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Management of foresight portfolio: analysis of modular foresight projects at contract research organisation

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While the expansion of foresight scope towards systemic processes and societal considerations has provided significant opportunities for learning and synchronised action between different business units and/or policy fields, it may also have caused digression and ambiguity in the practice and theory of the management of foresight processes. This is true, in particular, in contract research organisations that have faced major challenges to reorganise their foresight activities as part of the changes in their innovation practices. The paper examines the exercises and consequent responses to this shift at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The paper develops and applies a coherent classification framework for foresight exercises. The framework provides practical support for the design and management of foresight projects, as well as supports the overall management of the portfolio of different kinds of foresight activities. The findings also point out the need for the modular process design that helps adjusting foresight exercises in different contexts.

Keywords: foresight methodology; innovation policy; portfolio management; roadmaps; stakeholder participation modular foresight design

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Seville, Spain 2: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Finland

Publication date: April 1, 2009

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