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European Commission

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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Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Abstract in English: 
Europe 2020 Strategy “Promoting smart, sustainable and inclusive growth” places research and innovation at its core.1 The Strategy aims to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The Strategy, which proposes increased spending on R&D to 3% of total European GDP by 2020, is positioned as a key tool in implementing the Innovation Union2 -- a flagship initiative which provides a comprehensive set of actions for improved research and innovation performance through a seamless approach. Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation3 is a key tool in implementing EU Innovation Flagship. Horizon 2020 brings together key funding streams for research within the European Union with a Budget of €90.4 billion (current prices) to establish a single specific programme for implementation with a single set of Rules for Participation and Dissemination. Horizon 2020 emphasises the links between research and innovation, proposing to fund activities throughout the innovation cycle. As such, Horizon 2020 will foster public-private partnerships, emphasise involvement of SMEs throughout the R&D and innovation activities, make available risk finance for early stage projects and commercialisation of new technologies, and provide for improved intellectual property management within EU. Horizon 2020 has identified three major focal areas for funding, namely, “Excellent Science”, “Industrial Leadership” and Actions to address “Societal Challenges”. Section Two of this paper briefly describes these three focal areas with more detailed description of the proposed activities within “Health, Demographic Change and
Wellbeing” theme within the Societal Challenges area. The paper then discusses in Section Three the key contextual challenges face by the European member states, followed in Section Four by a brief overview of EU health system responses to these challenges, with gaps that need addressing. Section Five of this paper proposes a number of areas for consideration for funding within Horizon 2020 activities, and briefly compares these with the priority actions identified within Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing theme. A sub set of the proposed areas is identified as early candidates for funding, with a brief rationale for the proposition.
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Study of FLAs in the area of Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
This report has been prepared in response to the invitation for a study on Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy, in support of the work of the European Forum for Forward-Looking Activities. The aim of this Study is to develop mechanisms for ensuring that Horizon 2020 takes account of a wide range and fuller set of challenges for the area under review. The scope of the study was broadly defined by the societal challenge in this area as set out in the proposal for Horizon 2020, summarised by the objective:
“The specific objective is to make the transition to a reliable, sustainable and competitive energy system, in the face of increasingly scarce resources, increasing energy needs and climate change.” (DS 1293/12, p.93)
The key questions addressed in this report are:
- Will the implementation of the SET-Plan help to link research and innovation programmes?
- Identification of the main challenges and sub-challenges in respect of the transition of the energy system;
- Comparison of these challenges with the announced broad lines of activities under Horizon 2020;
- Assessment of the extent to which these challenges are disruptive for the assumptions or proposals of Horizon 2020;
- Identification of any adjustments to the themes in the light of this; and
- Whether any important challenges or issues are missing from the announced broad lines of activities.
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Study of FLAs in the area of Climate Action, Resource Efficiency and Raw materials

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
The Review of Forward-looking Activities (FLAs) undertaken in recent years at national, European and international level in this area, indicates that while the H2020 proposals on climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials aim to address a highly relevant set of themes, H2020’s proposed approach and the mechanisms for implementation need to be better specified, to ensure that an effective framework for addressing the grand societal challenges is put in place.
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24
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Fostering Inclusive, Innovative and Secure European Societies

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
The first challenge to be addressed within the current design of H2020 is how to network more closely the three analytical dimensions chosen – inclusion, security, innovations – and clarify better the different perspectives and possible readings ascribed to each of the dimensions. As an example, inclusion related to migrations don’t have just to do with people coming to Europe but also with Europeans leaving Europe, security is not just related to preventing something bad from happening it also deals with what might destroy positive dimensions like freedom of speech and privacy. When analysing the H2020 point 6 on “Inclusion, Innovation and Security” one-dimensional perspectives are much more present than multi-dimensional ones and each of the three areas is very much thought as non-networkable with the other two. Such a choice in the design of the H2020 proposal constitutes a general challenge because it might limit the possible contributions by research in social-economic sciences and humanities to the proposed objectives.
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29
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Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and the Bio‐Economy

Original Language: 
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Abstract in English: 
Since the food riots of 2007‐2008, global food security has been the subject of renewed attention and has become a hot topic in forward looking activities, thereby inducing a change of perspective: if food security and sustainable agriculture have always been interlinked then, since the riots, the importance of the composition of diets and economic access to food are more worthy of consideration than ever. Conversely, it is striking that in the forward looking literature, there are no studies that deal directly with the bio‐economy. The bio‐economy is addressed as a transversal concept that can be appreciated under economic and technological variables.
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School's Over: Learning Spaces in Europe in 2020: An Imagining Exercise on the Future of Learning

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Abstract in English: 
This report uses a rigorous imagining approach to develop an alternative way of organizing learning in Europe whereby the traditional school system no longer plays a significant role. This study shows that, on the basis of phenomena already present in Europe today, it is possible to invent a discontinuous model of how people learn and how what they learn is used in everyday life. At the core of this model is a carefully elaborated idea of learning spaces that encompass new ways of ensuring that people have the capacity to control, direct, share and deepen their knowledge throughout their lives. These multi-dimensional learning spaces are imagined as operating in a systemically different economic and social context. One where non-technocratic, non-hierarchical learning is central to the production of local well-being and community based identity. “School’s Over” is meant to challenge both the functional and organizational assumptions that currently dominate, often implicitly, the choices being made today.
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Teacher networks. Today's and tomorrow's challenges and opportunities for the teaching profession

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, November 30, 2012
Abstract in English: 
Schooling is changing as much as society is changing. Except that society goes faster, and schools are traditionally slower to accept and incorporate novelties. The digital divide is now present at a new level: networked teachers vs. “the others”. In other terms, the networked teacher might sometime feel isolated in his/her school, but at the same time, has thousands of colleagues online as a sounding board.
We do not know what society will look like next year; and thinking ahead to 2025 makes your head spin. From this point of view, the effort of this book to foresee scenarios in more than 10 years’ time is amazing and stimulating. No matter how different we shall all be in 2025, one thing can be regarded as certain: we shall all be more connected. Or, rather, more networked. This book provides data, analysis, scenarios, reflections and evidence that education can change, and, to certain extent, has changed and it has become more connected.
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Open Education 2030: Vision Papers Part III: Higher Education

Original Language: 
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
In spring 2013 the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) called upon experts and practitioners to come up with visionary papers and imaginative scenarios on how Open Education in 2030 in Europe might look like in 2030, with a major focus on Open Educational Resources and Practices. Three calls for vision papers were launched, one in each of the areas Lifelong Learning, School Education and Higher Education. This publication presents all papers submitted to the Higher Education call. Each paper is different in form, focus, content and style, but all of them raise important issues when thinking about "opening up" education.
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