Sectoral Innovation Foresight: The Challenges                                                                 EFP Brief No...
Sectoral Innovation Foresight: Foresight Brief No. 216both innovation and markets can happen.                             ...
Sectoral Innovation Foresight: Foresight Brief No. 216  •    structural changes, i.e. changing configurations of          ...
Sectoral Innovation Foresight: Foresight Brief No. 216understood as susceptibility of population and democrat-            ...
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Efp brief-no.-216 sectoral-innovation-foresight-overview1

  1. 1. Sectoral Innovation Foresight: The Challenges EFP Brief No. 216 Authors: Annelieke van der Giessen annelieke.vandergiessen@tno.nl Sponsors: European Commission, DG Enterprise & Industry Type: Foresight study as part of Europe INNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch Organizer: AIT, TNO with support from other partners in the Sectoral Innovation Watch consortium Duration: 2008-2010 Budget: € 336,000 Time Horizon: 2020 (2040) Date of Brief: Mar 2012 PurposeThe Sectoral Innovation Foresight was part of the Sectoral Innovation Watch (SIW) project within the Europe IN-NOVA initiative. The foresight study aimed at exploring future developments in nine different sectors in order toidentify potential policy issues and challenges of the future. The emphasis was put on developments that could pos-sibly have a disruptive effect on the nine sectors under consideration, on the one hand, and on developments thatare likely to be of cross-sectoral relevance to innovation, on the other. ous levels of aggregation) are shaped by institutions andForesight on Sectoral Innovation Challenges by drivers of change. Undergoing change and transfor- mation through the co-evolution of its various elements, aThe Sectoral Innovation Foresight was part of the Sec- sectoral system is affected by science and technologytoral Innovation Watch (SIW) project within the Europe drivers and demand-side drivers as well.INNOVA initiative. Europe INNOVA was launched by theEuropean Commission’s Directorate General Enterprise In recent years, a growing number of projects on sec-and Industry as a laboratory for the development and toral innovation systems and on foresight concepts andtesting of new tools and instruments in support of innova- activities have been initiated while a growing body oftion with the goal of helping innovative enterprises inno- literature has been published. However, the two areasvate faster and better. It brought together public and pri- remained unconnected. Within the Sectoral Innovationvate innovation support providers, such as innovation Watch, the connection between these areas has nowagencies, technology transfer offices, business incuba- been made. The aim was to develop methods of sec-tors, financing intermediaries, cluster organisations and toral innovation foresight for the development of a fu-others. SIW aimed at monitoring and analysing trends ture-oriented innovation policy by identifying key drivers,and challenges. Detailed insights into sectoral innovation emerging markets and requirements.performance are crucial for the development of effective Foresight, in the way it was understood in SIW, is notinnovation policy at regional, national and European levels. about predicting the future, but follows the approach ofThe foresight on sectoral innovation challenges aimed to ‘thinking, debating and shaping the future’ (Europeanintegrate foresight exercises to understand the dynamics Commission 2002). It thus aims at sketching differentof sectoral systems of innovation. The concept of sectoral reasonable variants of possible future developmentssystems of innovation and production (Malerba 2002) (‘scenarios’), the associated challenges, underlying driv-seeks to provide a multidimensional, integrated and dy- ing forces and options for dealing with them. In order tonamic view of sectors. A sectoral system involves not achieve this, the foresight approach must look beyondonly a specific knowledge base, technologies, inputs and current trends (which are nevertheless an important in-demands that determine its development, both trends put) and, in particular, into qualitative trend breaks thatand trend-breaking developments are also drivers of can give rise to qualitatively different future developmentsectoral change. The interactions of the sectoral actors paths in the sectors under study. It is when these qualita-(individuals, organisations, networks, institutions at vari- tive trend breaks are superposed that major changes inThe EFP is financed by the European Commission DG Research. It is part of a series of initiatives intended to provide a ‘Knowledge Sharing Platform’ forpolicy makers in the European Union. More information on the EFP and on the Knowledge Sharing Platform is provided at www.foresight-platform.eu
