How to identify and prioritise research issues?

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1 Processes to ensure quality, relevance and trust of the EU research and innovation funding system: How to identify and prioritise research issues? Lund, 8 July 2009 Jean-Michel Baer Director «Science, Economy and Society» European Commission, DG RTD 1

2 OUTLINE Prioritization under FP7 The ERA perspective Back to the future: the national experience Back to the future: the European experience Forward looking activities for ERA Forward looking activities for ERA : prouver le mouvement en marchant (Aristotle) 2

3 Prioritization under FP7 For the design of the Framework Programme: Stakeholders consultations Studies / Foresight Impact Assessment Commission proposal Co-decision by the European Council and the European Parliament: Framework Programme Cooperation procedure (Council-EP): 4 Specific Programmes: Ideas (ERC bottom up) / Cooperation (10 themes) / Capacities / People 3

4 Prioritisation under FP7 For the implementation of the Framework Programme: defining the research agenda Mainly Cooperation Programmes (thematic) but also Capacities In the frame of the relevant Specific Programme: Consultation of stakeholders: scientific community, NGOs, advisory structures, workshops, social platforms, technology platforms Internal discussion within the Commission: views and needs of the other DGs Opinion from the Members States, Associated Countries (Programme Committees) Foresight actions in some Cooperation themes: SSH, Agricultural Research (SCAR) 4

5 The ERA perspective Council Conclusions Needs of Society: The ERA is firmly rooted in Society and responsive to its needs and ambitions in pursuit of sustainable development ; Major societal Challenges: Major challenges are addressed by public and private investment in research and strategic partnership involving EU Institutions, Members States and Associated States based on common foresight Foresight - Vision - Major Challenges - Strategic Research Agendas 5

6 The ERA perspective Building ERA invites EU Institutions, Members States and Associated States to share their vision in view of: Identifying major societal challenges of common interest for Europe and the world such as the transition to a low carbon society; Defining how research should tackle these challenges through common strategic research agendas and the coordination of European national instruments. Comment: a more coherent development of research and innovation policies in Europe implies an urgent need to cooperate more systematically (JP, JTIs, cooperation actions) to share the knowledge base in order to address these challenges. 6

7 Back to the future Building a shared vision on future major challenges, defining common strategic research agenda to address these challenges implies: 1 A continuous process of forward-looking activities: Horizon scanning Foresight Forecast Participative technology assessment 2 The involvement in the process of a wide range of actors: institutions, stakeholders, society 3 A clear synergy of FLA at sectoral, national and European levels 7

8 Back to the future: the national experience This process Forward looking activities for defining research priorities has been developing since the mid-1990s: UK has gone through many phases Swedish Foresight French Futuris, Agora 2000 and France 2025 FinnSight 2015 and Tekes "People, Economy, Environment" 2008 Danish Research 2015 German BMBF Foresight, process ending June 2009 In Japan the National Institute for Science and Technology Policy (Nistep) : "innovation 25", Social vision toward 2025 on six themes : Staying healthy throughout your life, safe and sustainable cities, global environment etc 8

9 Back to the future: the European experience European Commission: FP5, FP6 and FP7 Activities (SSH& other themes), European technology platforms and vision-building process, social platforms, Foresight embedded in ERA-NETS (e.g. WoodWisdom Net) European Parliament: STOA/EPTA technology assessment Other initiatives at European levels: ESF Forward looks (rather State of the Art exercises), COST on Foresight Methodologies 9

10 Forward looking activities (FLA) for ERA 1 The objectives: insert FLA in the policy cycle to identify major societal challenges of common interest; use FLA to define common societal challenges; adopt a process in that perspectives. 2 The gaps, difficulties to overcome: fragmentation, heterogeneous timing and character; no "taken into account" of the European dimension in most national foresight programmes (most national initiatives have a national focus); sector specific rather than cross cutting dimension; complexity of the EU-decision shaping and decision making processes. 10

11 Establishing a new approach Forward looking activities (FLA) for ERA How could a continuous process of FLA addressing the needs of the ERA in particular joint programming, development of EU Framework Programme, international cooperation - be organised now and in the future? National foresight initiatives and exercises should as far as possible identify future societal issues (alongside national issues) which could be of common interest for Europeans. European foresight initiatives and exercises should be developed according to the needs of the Ljubljana Process such as on joint programming- and those of the Framework Programme A European Forward Looking Platform could be envisaged on the basis of the existing European network of foresight bodies (EFMN) to ensure coherence and complementarities between national and European initiatives. 11

12 Forward Looking Activities (FLA) for ERA : prouver le mouvement en marchant* (Aristotle) Focusing the SSH Foresight projects on the ERA objectives. Launching of six initial FLA projects linked to ERA. FARHORIZON (Use of foresight to align research with longer-term policy needs in European Commission), IKNOW (Interconnecting knowledge for the early identification of issues, events and trends), INFU (Emerging patterns of innovation and implications for policy and practises), SANDERA (Future impact of security and defence policies on the European Research Area), SESTI (Scanning for emerging science and technology issues), CIVISTI (Citizen visions on science, technology and innovation). These six projects will be clustered and synergies will develop between them as an important element of the cooperative approached needed for a successful ERA *Those things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them 12

13 Forward Looking Activities (FLA) for ERA : prouver le mouvement en marchant* (Aristotle) Developing a foresight dimension in large scale research projects of the SSH programme (knowledge economy, sustainable development, social trends, Europe in the world, the European citizen) Reinforcing foresight exercises carried out by the Standing Committee on Agriculture Research. The SCAR was established by a Council Resolution on the coordination of research in this field in June Encouraging foresight exercises in the other Themes of FP7 (Health, Energy, Transport, Security, Space, Environment, Industrial technologies, ICT) 13

14 To conclude The European Commission in general, and DG Research in particular, are firmly engaged in this new process. It also needs the commitment and collaboration of Members States, Associated States and all Stakeholders to be involved. We should use Forward Looking Activities to build a vision and to develop an appropriate strategic research agenda. Things are complicated, but in an ever more complex society, let us be the engineers of simplicity (Jacques Delors) Visions are hard to create but vital for success: "without a vision, the people perish" (Winston Churchill) 14

15 THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION! 15

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