Exchange of foresight relevant experiences for small european and enlargement countries

Building upon achievements of previous initiatives such as FOREN, FOMOFO, IOFCO, C+ and The Baltic STRING project, eFORESEE conducted 6 new pilot foresight exercises in domains that had not been covered before, with a focus on the challenge of integrating accession countries into policy making processes of the European Union, both at the regional level and at the level of the ERA. Explicit attention was given to the use of a ‘Knowledge Management’ approach to the design and implementation of the local foresight actions, as well as to the integration of local foresight ‘experiences’ into global research resources for policy makers in Europe.

Experts from the EU participated in the pilot project planning workshops to contribute knowledge and experience from previous foresight activities in regions or specific sectors. Policy makers from the Accession States were invited to participate to facilitate capacity building for foresight and policy development in Accession States. Three major international conferences, aimed at policy makers in Europe and the Accession countries, were organised in Malta, Cyprus and Estonia, with a view to stimulating further research on issues of current interest. These were publicised and promoted via existing European networks such as those of RITTS-RIS, Eurada, RETI and ERIS@.

Malta and Cyprus are in the process of establishing foresight exercises intended to help in the coordination of national RTD and innovation efforts, support capacity building and integrate these countries into the European Research Area. Experience from the past has underlined the challenge of implementing foresight actions in small economies or in regions with limited human resources and limited support for RTD and innovation activity. eFORESEE developed methodologies for foresight actions with constraints – limited human resources, limited local infrastructure and shorter time-horizons. The approach was based on a review and analysis of case-studies from smaller countries and regions of Europe. The local foresight teams received training and coaching. They designed, implemented and evaluated pilot foresight actions based on methodologies developed for their specific objectives and constraints.