  2. 2. Sectoral Innovation Foresight: Foresight Brief No. 216both innovation and markets can happen. Enhancing Innovation and CompetitivenessThis foresight exercise intended to look beyond time The main objectives of the sectoral foresight exercisehorizons that can be addressed by simply extrapolat- can be summarised as follows:ing current trends. In other words, to look sufficiently • Explore and identify the main drivers of change in theahead for major changes to happen while at the same nine sectors under study. These drivers will be bothtime staying sufficiently close to the present to remain internal and external to the sectors, with several ofrelevant to decision-making during the next couple of them being of a crosscutting nature.years. While for some fast-changing sectors this mayimply a three- to five-year time horizon (e.g. biotech- • Identify and assess key future developments (i.e. mainnology), for others (e.g. construction) a ten-year time drivers, innovation trajectories, emerging markets, nec-horizon may be more appropriate. essary co-developments, etc.). The emphasis is put on likely future innovation themes and emerging markets,The nine sectors under study in the Sectoral Innova- more specifically also on the requirements and impactstion Watch were: that these innovation issues and emerging markets raise • biotechnology, in terms of skills requirements, organisational, institu- • electrical and optical equipment, tional and structural changes in the sectors concerned. • automotive, • Develop scenario sketches for the sectors under study • space and aeronautics, that capture the major uncertainties ahead of us. • construction, • wholesale and retail trade, • Highlight key policy issues for the future, with a view • knowledge intensive services, to enhancing the innovation performance and com- • food and drink, petitiveness of firms operating in these sectors. • and textiles. a simple pattern of analysis, along the lines of which the A Sectoral Perspective on Foresight sectoral foresights will be structured. The essence of this approach can be captured by the subsequent build-Foresight aims at sketching different reasonable vari- ing blocks (see Figure 1, next page):ants of possible future developments, the associatedchallenges, underlying driving forces and options for • Drivers, i.e. emerging trends and trend breaks in S&Tdealing with them. In order to achieve this, the fore- developments, of expected demand – both internalsight approach looks at driving forces, captured for and external to the sectors under study – that are like-instance in trends and trend breaks. Recognizing the ly to exert a major influence on emerging innovationfact that future developments are by their very nature themes. Broader crosscutting developments/trendsuncertain and open to value judgement, foresight co- (e.g. the extent to which globalisation affects a sector)vers activities to think the future, debate the future and are also taken into account.shape the future. It is thus not a tool for predicting the • Innovation themes, which are seen as the results offuture but a process that seeks to develop shared the interplay of S&T developments and changes inproblem perceptions, make differences in expectations expected demand.explicit and identify needs (and options) for action. • Emerging markets, which can achieve significance ifThinking, debating and shaping the future of different an innovation theme evolves successfully, i.e. if po-but interlinked sectors is crucial today because innova- tential barriers can be overcome and enablers betion is a collectively shaped, distributed, and path- strengthened.dependent process. Thinking, debating and shapingthe future of sectoral systems has to embed the sector • Co-developments in and around a sectoral innovationdevelopments in contextual developments. system; they can serve as enablers of and barriers to innovation. They can even be essential in order to al-Innovation at the sectoral level depends to a large low markets to emerge. Such co-developments reflectextent on the developments within the innovation sys- the aforementioned building blocks of sectoral innova-tem, but it is also driven by developments in its envi- tion systems.ronment, like for instance changes in science andtechnology. To explore future patterns of innovation, it For the purposes of this exercise, we will refer specifi-is thus necessary to investigate these contextual de- cally tovelopments as well as corresponding developments • organisational changes at the firm level,within a sectoral innovation system. • firm strategies for dealing with emerging driversFor the purpose of the sectoral foresight exercise, the • skills requirements needed, for instance, to absorbmain building blocks of sectoral systems of innovation S&T developments,and production have been adjusted in order to inte-grate them with the foresight approach. This has led to Page 2 of 4
