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European Commission

Energy Futures - The role of research and technological development

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, January 1, 2006
Abstract in English: 
This publication aims to give an overview of the methods and results concerning the future challenges in energy. Using various tools for energy foresight – quantitative models, Delphi survey and back-casting approach – Energy futures analyses Europe in a world context. It also highlights the importance of research in the energy field. Finally, it presents EU projects in this field at the cross roads of technology and socio-economy.
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Energy corridors

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, January 1, 2007
Abstract in English: 
The European Union is concerned by the competitiveness, security and sustainability of its energy system. This publication presents the main results of the ENCOURAGED project that assessed the potential energy corridors between the EU and its neighbouring countries addressing in particular the issues on natural gas, electricity and hydrogen. The EU neighbouring countries are the main suppliers and transit countries of oil and natural gas. The dependency of the EU on imported gas supplies is largely increasing in the next years. Therefore, the role of neighbouring countries will grow significantly in the next decades and will probably extend to electricity exchanges and perhaps, in the next decades, to hydrogen supply. Three main points are of particular importance for the integration of the energy markets of the EU and neighbouring countries: to get compatible interconnections, compatible market framework and compatible environmental policies.
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Science 2.0: the deep unbundling

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Abstract in English: 
This paper briefly outlines possible futures scenarios of science 2.0, analyses its implications and draws policy recommendations “fit for the future”. Science 2.0 is more than open access: it refers to the emergence of open, data-intensive and citizen science across the full research cycle, from data gathering to reputation management.
Science 2.0 is here to stay and it is already growing well beyond individual projects. On the supply side, an ecosystem of services and standards is emerging. Adoption is growing and becoming mainstream already in some phases such as preprint publication, reference sharing, open access publication. Impact is already visible and will address some of the most burning issues of science, such as the slowness of the publication process and the challenge of reproducing research results.
Based on the extrapolation of existing trends and on analogies from different domains, we anticipate a set of “scenario snippets”:
- The full integration of data, publications and intermediate product will enable reproducibility by default. But adoption of such sharing culture will require time and a new system of incentives based on impact metrics and career structure.
- Evaluation metrics will become multidimensional, granular and instantaneous;
- The work of scientist will change with greater collaboration and independence from institutions.
Overall, we will see an unbundling of services, which are today integrated. Research will be separated from teaching, data collection from data analysis, publication from reputation management. Different specialised service will emerge and displace the incumbents such as publishers and universities. At the same time, the value chain will reorganise through vertical integration around new platforms. These could be built around unexpected positions in the value chain, including electronic reading devices.
In terms of implications, these scenario show opportunities and risks in three main areas.
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Using foresight to support the next strategic programming period of Horizon 2020 (2016-2018)

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Abstract in English: 
This report is based on a study of foresight into the drivers of change and disrupters affecting the future of Europe and the strategic responses that the European Commission should consider in shaping the second strategic programme (2016-2018) of Horizon 2020. Importantly, the study was designed to use available foresight material. It is therefore focused on sense-making, rather than the generation of original intelligence.
Whilst the study cannot claim to be comprehensive, it nevertheless points out that foresight used in strategic planning offers insights, generates ideas and brings to the fore important cross-cutting domains. The use of foresight can help ensure that Horizon 2020 strengthens the competitiveness of Europe and enables it to respond to the significant current and future societal challenges.
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The Engagement of Member States in Forward Looking Activities at EU-level

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
The study focused on the development of an approach for the ‘design of a European foresight process that contributes to a European challenge-driven R&I strategy process’. The involvement of Member States (MS) in forward looking activities (FLA) at EU-level is considered important and beneficial, and is proposed to be facilitated at an early stage through the Council High Level Group on Joint Programming (GPC), the most relevant MS-led group in this context. The process of involving MS is in particular relevant ahead of the planning of the next framework programme after Horizon 2020 (Horizon II).
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The Future of Open Innovation

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, February 24, 2014
Abstract in English: 
Open Innovation has been a growing topic of both practice and research for over a decade. The term originated from the USA but has spread globally into many industrial sectors. This paper has a number of purposes:
- To define Open Innovation, OI.
- Outline the history of Open Innovation and the evidence for its success or otherwise in promoting innovation and contributing to new industries.
- Discuss the connection with Forward Looking Activities (FLAs), Open Access and Open Source software.
- Discuss possible policy options for the EC in relation to OI.
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17
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Future lifestyles in Europe and in the United States in 2020

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
EFFLA is looking to review the Horizon 2020 objectives and the related grand challenges in light of foresight with a long-term horizon. The intention of this research is to provide EFFLA with detailed understanding of key lifestyle trends in both Europe and the United States that are likely to challenge and change the current paradigm, societal structures, values, attitudes and practices in the long-term.
This research, done by Wevolve, a Helsinki and New York based research and strategy agency, consolidates the existing information and research material, such as reports, articles, trend publications, research articles and other existing information of the relevant shifts and trends. It identifies the key macro drivers of change and maps the relevant lifestyle shifts in values, attitudes and behaviors. The four key future lifestyle trends are Augmented and Programmed Lives, Culture of Production and Sharing, Resilient and Proactive Citizens, and The Quest for Purpose. All trends include relevant subthemes. Below is a summary of the main findings.
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53
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Horizon Scanning-Metafore Towards a Shared Future-Base for the European Research Area

