Posts Tagged ‘financial services’

EFP Brief No. 156: Healthy and Safe Food for the Future – A Technology Foresight Project in Central and Eastern Europe (Futurefood6)

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Futurefood6 is a project developed to assist Central and Eastern European countries in reaching international standards throughout the whole food chain and, in turn, to enhance overall European competitiveness by developing an industry that stands for safety, diversity, sophistication and products of a high quality. It mobilises stakeholders from the food industry, research, academia, the state and public sector, decisionmaking bodies and the public to create a desirable set of future visions for the food industry in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) for 2020.

EFMN Brief No. 156_Futurefood6

EFP Brief No. 155: A Roadmap for the Commercial Development of Medicinal Plants of the Andean Region of South America

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

The main objective of the project was to establish a future vision (2020) and define the best means for the production, commercialization and innovation of products on the basis of medicinal plants of the Andean region of South America that would contribute to its social and economic development.

EFMN Brief No. 155_Andean Medicinal Plants

EFP Brief No. 134: Future Challenge for Europe: Providing Security and Safety to Citizens

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

As stated in the recent EC Communication on ‘Reforming the budget, changing Europe’ (SEC (2007) 1188), the European Union has a key role to play in ‘providing security and safety to citizens’. Especially in the aftermath of 11th Sept. 2001 security related issues are becoming an increasingly important facet of global society and have an increasing impact on economy and science. The issues are manifold and include protecting citizens and state from organized crime, preventing terrorist acts, and responding to natural and manmade disasters. Civil security issues are becoming more and more important to governments and national economies across the globe, and the EU is no exception. The EC sees security research as an important policy objective, which started in 2001 with a Preparatory Action on Security Research (PASR) and is now the tenth theme of the FP7 Cooperation programme. Security and safety technologies are seen to have applications in many sectors including transport, civil protection, energy, environment, health and financial systems.

Analysing EFMN Documents: TextAnalyst

A selection of 160 foresight and futures studies was taken from the EFMN database. These were studies with different backgrounds, scopes, themes, horizons and on different scales. The semantic data-mining tool ‘TextAnalyst’ was employed to analyse the texts. First, out of the 160 studies, a small number of relevant studies was selected that had titles strongly related to the researched topic. TextAnalyst analysed these texts and found the most relevant keywords and semantic relations between the most important words. These terms were compiled into a keyword list for the researched topic. This list of keywords was used to analyse all 160 selected studies. The TextAnalyst
yielded all sentences containing any of the keywords, with an additional hyperlink in the text file allowing to view
the context in which the sentence occurred. The TextAnalyst also gave a semantic relation between the searched keywords and other words. The related terms thus identified were added to the list of keywords. The summary of sentences that contained one or more words from the list of keywords was manually read in the original context and if the sentence or the section where the sentence occurred was regarded as providing new or additional information, this section was copied into a text file. In order to avoid any extreme out-of-context copying of sentences, statements that were part of a scenario description were not added to the file. After this analysis of the 160 studies, a text file was created containing sections of the original studies with information related to the selected topic
and the reference to the original document. The dictionary for the analysis presented here consisted of the
following terms: anticipation, crisis, defence, defence, emergency, enemy, intelligence, military, NBC, NRBC, prevention, protection, risk, safety, secure, security, surveillance, terrorism, terrorist, threat and weapon. This analysis is exclusively based on the review of 36 foresights and future-oriented studies completed between 2000 and 2007 – most of them in 2004-2005. While most studies were carried out at a national level in Europe, the pool of sources also included seven studies conducted at the EU-level, eight Japanese national studies, the
global study AC-UNU Millennium project, the supranational study on information and communication technology (ICT) in the Nordic countries, and one Finnish study of regional scope.

Limitations of the Analysis

Attention should be paid to the fact that, while all 36 studies address certain safety and security issues, they are not all equally detailed. In particular, whereas some foresights (e.g. the UK Foresight) provide an in-depth analysis of the state-of-theart of technology, as well as a detailed forward look, the significance of some one-sentence statements, as they are typically made in Delphi studies such as the 8th Japanese National Foresight, may be more limited. Such statements have been considered very carefully so as not to bias the analysis. From the above, it follows that the following analysis – based on a restricted number of foresights – neither intends to be exhaustive nor to provide an overview of security and safety-related issues weighted according to their importance for future EU policies. However, it might provide some interesting insights about future safety and security threats – as predicted in foresights – as well as how future technological, societal or economic developments and policies might help to combat them. Since some of the analysed foresights are quite old, this means that some of the proposed actions could already have been implemented.

