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  • Improvement of Methodology for Long-Term Forecasting andPriority Setting in Socio-Economic and Science and Technology Development

Improvement of Methodology for Long-Term Forecasting andPriority Setting in Socio-Economic and Science and Technology Development

2011
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

The goal of this research is to improve methodology for long-term forecasting and priority-setting for socio-economic and S&T development, building on the most advanced theoretical and methodological approaches.

In the course of the project we’ve assessed the current state of the methodological basis of long-term forecasting and priority-setting for socio-economic and S&T development; reviewed and analysed international forecasting methodologies, including both expert-based procedures and evidence-based methods. We’ve also analysed basic theoretical provisions for long-term forecasting of socio-economic and S&T development; and conducted comparative analysis of potential and efficiency of various foresight techniques, in the framework of building long-term forecasts for the whole range of subject areas and fields.

Analysis of theoretical approaches to building long-term forecasts, and further development of the abovementioned theory, was based on identifying opportunities for combining two groups of methods: traditional foresight techniques based primarily on qualitative evaluation, and quantitative forecasting methods which involve computational models. We’ve developed approaches to integrating expert evaluations and quantitative methods, to build long-term forecasts of socio-economic and S&T development.

The forecasting methodology and tools were developed using generally accepted approaches, and new methodological solutions applied in foresight studies during recent years. Particular attention was paid to acquiring a deeper understanding of, and generalising the practical conclusions made in the course of, research projects undertaken at the ISSEK HSE International Foresight Centre.

We’ve prepared specific proposals to develop foresight methodology, based on two major provisions, according to which various combinations of expert-based foresight techniques should be supplemented with quantitative forecasting methods. On the other hand, quantitative models for forecasting socio-economic and S&T development indicators should be built using expert-based foresight techniques. The methodology of combining expert-based foresight techniques with quantitative forecasts allows us to take into account specific characteristics of various subject areas, and then make relevant adjustments in accordance with specific objectives and forecasting levels (the whole economy, industry, region, company etc.), particular objects, available inputs, and required output parameters.

The proposed approaches to building long-term forecasts increase the adequacy of end results, by selecting the optimal combination of the above techniques. This allows us to build innovation development strategies for specific areas; and identify the most promising of them in accordance with specific criteria. The criteria in question may include: orientation towards large and fast-growing markets with low entrance barriers; contribution to accomplishing key socio-economic objectives; and maximum possible utilisation of domestic R&D and industrial potentials. Application of the suggested approach allows us to develop a strategic research and development programme aimed at creating marketable technological solutions.

The proposed methodological solutions involve close integration of foresight project results with major directions of technological development and modernisation of the Russian economy; they’ve been tested in the course of building various long-term forecasts and roadmaps for Russian companies, government agencies and industrial organisations.