A Bridge between Science and Practice
On May 20, 2013, as part of Innovation Media Day, a discussion panel ‘Technologies of the Future: A View from Innovation Leaders, Development Institutions, and Media’ took place. The panel was organized by the HSE, RIA Novosti, and Russian Venture Company.
Ozcan Saritas, HSE Professor and researcher at the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, spoke about how Foresight doesn’t predict the future but makes it possible to detect ‘early signals of change’, set priorities on the use of limited resources, and outline an action plan in order to make the desired future real. Foresight, in fact, is the first step to innovation.
A system for monitoring global trends has been created at the HSE, not only in technological areas but also in the sphere of the economy and social relations. Professor Saritas outlined some of these trends: growing human functional capabilities, the development of communication between various computer devices, the creation of artificial forms of life (including those created using nanotechnology), and the development of sustainable energy and new transportation technologies.
Another project, ‘A Forecast of the Russian Science and Technology Development up to 2030’, which was commissioned by the RF Ministry of Education and Science and prepared by the HSE, was presented by Alexander Chulok, Head of the HSE’s Foresight Center Department. Over 2,000 experts analyzed dozens of challenges, threats, and opportunities in priority areas of the development of science and technology, from the life sciences to transport and space systems.
The results of the forecast are not very comforting. While in some areas (such as nano- and biotechnologies) Russia has made some ‘good starts’, in many fields the situation is critical: in order to avoid falling behind global trends, active work in those areas should have been started several years ago.
According to Alexander Chulok, it is necessary to ‘bridge the gap between science and business’. Researchers need to understand what technologies are necessary to create products whose characteristics which will be in demand with consumers in several years’ time.
Oleg Seregin, HSE News Service
This May, HSE and the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI, Republic of Korea) signed a cooperation agreement on science and advanced technology research. This agreement was signed by Leonid Gokhberg, HSE First Vice Rector, Director of the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge, and Dr. Hwang-Hee Cho, STEPI President.
Contemporary universities are becoming not only centres for education and research, but also hubs for entrepreneurship. Igor Agamirzian, HSE Vice President, Head of the Department for Management of Innovation, spoke about the development of the HSE’s innovation infrastructure, about attracting students to technological business projects, and about the master’s programme ‘Corporate Research, Development and Innovation Management’.
Following years of study and work in South America and Europe, Rafael Popper joined HSE Moscow as Professor of Foresight and STI Governance in January 2018. In addition to his job at HSE, he is Principal Scientist in Business, Innovation and Foresight at a world leading research and technology organization (RTO) called VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. With a PhD on 21st Century Foresight from the University of Manchester, Popper has built a career on wide-ranging research of issues in foresight and STI policy. In a recent interview with the HSE News Service, he spoke in depth about his research interests, philosophy on teaching, collaboration across HSE and his love of languages, among other topics.
Leonid Gokhberg, HSE First Vice Rector, Director of the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge, spoke on his first steps in academia, working with foreign researchers, on foresight research as well as shared his thoughts on HSE research development.
On November 7, HSE hosted a delegation from the Jülich Research Centre in Germany. Scholars from both countries came together to discuss joint research opportunities, including transformation of energy systems for sustainable development; future studies of energy technologies, including foresight studies; and methodological issues related to big data analysis and modelling.
Policymakers are increasingly turning to foresight techniques for guidance when addressing the wide array of problems and challenges arising in their work. A new book co-edited by Leonid Gokhberg, Dirk Meissner, and Alexander Sokolov from the HSE Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge (ISSEK), attempts to add another dimension – namely, opportunities – that can come from proper application of foresight techniques. Deploying Foresight for Policy and Strategy Makers: Creating Opportunities Through Public Policies and Corporate Strategies in Science, Technology and Innovation (Springer, 2016) features essays by more than a dozen scholars on various aspects of foresight application in today’s policy environment.
How dangerous is the ‘beaten track’ effect in discussions on Russia’s science and technology (S&T) development? Is it enough to master new technologies without changing the institutions for the country to successfully enter global markets? Alexander Chulok, Deputy Director of the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge Foresight Centre, commented on the key topics of a recent online discussion on ‘Russia’s place on the global technology map’, on the Russian science and technology website STRF.ru which attracted a wide range of pundits.
Russians do not show much interest in information about science and technology, despite being certain that they are knowledgeable about the topic. And they differ from Europeans in this. The average proportion of those who read popular science journals in Europe is 4 times higher than in Russia, but Europeans are more modest in evaluating their awareness about achievements in research than Russians.
What should Russia’s policy be on Science and Technology? What do Russian and international foresight research results show? How is international cooperation in science developing? These are among the questions which will be discussed at the 5th annual international research conference on Foresight and STI Policy at HSE on 18th - 20th November.
On September 24, 2015, a delegation of the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan (MOST) visited HSE Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge (ISSEK). With the goal to identify perspective areas of cooperation, researchers of HSE and MOST delegates shared their unique fields of expertise and discussed key trends and instruments of Taiwan’s and Russia’s state policy on international cooperation in science, technology, and industrial innovation. During the visit, Dr. Yi-Bing Lin, Taiwan’s Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, gave an interview to the HSE news portal, in which he cited Karl Marx’s theory, while talking about big data and futures studies.