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Axes of balance in foresight - reflections from FinnSight 2015

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Abstract:

In 2005, the Finnish Government took a decision in principle on the structural development of the public research system. This decision spurred the two main funding agencies - the Academy of Finland and the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes) - to carry out FinnSight 2015, a joint foresight exercise that would provide inputs to this strategy, foster collaboration between these funding agencies and promote foresight and innovation activities at large. Towards these objectives, FinnSight 2015 engaged 10 expert panels which identified key driving forces and characterised focus areas of competences by making extensive use of Internet-based tools and by engaging in intensive deliberations at facilitated workshops. We also describe the policy context and methodological support of FinnSight: specifically, we report how challenges arising from the tight schedule were addressed through the process design and what policy developments have taken place after to the publication of foresight results, in the belief that our analysis may be instructive for the planning of large-scale foresight exercises that need to serve high-level policy objectives subject to demanding time constraints and expectations.

Keywords: foresight; group decision support; innovation studies; research and innovation policy

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09537320903262447

Affiliations: 1: Systems Analysis Laboratory, Helsinki University of Technology, Finland 2: Institute for Prospective Technological Studies of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Seville, Spain

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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