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, March 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
Europe is one of the global leaders in strategic foresight. From a continent that was mired in its own troubled and conflict‐ridden past, Europe has been gradually emerging over the past few decades as a region that wants to jointly and confidently embrace its future. The European Union is widely acknowledged as playing a key role in this transformation. Its very existence is forcing its member states and their citizens to explore new forms of governance in order to remain globally competitive in a future world that keeps changing at vertiginous speeds. Its high‐level initiatives such as ‘Europe 2020’ intend to push the European policy agenda towards ambitious objectives in areas such as employment, innovation, education, social inclusion and climate/energy. But nowhere is the forward‐leaning nature of the EU more visible than in the research area, where the European Union has been funding long‐term transnational framework programmes in many of the most promising fields of scientific discovery. The size and scope of many of these programmes are truly unique – even in comparison to analogous ones in the United States, Japan or (increasingly) China.
Foresight is an important ingredient in this overall research agenda. Across its different research priorities, the EU may very well fund more foresight work than any other actor in the world. And yet many of these efforts remain largely uncoordinated. Most research projects that address ‘the future’ tend to start from scratch and to do their own foresight work in their own fields with their own methods. This paper will examine whether it might be possible to develop a shared European future‐base by describing some experiences that were accumulated by a small European policy think tank from The Netherlands – the The Hague Center for Strategic Studies – that is primarily working in the field of strategic studies. HCSS has been performing foresight work for various (national and multinational) public and private customers for about a decade now, and has also started building a more systematic ‘future‐base’ containing insights from a broad variety of global foresight studies.
This paper will start by introducing the idea and the rationale behind such a ‘future‐base’, will then describe the method used by HCSS and present some examples from foresight studies published in 2012 in the field of security. It will conclude with a brief analogous analysis of a number of EU FP7‐funded studies in order to show how EU research priorities could be compared to some of the findings from a future‐base like exercise.
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78
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Report to European Forum on Forward Looking Activities: Disruptive Emergencies

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, February 18, 2013
Abstract in English: 
For this project, disruptive emergencies are defined as unplanned and non-routine events that have a significant consequence or impact on people, property and infrastructure, or could seriously damage the security of the EU. The impacts include harm to people (including psychological impacts), short or long term economic damage, and physical damage to property and the environment. Disruptive emergencies have been classified as either:
- Hazards - the results of nature or technical failure, including human error; or
- Threats - the results of terrorist or criminal activity (including state sponsored)
Disruptive emergencies do not include everyday occurrences, such as street crime.
The scope of the project includes emergencies that occur either within the EU (or are covered by the EU Civil Protection mechanism, such as the forest fires in 2007), or events outside the EU, that have a major impact within the EU, such as the potential break down of the energy system due to the decision to close nuclear plants as a result of Fukushima.
In undertaking this project I drew on my experience of undertaking FLA in the UK government and as a consultant; and experience of work on the preparedness for and resilience towards disruptive emergencies. This includes work on disruptive emergencies as part of the UK National Security programme (CONTEST) and the associated National Risk Register. I conducted desk research and interviewed a number of experts on the subject. I also took account of comments made following a presentation to the EFFLA Committee at the commencement of the project.
This report neither covers the provision of humanitarian assistance by the EU after emergencies; nor an assessment of future risks or an audit of the capability of DG Research and Innovation to respond to them.
There is lot of activity by Member States and the European Commission directed towards the anticipation of, preparedness for, response to and recovering from disruptive emergencies. The recommendations cover areas where DG Research and Innovation can contribute to these activities.
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25
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Horizon Scanning

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Abstract in English: 
The study takes a model of Horizon Scanning approaches defined by the SESTI consortium (Scanning for Emerging Science and Technology Issues), then reviews five approaches to Horizon Scanning from Singapore, Australia, Mateafore, iKnow and Sigmascan against this model, and finally makes suggestions about the implications for an EC Horizon Scanning framework. The key recommendations to EFFLA on HS tools and databases in the EC DG R&I context are:
a) Hub – characteristics and location
There is a tension between the “quality” of the scanning – in the sense of originality, depth etc – and its integration with the policy agenda. Horizon Scanning should be the responsibility of a “Node” of dedicated staff within DG Research & Innovation. These staff would be required both to access a wide range of sources in a neutral manner, and remain sufficiently connected to the sense-making and other stages of the Foresight process to be influential.
Although there will a formalised structure of information gathering, it is important that the “Node” also engages with experts and policy-makers informally and frequently. The node must not become an organisational silo.
b) Relation to Strategic Foresight Processes
Careful consideration should be given to what communication “products” are produced. There is a need to balance information overload with pertinent and timely inputs. “Products” should range from very brief daily email news feeds that people can sign up for, through to major set-piece conferences.
c) Role and characteristics of HUMINT
We can expect an increasing use of semi-automated tools within the HS process, as they permit a wider scope of information search and a degree of avoidance of expert bias. But throughout the study, interviewees have been consistent that deciding what signals will emerge from the noise has to come through debate and conflict. Ideally, the overall HS process should include both manual and semi-autom
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