  3. 3. Sectoral Innovation Foresight: Foresight Brief No. 216 • structural changes, i.e. changing configurations of State of the Art Analysis actors in a sector, For each sector a review of secondary sources on fore- • institutional change, i.e. changes in the ‘rules of sight was carried out. This review covered, in particular, the game’ determining the interactions between the situational analysis, the analysis of drivers of the actors. change, as well as a first view on innovation themes. The nine interim sector papers served as input to the Drivers workshop on ‘Sectoral innovation foresight: key drivers, innovation themes & emerging markets’ that took place Emerging Markets on 23-24 June 2009 in Brussels. Emerging Markets First Foresight Workshop Emerging Markets Te S ch cie This first workshop aimed at validating and deepening no nc lo e gy & Dr Co-Developments the findings on drivers and innovation themes but also at ive r Fir exploring first ideas about future sector-level scenarios m Innovation Themes Innovation Themes St r at e gy and associated co-developments. Interim findings were Innovation Themes In st it u Org anis ati ona presented and discussed in working groups that dealt l Ch Innovation Themes t io na lc Struc tural Chan ang e specifically with each individual sector as well as with the ha ge ng e main crosscutting issues. The discussions with and feed- Innovation Themes Co-evolving back from the sector experts across Europe helped vali- enablers, bottlenecks & requirements date the interim results on key drivers, innovation themes, related emerging markets and associated requirements,Figure 1: Conceptual framework – combining foresight and thus contributed to identifying the crucial issues for thewith sectoral innovation future. The first workshop was attended by 60+ key play- ers from the nine sectors, including industry representa-In addition to these four building blocks, the co- tives, scientists, foresight experts and policy advisors.evolutionary dynamics of innovation and change in asector are captured by way of scenarios. Scenarios are Deepening Findings and Scenario Developmentto be understood as plausible and at the same time On the basis of the results of the first workshop, the pre-challenging combinations of these building blocks in a liminary findings on emerging developments in the sec-future-oriented perspective. Due to the uncertainties tors were deepened. In particular, this phase evaluatedassociated with contextual developments as well as with the inputs to the scenario sketches from the first work-all other elements of the innovation system analysis, it is shop and provided further input for the development ofessential to think in terms of several, qualitatively differ- scenarios. Interviews were used to refine the understand-ent scenarios of the future, especially if a time horizon is ing of the role of co-developments for the emergence ofchosen that goes beyond the scope of extrapolating markets related to the innovation themes identified.current trends and aims at qualitative changes. In par-ticular, the interplay of different drivers and their mutual Second Foresight Workshopreinforcement can give rise to major, even disruptive Scenarios played a central role at the second foresightchanges in sectoral innovation systems, with major workshop in December 2009. Moreover, cross-sectoralimplications for firm strategies as well as public policy. issues were addressed, like, for instance, common driv-The SIW foresight exercise was implemented in four ers of change across sectors or inter-linkages betweenmain steps and the results of these steps were inte- them. The second workshop also aimed at extractinggrated in nine sectoral foresight reports: those issues that – from a forward-looking perspective – are likely to require policy attention. The second work- shop was attended by 60+ key players from the nine sectors, including industry representatives, researchers, foresight experts and policy advisors. better policies focused on one single scenario (‘focused Futures Robust Policy Analysis strategies’).The finding of commonalities across all sectors reveals In general, there are four main axes that, according towhat generic factors would be part of the basic pool of the foresight exercises done, are likely to determine anddrivers to consider when aiming to for policy flexibility organise to a large extent the future development of the(‘robust policy strategies’) in the medium term. This will sectors of interest of the Sectoral Innovation Watch.not reduce uncertainty but can improve preparedness These are, in no order or priority, general macroeconom-against unforeseen developments while contributing to ic conditions, government policy and intervention, sci- ence and technology advances, and the human factor For more information visit the website and subscribe to the mailing list at www.foresight-platform.eu Page 3 of 4
