On 1 June 2017, a report entitled “New Horizons: Future Scenarios for Research and Innovation Policies in Europe” was delivered to the European Commission. One of the aims of the report is to encourage discussion on the future research and innovation policy and investment at EU level.
The report is the result of the study Beyond the Horizon: foresight in support of future EU Research and Innovation Policy (BOHEMIA), supported by Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme. The report describes a range of future scenarios that we might be facing in the 2030s, and suggests ways for research to create conditions for Europe to cope and flourish. Echoing the Commission’s recent White Paper on the Future of Europe, the scenarios of this report navigate between "mega-trends", forces that drive the future of the world, and the policy goals and values of the European Union.
The main messages of the report are that research, science and innovation are of critical importance for Europe’s performance in the world. Regardless of what the next decades have in store for Europe, we will need strong universities, research organisations, laboratories and technology-based companies, which will demand much more investment in research and innovation as well as better framework conditions in areas such as market regulation, skills and the supply of capital. At the same time, the research community must ensure that science is responsible and reflects society’s wider values.
Foresight is a process of thinking through alternative variants of the future, with the aim to improve policy choices and decisions. In the European Commission's policy cycle, foresight comes at an early stage, well before decisions are taken or priorities are set.
The BOHEMIA study aims to provide foresight input and policy recommendations for possible new approaches, priorities and themes to be considered in the planning of future EU research and innovation policy and funding, in particular as support to the preparation of the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. BOHEMIA is carried out by a consortium including the Austrian Institute of Technology, the Romanian Institutul de Prospectiva, ISINOVA of Italy and the Fraunhofer Institute for Innovation and Systems Analysis.
The report can be found here.