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From priority-setting to articulation of demand: foresight for research and innovation policy and strategy

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  • Foresight Innovation Policy Priority


he paper addresses the application of foresight to research and innovation policy and strategy. It seeks to show an evolution away from a traditional focus on broad-based technological priority setting to a much more focussed and adapted set of applications. The inherent limitations of prioritisation processes are discussed. The more limited aim of articulating specific fields is noted. Recent trends in research and innovation policy have opened new opportunities for the application of foresight. Systemic and demand-side policies require a shared vision on the part of purchasers and suppliers. The role of foresight in such contexts needs both to be enhanced and better understood. An increasing structural focus for foresight exercises is associated not only with broader R&I system reform but also with an engagement with new-wave innovation policies. The success of demand-side measures such as cluster policies and the use of procurement or regulation to stimulate innovation is dependent upon the formation of a common vision between the supply and demand sides, opening the possibility for the application of foresight approaches. We note the emergence of a combination of corrective, disruptive and creative roles

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