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Conference at HSE to Focus on Plans for Developing Science and Technology over Next Decade

On November 6-7, 2014, the Higher School of Economics will hold the IV International Academic Conference ‘Foresight and STI Policy’. The conference is being organized by the HSE Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge, which has overseen the International Research and Educational Foresight Centre since 2006. The centre is the only one in the CIS that has the status of a UNIDO Regional Centre for Technology Foresight.

More than 20 presentations on various topics concerning technological foresight are planned. These include development of long-term foresight and their implementation in strategic planning documents for key economic sectors, regions, and large companies. Discussion will also cover unification of all the innovation system’s actors and the future involvement of both experts and ordinary citizens in anticipating the future.

Countries with significant experience carrying out foresight projects eventually find it necessary to institutionalize Foresight and develop various strategies on a single platform in the framework of a national S&T foresight system. Speaking on international best practice will be experts from the University of Manchester (UK); the Center for Strategic Studies and Management Science, Technology and Innovation (CGEE, Brazil); the Finland Futures Research Centre at the University of Turku; the National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP, Japan); and the Institute of Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Staff members from the Higher School of Economics will introduce conference participants to the S&T foresight system in Russia (established in accordance with the RF presidential decree no. 596 of 7 May, 2012 on Long-term State Economic Policy); the updating of lists of priority areas in science, technology and engineering in Russia over the next decade; and the integration of sectoral Foresight studies into national scientific and technological foresight system.

Foresight for effective business is the focus of the second session on the first day and the two roundtables on the second day of the conference. Developers of sectoral roadmaps from HSE; leading practitioners in the area of corporate Foresight from Austria, Britain, Germany, India and the United States; and experts from international programmes at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Commission will present the results of foresight projects for the aviation industry, shipbuilding, research in the field of water resources, as well as medicine and health care.

Technological progress depends on the quality of social processes, so modern foresight studies are increasingly proposing a new agenda for science, technology and innovation policy, as well as an expanded understanding of innovation (technological + social aspects). The importance of public involvement in taking care of the future is also emphasized. Relying on foresight tools for measuring the effects of social innovation, sustainable innovation ecosystems at the regional level, and analysis of future labour markets are the themes of another group of presentations at the Foresight Conference in 2014.

After the conference ends, a meeting of the International Supervisory Board of the HSE Foresight Centre will be held. A collection of all the presentations at the conference will be published as a book by Springer.

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