Safety & Security:  A Crosscutting Issue

Safety and security issues are generally related to all kinds of natural and human-induced (intentional and non-intentional) disasters or risks, which can affect individuals, societies or nations. Important technological and political tasks in the context of the protection of citizens and vital infrastructures have addressed a broad spectrum of issues such as future threats and vulnerabilities of critical infrastructures in key sectors (e.g. information systems, financial systems, industrial plants, public buildings, transport systems and infrastructures, communication networks, energy infrastructures, food distribution systems, etc) or the impact of terrorism and organized crime on the development of civil societies.

From the selected studies two major areas were identified bearing future risks for society: civil security and IT security. The area of civil security can be divided into subsections as follows:

  • terrorism and crime prevention,
  • ensuring the safety and security of critical infrastructures,
  • food and chemicals safety, and
  • threats from climate change and natural disasters.

Civil Security

Terrorism and Crime Prevention

Terrorism is expected to become a growing threat to all parts of society in the future mainly for two reasons. Firstly, due to the NRBC (nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical) weapons, the proliferation of ballistic, tactical and cruise missiles, and, on another level, the proliferation of small arms, the use of technological objects (e.g. civilian aircraft) as weapons and the transfer of technical know-how have multiplied risk factors for our societies. Also terrorist activities are becoming networked and are increasingly seeking points of entry into international business and, through corruption, into public administration.

The threat from terrorism must be counteracted by increased international cooperation on all levels and increased spending for security.

Another aspect raised by the study by the Finnish Committee for the Future is that because of continued synergy among, and miniaturization of, everything from chemistry sets and pharmaceutical manufacturing to genetic and nanotech engineering terrorist attacks will be much simpler to conduct in the future. Eventually an individual (single individual being massively destructive, SIMAD), acting alone, will be able to create and deploy a weapon of mass destruction.

In the broader context of terrorism, general crime prevention is an important aspect. The Japanese studies suggest that the security provided by governments will deteriorate in the future; thus people must provide for their own protection. Means like physical access control and burglary alarm systems for private homes are seen to be possible substitutes. The British study ‘Strategic Futures Thinking’ concludes that new technologies, such as DNA profiling, will prove increasingly vital in criminal trials as will more sophisticated detection, surveillance and monitoring devices in the wider field of crime prevention.

Safety and Security of Critical Infrastructures

Energy and transport infrastructures (so-called ‘critical infrastructures’) are crucial to economy and society. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that their safety and security is addressed in different foresights – at a national and supranational level. The Finnish foresight ‘Finnsight 2015’, for instance, stresses the fact that modern societies have increasingly become vulnerable in the sense that any malfunctioning or failure of critical infrastructures may paralyse the whole society. The foresights identify several threats to critical infrastructures:

  • Critical infrastructures increasingly rely on ICT applications and they more and more depend on the reliability of broad and complex ICT networks. Protecting critical infrastructures is therefore closely related to protecting the ICT networks they are based on. In this regard, ICT liability has to be ensured; it will also be particularly important to prevent criminal intrusion and the misuse of networked-based infrastructures.
  • Of course, on a global scale, terrorism is expected to remain one of the main threats in the future. Several foresights such as the Fistera study and the UK Foresight therematching them with the personal identification provided at the point of embarkation). Indeed, the terrorism threat is expected to give further momentum to the development of specific markets such as imaging technologies (allowing for instance the detection of suicide bombers in case remote identification and containment become reality).
  • Transport safety for citizens also implies reducing the risk of accidents. Thanks to the diffusion and increasing affordability of ICT, use of intelligent transport systems based on telematics as well as video-surveillance systems are expected to become more widespread to improve transport safety, for instance, by reacting in case fatigue, recreational drug use or medication impair the performance of the driver of a car or the pilot of a plane. Intelligent transport systems may also help maximise transport and logistics efficiency leading to benefits in terms of increased productivity and economic growth.