  4. 4. Sectoral Innovation Foresight: Foresight Brief No. 216understood as susceptibility of population and democrat- Science and Technology Developmentsic systems to broad societal challenges. In addition to The foresight exercise conducted considered a largethese four main axes, other important key organisers of array of new technologies and innovation efforts likely tofuture sectoral developments include energy consump- influence the direction and rate of growth in all sectors.tion and pricing and global industrial dynamics. Any sectoral policy must have a clear consideration of General Macroeconomic Conditions unexploited opportunities and technologies and innova- tion. An additional factor in this driver is the increasingThe levels of income, aggregated demand and availability pace of technological convergence that key enablingof capital are strongly related to macroeconomic growth. technologies bring. The set of foresight reports in theHere income must be understood as a factor that affects SIW have provided a broad account of current and nearsupply and demand factors. On the supply side, general future innovations that will transform the sectors of inter-macroeconomic conditions affect the cost and availability est to a certain extent.of financing, not only of R&D and innovation but also gen-eral investments in infrastructures and production sys- Human Factortems. In turn, poor macroeconomic conditions affect em- ‘Human factor’ refers to the susceptibility of citizens toployment and overall household income, thus influencing very diverse issues that could be technology related ordemand for goods and services across an economy. De- not. Important issues could be sustainability effects ofspite the importance of innovation in the increase in total consumption, travel behaviour, lifestyles, value given tofactor productivity and its effects on growth, the sectors health, safety, security, or risk technology perception,under study are part of a larger industrial ecosystem etc. Any demand-side policy targeting final or intermedi-where typical macroeconomic parameters affected by ate consumers or users of goods and services must takeevents beyond the industrial system produce chain reac- into account the susceptibility of the target population totions across sectors (i.e., the recent financial crisis). Close a specific issue associated with the technology or inno-monitoring of interest rates, trade balances, and overall vation of interest.government expenditure and deficits at the national levelmust be considered in the design of any sectoral policy. Global Industrial Dynamics Government Intervention Global industrial dynamics includes a number of issues that determine the evolution of sectors. These includeGovernment intervention in the form of regulation is one market structures, market saturation, flexibilisation of sup-of the largest sources of uncertainty across all sectors. ply and demand, availability of skilled labour and the re-Its development and stringency along the business cycle turn of the issue of global value chain dominance. In itself,is a major moderator of science and technology applica- industrial dynamics is a major determinant of the evolutiontions (innovation). Entire sectors (e.g. space) depend to of sectors. Any policy initiative not incorporating cleara large extent on public procurement. The empirical conceptions of the likely evolution of industrial dynamicsanalysis of the SIW on the role of regulation to moderate in the medium term will have little chance of success.innovation confirms the important role of regulation oninnovation performance. Empirical evidence indicates a The five factors described above form part of any robustpositive relationship between regulation and innovation. policy that would ensure sufficient flexibility to face uncer- tainty and potentially haphazard sectoral developments. Sources and ReferencesThis foresight brief is based on several sectoral foresight deliverables from Sectoral Innovation Watch. The two main sources concern:Montalvo C. and A. van der Giessen (2011) Sectoral Innovation Watch – Synthesis Report, Europe INNOVA Sectoral InnovationWatch, for DG Enterprise and Industry, European Commission, December 2011.Weber, M., P. Schaper-Rinkel and M. Butter (2009) Sectoral Innovation Foresight – Introduction to the Interim Report, Task 2, EuropeINNOVA Sectoral Innovation Watch, for DG Enterprise and Industry, European Commission, July 2009About the EFP: Policy professionals dealing with RTD, innovation and economic development increasingly recognize a need to base decisions onbroadly based participative processes of deliberation and consultation with stakeholders. Among the most important tools they apply are foresight andforward looking studies. The EFP supports policy professionals by monitoring and analyzing foresight activities and forward looking studies in the Euro-pean Union, its neighbours and the world. The EFP helps those involved in policy development to stay up to date on current practice in foresight andforward looking studies. It helps them to tap into a network of know-how and experience on issues related to the day-to-day design, management andexecution of foresight and foresight related processes. Page 4 of 4

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