Brussels, 22 July 2002
A European area of science and technology foresight may one day become a reality, according to a working document issued by the European Commission's Research DG.
The guide outlines opportunities offered by the Sixth Framework programme for research (FP6) for supporting cooperation in the field of identifying promising future trends in science and technology in Europe. It aims to inform researchers and institutes involved in foresight activities, as well as sponsors and users of this work, on funding opportunities offered by the programme. It also outlines the research priorities relevant to foresight and the funding instruments that can be used.
Increased coordination of European foresight activities will provide a platform for the development of an international foresight community, the document says. It will 'contribute to the creation of a European foresight space in its own that reflects the most crucial future problems and challenges of science and technology related to the European knowledge society.'
The paper explains that foresight activities can help Europe attain its Lisbon summit goal of becoming the most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world, as research, technological development and innovation (RTDI) policies, which 'are based on (implicit or explicit) visions of the future of science, technology and society', will benefit from further coordination at the foresight stage.
It states: 'The ambitious goal to become the 'most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world' and the high profile of the European research area both call for better European cooperation and coordination, as well as forward-looking advice to achieve the far-reaching targets. Foresight can serve this purpose, as it has already been successfully used as a policy tool, mostly at national, but increasingly also at regional level.'
The document explains that foresight can contribute on two levels, by providing strategic information for decision-making and by acting as a tool to raise awareness and create a consensus on the way ahead.
To view the document, please consult the following web address: http://www.cordis.lu/rtd2002/foresight/ home.html
For further information on FP6, please consult the following web address: http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/nfp. html