Food and Chemical Safety

Quite surprisingly, and despite their relevance for everyday life and everyone’s health, issues related to food safety is rarely addressed by the foresights screened. Some, however, do highlight that ensuring food safety requires assessing the long-term impact of harmful chemicals (e.g. heavy metals) on human beings, crops, as well as livestock. Food safety is therefore closely related to preventing damage to the environment due to chemicals in general. Standardized and socially approved tools for the risk assessment of chemicals should hence be developed. In this regard, chemical analysis is expected to be facilitated in the future through the use of miniature chemical analysis systems. Regarding functional foods, the monitoring of the long-term consequences of their use is underscored as essential. The EU may have a role to play in assessing health claims and the safety of new functional food products entering the market. Providing transparent information on health issues, safe threshold limits for specific functional food products, as well as on storage requirements will also contribute to promoting food safety for the consumer.

Threats from Climate Change  and Natural Disasters

Some studies emphasize the risk from climate change and natural disasters. Particularly in Japan the risk from natural disasters such as volcano eruptions, avalanches and earthquakes is addressed. The development of new predictive systems is proposed. Systems to observe disasters such as communications satellites, GPS, unmanned aircraft, and so on should be implemented in order to better understand situations after disasters have occurred and to be able to respond more swiftly.

Nearly all studies addressing climate change raise the issue of flooding – often in connection with the expected rise of the sea level. For instance the UK Foresight study claims that climate change will have a high impact under every scenario due to two threats. Firstly, the coasts are expected to be especially at risk: relative sea-level rise could increase the risk of coastal flooding by four to ten times. Secondly, precipitation is expected to increase flood risks across the country by two to four times. Flooding in towns and cities will be one of the greatest challenges in the future. Building in areas at risk from flooding should be avoided or, if inevitable, space should be provided to accommodate flooding in river and coastal areas. In this context, the development of effective modelling capabilities to predict flooding and manage flood routes in intra-urban areas should be pursued.

The study by the Finnish Committee for the Future also expects that change in precipitation will result in water tables falling on all continents. Droughts in areas where 40% of the population depends on watersheds controlled by two or more countries call for new water management strategies that can mitigate the effects of migration, conflicts, etc.  The threat of storm surges in coastal areas will increase due to rising sea levels combined with changes in the number, location, and strength of storms.

Although flooding is seen as one of the main challenges of the future, at the same time, it is also acknowledged that predictions in this area are steeped in uncertainty, as in the case of climate change or demographic and socio-economic trends. Thus, one has to develop robust water management strategies that will yield satisfactory living conditions for a wide range of possible scenarios.

IT Security

IT security in general is seen as a major topic of the future. Society depends on vulnerable, complex information technology systems, which need to be protected.

One major issue is the protection of privacy in the sense of protection against loss of control over one’s personal data. Already nowadays, Wikis and mostly blogs may contain data and information about an individual that could easily be disclosed to unauthorised others, given the low levels of security and privacy protection implemented so far. This risk will be enhanced in the future because of the widespread use of ambient intelligence (AmI) with its heterogeneity (in contrast to closed, codesigned systems), its complexity of hardware and software (introducing the dependability challenge), its distribution of knowledge and resources (co-operation and interconnection), as well as the foreseen mobility needs (which introduces more vulnerability than in a static world). Radio frequency identification (RFID) implants in people can also cause a threat to privacy, since they permit easy and instantaneous identification and authentication of individuals. On the other hand, they can increase security, for example, by enabling parents to easily track down their children in case of abduction.

The major challenge is to balance privacy and security needs. There are various ways to protect privacy in the future. Legislation to protect data of a personal nature is one of them. Another is by implementing new security measures. The level of privacy and security will be defined more by the location from where data are accessed than by the place where they are actually physically stored.

Another fast-growing area will be the provision of trust and guarantee services in the payments markets. A suggested new measure is establishing a clearinghouse where banks can anonymously share information about security breaches. Also, telecommunication companies are increasingly offering payment services. The introduction of m-payment systems will require new risk management systems and co-operation between different providers. It also calls for improved protection of confidential data provided by customers. Although wireless networks already provide a more secure network than the ones offered in fixed-line markets, there is need for further measures. Among those suggested are enhanced use of digital signatures (a kind of unique electronic stamp), authentication and encryption. One study suggests replacing binary network security (access or not) by more complex security mechanisms thereby granting differential access to different actors.

