The Academy of Finland is committed to advancing the development and impact of science and research by anticipating potential changes that may occur in different research fields and in the research system as a whole. The method is known as foresighting. The results of foresighting exercises can be put to good use in targeting funding to innovative research of the highest quality. Foresighting can have a favourable impact on the quality of research funding, and foresighting results can be utilised in the preparation of research programmes and other extensive research projects.
Foresighting is used by research funding agencies and research organisations for identifying future scenarios, making choices of orientation, defining priorities and developing new approaches and strategies. Born out of the amalgamation of the scanning of futures, strategic planning and policy analysis, foresighting paves the way to developing better targeted procedures for preparation and decision-making, especially in situations that involve many different types of agents.
The Academy of Finland is actively engaged in both Finnish and international foresighting activities with a view to further developing the research and innovation system.
Internationally, foresighting has advanced with great rapidity since the beginning of the 2000s. Major national foresight projects have been conducted in Japan, China, Germany, the UK, France and Sweden. In Europe, the European Commission and the European Science Foundation (Forward Looks), among others, have made important contributions in this field. Foresighting has also been adopted by major European research organisations such as CNRS in France and the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft in Germany.
Senior Science Adviser
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