Report on iKnow conference in Brussels, 27-28 October 2011

“Towards a Strategic Issue Management System for Science, Technology and Innovation”

During the 27th and 28th of October, the iKnow project organized its final conference in Brussels under the theme “Towards a Strategic Issue Management System for Science, Technology and Innovation”. During the conference, new methods and tolls developed by iKnow to support foresight, horizon scanning and forward-looking activities (FLAs) were presented to a mixed audience of stakeholders from different academic and practitioner communities. The main objective of the conference was to launch the key recommendations and outcomes from the project that have wider applications to the European Research Area and many related future-oriented activities. The activities from a half-dozen workshops , over 60 interviews, large scale-Delphi surveys, systematic horizon scanning of over 1,000 ERA-relevant issues, the Practical Guide on Wild Cards and Weak Signals as well as the ERA toolkit were presented to a targeted audience that included supranational, national and sub-national actors involved in research and innovation policy shaping, risk analysis and strategic planning.

The thematic and methodological synergies between the European Foresight Platform (EFP) and the iKnow project, such as the development of the mapping framework, were presented during a panel session on the theme “Optimising Research and Collaboration Agendas”.

In sum, the final conference of the iKnow project was a good occasion to address the key issues underpinning the support activities carried out in the framework of the EFP project to a broad audience of interested stakeholders. The participation of the EFP in this conference was highly appreciated by the organizers of the iKnow conference and it offered a variety of interesting information relevant to the EFP as well as several opportunities for future collaboration of the EFP with a diversity of international foresight networks.