Policy-lensing of research and innovation system scenarios: a demonstration for the European Research Area

05/11/2014 to 07/11/2014
5th International Conference on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA) - Engage today to shape tomorrow
In this paper we present ‘Policy Lensing’ of future scenarios as an analytical step in its own right and as a genuine activity in the elaboration of strategic policy intelligence. The previous four FTA seminars have revealed a wealth of tools, techniques and applications of FTA for forecasting science and technology developments, up to and including technology transitions. As STI policy scholars and professional analysts, we are interested in applying FTA to inform policy shapers about the future research and innovation landscape. What we have realised is that translating the often very rich and complex outputs of FTA into policy relevant intelligence is not a negligible step. In fact, we have found the literature rather lacking in this regard. Over a 12 - month period, the EC FP7 funded project entitled Visions of the European Research Area (VERA) has, through a systematic exploration and interaction with experts, developed four scenarios of the European research and innovation system in 2030.
The challenge we faced, once these scenarios of four different ERA - worlds were completed, was to evaluate what does this mean for today in terms of policy implications and issues about the European research and innovation system and modes (and degrees) of Europeanisation? To this end, the VERA consortium has created a policy - lensing approach as an additional step in probing these scenarios to provide details that speak to policy shapers. We use the term lensing because the approach translates scenario “worlds” in terms of perspectives from a policy shaper stand point, but also alters and adds to the scenario texts, it requires further elaboration of the scenario world. This hybrid role of translation and further scenario articulation means the approach sits between the worlds of the FTA analyst and the policy shaper, combining the perspectives and assessment processes from both worlds.
In this paper we present three sets of lenses, that have been developed and tested, dealing with policy goals (competitive innovation environment, strong science base and addressing societal grand challenges), functional layers (Orientation,Programming and Performing) and Europeanisation (Integration, Coordination and Juxtaposition). These lenses may be useful for the application of other FTA outputs to the development of Research and Innovation policies , and thus have broader application than the VERA project.
Douglas K.R. Robinson; Antoine Schoen; Philippe Laredo; Jordi Molas-Gallart; Philine Warnke; Stefan Kuhlmann; Gonzalo Ordoñez Matamoros