Three Prevailing Issues

Taking the limits of the applied methodology into account, the analysis of 36 foresights and future-oriented studies, which were completed between 2000 and 2007, yielded three major security and safety issues: terrorism, IT security and natural disaster protection in the context of the global climate change. Concerning terrorism, studies seem to perceive growing future threats to all parts of society mainly because of modern societies’ increasing dependence on computer networks and critical infrastructures and also because of the growing proliferation of NRBC agents, ballistic missiles and small arms. In the broader context of terrorism general crime prevention is also an important aspect.
IT security in general is seen as a major concern of the future. Important issues in this field are related to the protection of privacy in terms of protecting against the loss of control over personal data and to the containment of future risks connected with the widespread use of ambient intelligence (AmI), RFID chips or wireless networks. The studies addressing natural disaster protection predict rising global threats of climate change causing flooding, storms and other weather anomalies in the future. Such studies also expect that the change in precipitation will result in water tables falling on all continents, which calls for new water management strategies capable of mitigating the effects of migration, conflicts, etc.

Authors: Anette Braun (,   Nils Elsner (, Andreas Hoffknecht (,  Sabine Korte (, Sylvie Rijkers-Defrasne (, Olav Teichert ( – Future Technologies Division at VDI TZ
Type: Overview
Date of Brief: February 2008


Sources and References

  • ‘Reforming the budget, changing Europe – A public consultation paper in view of the 2008/2009 budget review’, Commission of the European Communities, SEC(2007)1188 final, Brussels, 12.9.2007.
  • ‘Meeting the challenge: the European security research agenda’, report of the European Security Research Advisory Board, September 2006.
  • 8th Japanese Foresight – Agriculture, forestry, fisheries and foods (2005)
  • 8th Japanese Foresight – Electronics (2005)
  • 8th Japanese Foresight – Environment (2005)
  • 8th Japanese Foresight – Frontier (2005)
  • 8th Japanese Foresight – Information and Communications (2005)
  • 8th Japanese Foresight – Manufacturing (2005)
  • 8th Japanese Foresight – Social Technology (2005)
  • AC-UNU Millenium Project – Antiterrorism Scenarios (2005)
  • Austrian BMVIT Safety and Security Research 2011 – EFMN Brief 33 (2005)
  • Dutch NRLO – Functional Foods Position and Future Perspectives (2001)
  • EC Ambient Intelligence in Everyday Life (AmI@Life) (2003)
  • EC High Level Expert Group (HLEG) – Foresighting the New Technology Wave

– Converging Technologies – Shaping the Future of European Societies (2004)

  • EC IPTS – D1gital Territ0ries (2007)
  • EC IPTS – The Future of M-payments (2001)
  • EC IPTS-ESTO – Future Bottlenecks in the Information Society (2001)
  • EC IPTS-ESTO Roadmapping Project – Healthcare Technologies Roadmapping – The Effective Delivery of Healthcare (2003)
  • Finnish Committee for the Future – Democracy and Futures (2006)
  • Finnish ESF – Uusimaa 2035 Scenario Project (2004)
  • Finnish TEKES – FinnSight 2015 (whole exercise) (2006)
  • FISTERA – Key European Technology Trajectories – 2nd Report (2004)
  • French FutuRIS (2004)
  • French Ministry of Defence – PP30 – Prospective Plan of the French Defense Policy in 30 Years (2004)
  • Turning the Water Wheel Inside Out. Foresight Study on Hydrological Science in The Netherlands (2005)
  • UK DEFRA – Climate Change Scenarios for the United Kingdom (2002)
  • Greek National Technological Foresight (Whole Exercise) (2005)
  • Ireland Marine Foresight (2005)
  • Japanese Optoelectronic Industry and Technology Development Association – Optical Technology Roadmap (2003)
  • Nordic Innovation Centre – ICT Foresight – Nordic foresight and visions on ICT in healthcare, security, the experience economy and production systems (2005-2007)
  • Strategic Futures Thinking – meta-analysis on published material on drivers and trends (2001)
  • UK National Foresight – Cyber Trust and Crime Prevention (2004)
  • UK National Foresight – Exploiting the Electromagnetic Spectrum (2004)
  • UK National Foresight – Flood and Coastal Defence (2004)
  • UK National Technology Foresight Programme – Foresight IT 2000 (2000)
  • UK National Technology Foresight Programme – Foresight Financial Services (2000)
  • UK National Technology Foresight Programme – Crime Prevention Panel



