Organisers: Austrian Institute of Technology, Cemagref, French Embassy in Vienna/Institut Français de Vienne
Background and aim of the workshop: In a knowledge-based society and economy it is increasingly difficult for research organisations to define forward-looking strategies and research priorities. Research organisations are expected to perform a leading role within the science and innovation system and help to shape our future by picking up those research themes which are able to solve the coming societal problems. Many extramural research organisations are holding a think-tank- like position or are attempting to hold such a position. The shareholders and funding institutions of research organisations in particular call for the development of strategies to support research and innovation policy. Policy makers in many other fields as health, food and agriculture, land-use management, energy, environment, etc. are also expecting from research organisations information about possible futures to build the most appropriate public policy. Accordingly, research organisations have to consider many external factors and strategies of other actors when defining research priorities and programs for the next years.
The use of foresight processes has become popular for public research organisations in the last few years, in order to master the difficult task of defining research strategies and research priorities or building public policy. Through the involvement of different external and internal experts, foresight allows capturing the opportunities, risks and challenges these organisations are facing.
Research organisations have used different methods and organisational arrangement to integrate and translate the findings from foresight exercises into managerial actions. Methods such as scenario planning, the organisation of participatory workshops and the creation of technology roadmaps are combined, for instance, when conducting organisational foresights.
While some organisations have occassionally performed foresights, e.g. with support of consultants, some have even institutionalised the development of foresight and continuously conduct foresights.
The aim of the workshop was to discuss the experiences research organisations have gained with foresights both as a tool to support internal restructuring and as a policy instrument for external strategy finding. By the same account, the workshop was designed to illustrate good practice for conducting foresights and discuss strategies how to cope with the new challenges.
Main questions to be addressed were:
- What methods are particulary relevant to be combined in foresights projects?
- What are typical strategic management questions foresight can cope with?
- How to assure that the results of foresight projects are translated into research programs?
- How can organisational foresight be co-ordinated with policy foresights?
- How to incorporate external stakeholders in a foresight exercise?
- Could foresight act as a mediation instrument between Science and Society?
- What are policy makers expectinhg for and how to assure good transfer of foresight study results from public reseach organisations to policy makers?
Target audience: Directors and research managers involved in foresight, strategy making and research planning; policy makers responsible for defining research policy and governing public research organizations; members of advisory or supervisory boards.
DAY 1: 7th of June 2011
10:00 Registration and Welcome
10:30 Opening of the Seminar
Matthias Weber: Introduction and Agenda Foresight in public research organisations
11:00 Session 1: Foresight in public research organisations: An instrument for their strategic planning
– Torsti Loikkanen: VTT, Finland
– Lothar Behlau: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Germany
– Sandrine Paillard: INRA, France
13:00 Lunch break
14:00 Session 2: Foresight as an instrument for research priorities identification
– Michel Griffon: French National Research Agency, France
– Fabiana Scapolo: European Commission, European Union
– Carole Moquin-Pattey: European Science Foundation, France
16.00 Session 3: World Café „Organising Foresight“
- Translation of foresight results within an organisation
- Translation of foresight results external to an organisation
- Expectation management: how to involve external stakeholders?
- Education and training for foresight
- Research needs on foresight
18:00 First impressions from Day 1
– Thierry Gaudin: President Prospective 2100
18:15 End of Day 1
19:00 Joint evening at the Heurigen
How to get there
DAY 2: 8th of June 2011
9:00 Welcome tea, coffee, snack
9:45 Session 4: Foresight as an instrument for public policy building
– Leena Ilmola: IIASA, Austria
– Wolfang Ritter: Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung, Bonn
11:15 Tea and coffee break
11:45 Session 5: Foresight as a mediation instrument between science and society
– Mahshid Sotoudeh: Austrian Academy of Sciences/ Institute for Technology Assessment, Austria
13:30 Farewell Lunch
14:30 End of seminar
Find some pictures of the workshop in our Gallery