Implementing Foresight Study Results in Policy Action and Measures: EU Experience

  • Jennifer Cassingena Harper


This chapter considers the development of European Union strategic foresight activity, This activity – in particular the role of the expert groups in helping to set European vision and policy and to frame the strategic, long-term research agenda – has had clear impacts. Key insights and messages are often picked up from one expert group to the next and from one policy domain to another, creating significant spin-off effects. Example of influential approaches include the rupture/disruption theme (picked up by the first SCAR foresight group and elaborated in other European exercises), and the grand challenge approach (flagged by the ERA Rationales group and taken up in the design of Horizon 2020). Transformation by design using policy shocks is being increasingly implemented at European and national level through the use of horizon scanning and detection of wild cards and weak signals of major disruptions underway or on the horizon. FP7 Blue Skies projects focused on refining the tools for identifying wilds cards and weak signals, and on reflecting on their significance in relation to addressing European grand societal challenges. These projects highlighted the need for an ongoing facility at European level to map and detect signals and to understand and analyse the interactions and impacts of such trends and drivers in the European and global context. The establishment of a centralised foresight and scanning facility with the Joint Research Centre central offices in Brussels, and of the European Forum on Forward-looking Activities, can be seen as significant steps that build on the earlier Foresight studies.


Wild Card European Science Foundation European Research Area Horizon Scanning European Forum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Amanatidou E, Butter M, Carabias V, Konnola T, Leis M, Saritas O, Schaper-Rinkel P, van Rij V (2012) On concepts and methods in horizon scanning: lessons from initiating policy dialogues on emerging issues. Sci Public Policy 39(2):208–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cassingena Harper J (2002) The relevance of EU regional foresight experiences for small candidate countries. Paper prepared for EU HLG on Regional Foresight, April 2002Google Scholar
  3. Cassingena Harper J, Georghiou L (2005) The targeted and unforeseen impacts of foresight on innovation policy: the eFORESEE Malta case study. Int J Foresight Innov Policy 2(1):84–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cunningham P, Karakasidou A (2010) Innovation and societal challenges, Pro Inno Europe thematic report no 1Google Scholar
  5. Da Costa O, Warnke P, Cagnin C, Scapolo F (2008) The impact of foresight on policy-making: insights from the FORLEARN mutual learning process. TASM 20(3):369–387Google Scholar
  6. European Commission (2008) ‘Challenging Europe’s Research – Rationales for the European Research Area (ERA)’, report of the ERA Expert Group, EUR 23326 EN. Luxembourg: office for Official Publications of the European Communities. Accessed 15 Dec 2011
  7. European Science Foundation (2010) Contribution to developing voluntary guidelines on framework conditions for joint programming in research – foresight activities. European Science Foundation, Strasbourg, 28 June 2010Google Scholar
  8. Georghiou L, Acheson H, Cassingena Harper J, Clar G, Klusacek K (2004) Evaluation of the hungarian technology foresight programme (TEP), report of an international panel. Accessed 22 july 2012
  9. Havas A, Schartinger D, Weber M (2007) Experiences and practices of technology foresight in the European region. UNIDO Technology Foresight Summit. Accessed 22 july 2012
  10. Havas A, Schartinger D, Weber M (2010) The impact of foresight on innovation policy-making: recent experiences and future perspectives. Res Eval 19(2):91–104, SSRN:, March 8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. JRC-IPTS et al (eds) (2001) FOREN foresight for regional development guide. Accessed 22 july 2012
  12. Keenan M, Cutler P, Marks J, Meylan R, Smith C, Koivisto E (2012) Orienting international science co-operation to meet global grand challenges. Sci Public Policy 39:166–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Konnola T, Salo A, Cagnin C, Carabias V, Vilkkumaa E (2012) Facing the future: scanning, synthesizing and sense-making in horizon scanning. Sci Public Policy 39(2):222–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Nordic Network for International Research Policy Analysis (2012) Final report. Accessed 22 july 2012
  15. SCAR (2007) FFRAF report: foresighting food, rural and agri-futures. EU commission – Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR). Accessed 22 july 2012
  16. Van Rij V (2010) Joint horizon scanning: identifying common strategic choices and questions for knowledge. Sci Public Policy 37:7–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Weber KM, Cassingena Harper J, Konnola T, Carabias Barcelo V (2012) Coping with a fast-changing world: towards new systems of future-oriented technology analysis. Sci Public Policy 39(2):153–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Malta Council for Science and TechnologyKalkaraMalta

Personalised recommendations