Download: EFMN Brief No. 134_Safety_and_Security

EFP Brief No. 131: Banks & Future Preparing for the Scenario 2015

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

In the Innovation Forum “Banks & Future” (Innovationsforum “Bank & Zukunft”) under the academic direction of Fraunhofer IAO (Germany), numerous banks and IT service companies have pooled their competences with regard to future trends in the banking sector. Their aim is to identify market-oriented opportunities for development and structural and technical optimisation potential, to bring together users and producers of technologies in the banking sector, and to initiate the necessary innovation processes. Ever since this research initiative was started in July 2004, a yearly trend survey has been part of the research work.

Innovation in Sales and Industrialised Processes

In the Innovation Forum “Banks & Future” numerous banks and IT service companies have pooled their competences under the academic direction of Fraunhofer IAO with regard to future trends in the banking sector in Germany and in Europe. Their aim is to identify market-oriented opportunities for development and structural and technical optimisation potential, to bring together users and producers of technologies in the banking sector, and to initiate the necessary innovation processes. The main aspect is to enforce competitiveness through innovation in sales and industri-alised processes by adopting an integrated view. Use of modern information technology is seen as an enabler of future business models. In the meantime, the Innovation Forum “Banks & Fu-ture” has become an internationally accepted trademark for re-search and development in the financial services sector. It addresses innovative companies having a vital interest in advancing existing business processes as well as utilising the potential of innovative technologies.

Coping with Change in the Banking Industry

The main challenges which banks have to face in defining future business strategies include the following aspects:

  • conceiving scenarios for future banking to cope with changing markets in the financial services sector,
  • innovation in sales (new sales models, reorganisation of sales structures and processes),
  • identifying success factors for the optimisation of proc-esses within extended value chains in the context of the industrialisation of the financial services sector,
  • designing innovation processes for enhancing institutional abilities to react to changes in an innovative way,
  • developing personnel, organisational and technical infra-structures for the implementation of future business mod-els in banking.

Research Approach

The following figure shows the project’s main areas of research.

The Innovation Forum’s research approach seeks to develop practical solutions and applications by

  • trend analysis of the German and the European retail banking market,
  • surveys in the industrial and technological sector and, on this basis, drawing inferences for the banking industry,
  • test and demonstration of innovative IT solutions at the show case “Banks & Future” at Fraunhofer IAO in Stuttgart.


The Innovation Forum “Banks & Future” was initiated in 2004 by Fraunhofer IAO and IBM Deutschland GmbH. Since the beginning of this joint research project, the following partners were involved in the research process: 3X-Banktechnik, Akademie Deutscher Genossenschaften ADG, Allen International Ltd., arvato logistics services – arvato distribution GmbH, Berliner Volksbank eG, Bosch Sicherheitssysteme GmbH, Cisco Systems GmbH, Citibank Privatkunden AG & Co. KGaA, Commerzbank AG, DaimlerChrysler Bank AG, Deutsche Apotheker- und Ärztebank, DWP-Bank, Elaxy GmbH, Equens AG, Fiducia IT AG, GAD eG, inasys Gesellschaft für Informations- und Analyse-Systeme GmbH, Nord/LB Informationstechnologie GmbH, MVR Marketinggemeinschaft der Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken e.V., S&N AG, Siemens AG, Sparkasse Pforzheim Calw, Sparkasse Pfullendorf-Meßkirch, Strähle Raum-Systeme GmbH, Tineon AG, Vitra GmbH, Volkswagen Bank GmbH, Vereinigte Volksbank AG Böblingen/ Sindelfingen – Schönbuch – Calw/Weil der Stadt, VR-Bank Rhön-Grabfeld, VR Bauregie GmbH, and Wincor Nixdorf International GmbH.

Trend Survey “Banks & Future”

Since 2004, Fraunhofer IAO has established a yearly trend survey of the German banking market called “Banks & Future”. The survey addresses bank managers of different banking sectors and of different bank sizes. Since 2007, the trend survey has been extended to the European level and will be continued in 2008. In 2007, about 460 bank managers in Germany and about 80 bank managers from other European countries participated in this survey. Survey design is based on research results of the Innovation Forum “Banks & Future”. In turn, the empirical results provide the basis for further research by the Forum. Figure 2 gives an overview on the main aspects.


