Shared visions, common research futures
Foresight activities under FP6 were designed to ensure the diffusion and exploitation of results from forward-looking activities. These activities were implemented in the framework of the European S&T Foresight Knowledge Sharing Platform and aimed at providing policy-makers with information on research and innovation policies at all levels in Europe. This platform was set up in 2004 with a view to support the “Foresight Community” through knowledge sharing activities and events. In order to prepare for the future, it is now important to capitalise on the experience gained from the Foresight activities.
This issue of the “Foresighting Europe” Newsletter provides an overview of the three main elements of the Foresight S&T Knowledge Sharing Platform’s activities: Monitoring foresight activities in Europe; Support to mutual learning and Promoting EU wide Foresight approaches.
The first element relates to the “monitoring of Foresight activities in Europe” through the EFMN project (European Foresight Monitoring Network) which is undertaking a comprehensive review of Foresight activities across the world. Besides the mapping of Foresight activities, a strong dissemination activity inside and outside Europe is being made towards the Foresight community as well as policy-makers, through the publication of a series of briefs on issues of specific interest.
The second element refers to the FOR-LEARN project which deals with mutual learning among the Foresight community and policy-making organisations in Europe. An interactive guide for newcomers in Foresight has been prepared and posted on the web as well as a web-based service to provide support to practitioners planning to start a Foresight exercise. A series of mutual learning workshops are taking place to reinforce the learning cycle among Foresight professionals.
A study on “New Emerging / Converging Clusters of Science and Technology” was launched in December 2005 in the framework of the third element.
UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) presented its global initiative on technology foresight to the Commission: it is currently carrying out regional initiatives in Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Newly Independent States (NIS). A seminar took place in DG Research on 7 February focussing on the main activities of the Industry Promotion and Technology Branch of UNIDO. Dr Ricardo Seidl da Fonseca focussed on their capability of using technology foresight as a practical tool in designing policies and strategies exploiting emerging and critical technologies for the benefit of countries with economies in transition.
Finally, two forthcoming events have been announced: “The Summit for the future on risk” to be held on 3-5 May 2006 in Amsterdam, and the Second Policy Conference “Ways to European Future” to be held on 11-12 May 2006 in Prague, Czech Republic.