European Research Area (institutional, organisational, methodological, etc.), networking and sharing of resources (data, mathematical methods, policy advice experience and skills) are very important, provided that the network has some degree of variety and stability over time.

Better coherence – which does not mean harmonisation or standardisation – among forward-looking exercises at various levels, better access to each other’s knowledge, sharing and networking would support future decision-making. European forward-looking activities should not be limited to the aggregation of national forward-looking activities but should be set up as a truly European project, preferably putting together interoperable visions that can be exploited by decision-makers.

Interoperable Visions: European Technology Platforms

The forward looking approaches of some European Technology Platforms are good examples for such interoperable visions. The European Technology Platforms provide a framework for stakeholders, led by industry, to define research and development priorities, timeframes and action plans on a number of strategically important issues where achieving Europe’s future growth, competitiveness and sustainability objectives is dependent upon major research and technological advances in the medium to long-term. They play a key role in ensuring an adequate focus of research funding on areas with a high degree of industrial relevance, by covering the whole economic value chain and by mobilising public authorities at national and regional levels. As such, they are proving to be powerful actors in the development of European research policy, in particular in orienting the FP7 programs (including the “Cooperation Programme”) to better meet the needs of industry.

The following are some examples of technology platforms with a forward-looking approach for 2030 and beyond:

  • European Biofuels TP (EBTP)
  • European Construction TP (ECTP),
  • European Steel TP (ESTEP)
  • Forest-based sector TP (FTP)
  • European Photovoltaic TP
  • European TP on Sustainable Mineral Resources (ETP SMR)
  • Sustainable Nuclear Energy TP (SNE-TP)
  • European Wind Energy TP (TPWind)
  • Water Supply and Sanitation European TP (WSSTP)

Maintain Continuous Process

A continuous process of integrated forward-looking activities should be organized (joint programming), comprising cooperation between policy-making EU Directorate-Generals and ERA in order to make sure that forward-looking analytical capacity is established, well networked and disposes funding to ensure high quality and state-of-the-art methods. It is important thereby to ensure continuity and stability to modelling teams.

Optimise Integration of Foresight
in Governance Processes

A lot of work has been done at the European level in the “research” component of forward-looking activities but a lot has still to be done in the “policy” component of those activities; that is, “foresight” done by researchers and experts should be better integrated into the policy-oriented foresight process where policy-makers and stakeholders (including citizens) should participate.

Forward-looking methods have to be combined and integrated as much as possible in the “policy cycle”, taking stock of appropriate structures for defining research agendas, such as the European Technology Platforms and Social Platforms. Policy-makers, stakeholders (ministries, universities, industries, research centres and civil society organizations) should participate and work together. Both bottom-up (researchers, experts) and top-down (policy-makers) involvements are needed. Endogenous technology dynamics including their complex interactions with society, economy and energy have to be applied.

Authors: Anette Braun                 braun_a@vdi.de

Axel Zweck                               zweck@vdi.de

  Sponsors: Pierre Valette, European Commission – DG Research – Directorate L – Science, Economy and Society Unit L2 – Research in the Economic, Social Sciences and Humanities – Prospective
Type: European/international
Organizer: European Commission – DG Research – European Research Area
Duration: 2008 Budget: N/A Time Horizon: 2020 Date of Brief: Dec. 2009

 

Download EFP Brief No. 168_ERA Vision 2020

Sources and References

European Research Area Vision 2020:

http://ec.europa.eu/research/era/2020_era_vision_en.html, http://ec.europa.eu/research/era/pdf/2020-vision-for-era_en.pdf

ERA 2009 Conference:

http://ec.europa.eu/research/conferences/2009/era2009/programme/programme_22-10_en.htm

Interview with Anneli Pauili, the deputy Director-General of DG Research, Special Issue – Research EU – 11/ 2009, http://ec.europa.eu/research/research-eu/era/article_era40_en.html

Tiit Jurimae, The experience of European Technology Platforms (ETPs) as a vision-building process, 2009, http://ec.europa.eu/research/era/pdf/event01/ev01-17-tiit-jurimae_en.pdf

EFP Brief No. 161: Roadmap Environmental Technologies 2020 Integrated Water Management

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

In the project “Roadmap 2020”, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, seven fields of environmental policy were investigated in order to explore to which extent research and development activities will be able to foster future environmental innovations. The purpose of the project was the identification of strategic options for research and development and their transfer into practice in the field of environmental technologies by 2020. The results were gained by literature and Internet research, an expert opinion survey and four workshops on different topics.

EFP Brief No. 161_Roadmap Environmental Technologies