Major Challenges in the Banking Markets

In the financial service sector, and especially in the area of retail banks, there is an intense competition between banks and a high pressure to improve customer orientation (see Figure 3). This pertains to increasing price competition in the field of standardised products as well as increasing demands from “better” informed customers for high quality consultancy. Even the German banking market is affected by a heightened price competition (90 per cent in Germany, 71 per cent in other European countries). Banks also have to cope with more European regulations to prepare for harmonised European financial markets.


Strategic Projects

Looking at actual strategic projects, the intensification of sales activities has highest priority for increasing cross- and up-selling rates (see Figure 4). Another point is to improve organ-isational effectiveness and efficiency by establishing end-to-end IT support of business processes. Finally, bank managers have ranked the modernisation of sales channels among the top three strategic projects for innovation.


In summary, the bank managers plan to renew the business models by innovation in sales and by optimising value chain processes.

Innovation in Sales –  Branches & More

Innovation in sales involves a new design for the interaction of bank and customers. Despite the trend toward face-to-face contact, the virtual branch has also gained relevance for customer interaction; while it has further development potential also a variety of requirements need to be met for tapping its full potential.

Innovation in sales demands a well-integrated comprehensive approach, which considers all sales channels and their interrelations. At the Innovation Forum “Banks & Future”, four scenarios for future banking were developed, which characterize future-oriented concepts of interaction and focus on the communication between customer and consultant.

1.         “Life-assistance-banking”

In this scenario, customer interaction is based on individual con-sulting. At the show case, a biometric and a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) based customer recognition supports the new role of a “navigator”, who addresses incoming customers based on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) informa-tion. The branch design and integrated technologies encourage a consultancy approach that reflects a long-term customer relation-ship providing support over a lifetime, even beyond banking.


2.         “Community-banking”

The branch is a communication and experience space that provides customers with additional occasions for interaction  (e.g. “after-work-banking” at a bank café and supplementary services by partners). Self-service areas are connected to the workplace of a “service assistant”. Areas of “communication” and areas of “privacy” are combined in an open space concept. Customers and non-customers are invited to visit the branch.


3.          “Convenience-banking”

The idea of “financial shopping” requires easy access to standardized financial services. The informed customer can do business at self-service terminals or by approaching a “service assistant”.

4.          “High-tech-banking”

The branch is part of a multimedia-based communication and interaction concept. New media and enhanced information services support personal communication in and outside the branch.


The scenarios “Life-assistance-banking” and “Communitybanking” have been presented at a show case at Fraunhofer IAO since May 2007 to demonstrate innovative sales processes supported by innovative IT solutions.

Scenario Future Sales

Additional scenarios reflecting new opportunities of direct sales channels by using new technologies like Web 2.0 or virtual sales rooms are part of the ongoing and future research work.

Industrialisation – the Process View

The term “bank industrialisation” describes the transfer of technological concepts and management processes from the industrial to the financial service sector. Industrialisation focuses on the capability of a bank to optimise the complete value chain by managing the vertical and horizontal integration of business partners as well as implementing a mature business process management within the organisation.

Status of “Bank Industrialisation”

In the trend survey “European Retail Banking Survey 2007” by Fraunhofer IAO, about 46 per cent of the banks achieved significant success as a result of implementing industrial methods, 49 percent achieved minor success and only 5 per cent of the participants stated that they had no success with industrialisation. With regard to the expected industrialisation potential, 13 per cent of the participants estimated a very high potential and 57 per cent estimated a high industrialisation potential in their banks. To achieve the potential of industrialisation, the implementation of a professional business process management is a key success factor.

Quick-check Tools for “Bank Industrialisation”

At the Innovation Forum “Banks & Future” an industrialisation assessment tool was developed, which enables bank managers to analyse the actual situation of banks with respect to industrialisation. The tool integrates the structured analysis of the bank’s strategies, its process alignment and its process management maturity (see Figure 8).


The industrialisation assessment tool provides information at the strategy and operational level of bank management. The industrialisation assessment must be extended to other organisational issues. In a next step, a structural model of an industrialised bank will be developed that reflects increasing requirements in flexibility and agility. On this basis, the tool set will be expanded to include additional aspects of industrialisation.

Outlook to 2015

The trend survey “Banks & Future” provides an outlook on the future banking markets as perceived by the bank managers:

1. Changing Banking Markets

Establishment of a European financial market, growth of niche players and cooperation across borders (agile and flexible).

2. Competition by Service Quality and Speed

Besides price competition, other critical success factors such as service quality, added value and speed will gain increasing significance.

3. Industrialised Processes and Structures

Redefinition of value chains in extended models of co-operation, assessment of structural changes in banks including new roles.

4.New Services within Industrialised Value Chains

An industrialised value chain enables agile and flexible service composition to address changing and new markets.

5. Customer Management 2.0

Banks invest in customer contact and emotional selling, without losing the benefits of bank automation and of new communication technologies like Web 2.0 and virtual sales.

6. Security and Service Quality

Biometric solutions are a standard part of security concepts and are used to support customer convenience.

7. Management Skills and Personnel Development

New bank profiles require different management skills. Better informed customers ask for well educated banking people.

Authors: Martin Engstler Rainer Welsch
                Sponsors: IBM Deutschland GmbH and more than 25 other partners, including banks, technology suppliers and service providers from the financial services sector
Type: National (Germany) and European foresight exercise for the banking markets
Organizer: Martin Engstler, Fraunhofer IAO,
Duration: 2004-2008
Budget: n.a.
Time Horizon: 2015
Date of Brief: Februray 2008

Download: EFMN Brief No. 131_Bank_Future

Sources and References

  • Spath, D. (Ed..); Engstler, M.; Praeg, C.-P.; Vocke, C.: Trendstudie »Bank & Zukunft 2007«, Stuttgart: Fraunhofer IRB, 2007
  • Spath, D. (Ed..); Engstler, M.; Praeg, C.-P.; Vocke, C., Welsch, R.: European Retail Banking Survey 2007, Frankfurt am Main und Stuttgart, 2007,,

EFP Brief No. 129: Rural Areas: One of the Most Important Challenges for Europe

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

This brief presents an overview of major trends and policy options for rural areas. A number of social, technological, economic, environmental and political trends as well as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats will be highlighted, followed by ten major policy options in view of two traditional and conflicting objectives: rural socio-economic development and countryside protection.

EFMN Brief No. 129_Rural_Areas

EFP Brief No. 99: Luxembourg First National Technology Foresight

Friday, May 20th, 2011

In the context of the Lisbon strategy and the Barcelona targets, the Luxembourg government intends to increase the level of public spending n R&D from about 50M€ in 2005 to 220 M€ by 2009 and to concentrate the budget increase on a limited number of promising re-search areas on the basis of clearly stated strategic and operational objectives. The purpose of the first national foresight in Luxembourg, conducted in 2006-2007, was to inform policy-makers and provide direction for the definition of these national research priorities.

EFMN Brief No. 99 – Luxemburg

EFP Brief No. 63: South African Benchmark 2020

Friday, May 20th, 2011

The overall goal of this foresight study is the identification of global technological trends, which will influence the competitiveness and future development of South African industries over the next 15 years. The study specifically focuses on innovation areas that hold the potential to reduce industrial dependency on foreign technology. Broad-based recommendations are formulated, intending to support the formulation of policies, strategies and programmes aimed at growing South Africa’s technology and innovation base.

EFMN Brief No. 63 – South African Benchmark 2020

EFP Brief No. 43: Youth Foresight Germany 2020

Friday, May 6th, 2011

‘Jugend denkt Zukunft’ was setup to make this vision come true and translated directly into English it means ‘young people are thinking about their future’. This single issue foresight exercise is designed to involve young adults in the process of economic development. Together with companies, students between the age of 15 and 18 develop new products and services for the world of tomorrow. The main pillar of this program is the nature of co-operation between companies and schools. Further support comes from politics and science. Together they are strong partners for re-creating a culture of innovation.

EFMN Brief No. 43 – Youth Foresight Germany 2020

EFP Brief No. 4: Anticipating Change for Europe’s Industries 2020 to 2025

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Consistent with its overall mission to encourage a more anticipatory approach to dealing with change, the Industry Sector Futures initiative of the EMCC offers analyses and insights at a sectoral and European level on drivers of change, scenarios for sector futures and key policy issues and implications that will affect the future of industry sectors in Europe.

EFMN Brief No. 4 – Anticipating Change for Europes Industries 2020 to 2025