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What has happened to Foresight in the UK?

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The UK Foresight Programme has been widely lauded. But how is it valued by the current government? This presentation examines trends in the Programme, which suggest that forebodings expressed in 2010 have proved accurate.

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What has happened to Foresight in the UK?

  1. 1. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Foresight in the UK 1994-2014 Impacts and Insights. Ian Miles Research Laboratory for Economics of Innovation Higher School of Economics - National Research University Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge Higher School of Economics Moscow 2014 www.hse.ru HSE Annual Conference on Foresight and STI Policy
  2. 2. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Overview • The Current Context • The UK Foresight Programme – brief history • Uses of results in STI policy • Horizon Scanning • Foresight beyond the Foresight Programme
  3. 3. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Economic Crisis and Foresight .... Abstract Conclusions
  4. 4. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Foresight in Hindsight 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 Pre Foresight Technology Foresight – Foresight First Cycle Foresight Second Cycle Foresight Third Cycle ???? Office of S&T (1992-2006) of Science & Innovation (2006-7) Located: till 1995 Cabinet Office Department of Trade and Industry till 2006 Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills till 2007.. Office of Chief Scientist D.E.S. Science Office Gvnmnt. Office for Science. Located: Department of Business, Innovation & Skills Party in Power: Coalition: Conservative (Major) Labour (Blair to 2007, then Brown) Con-Dem
  5. 5. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Early Foresight 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 Pre Foresight Technology Foresight – Foresight First Cycle Office of S&T (1992-2006) Located: till 1995 Cabinet Office Department of Trade and Industry. Office of Chief Scientist D.E.S. Science Office Party in Power: Conservative (Major) Labour (Blair) •Informing major decisions about R&D funding. •Sectoral/Technological panels with some common methodology and orientation. •Substantial impacts on priorities. •But also: “wiring up of national innovation system”. •Much learning embedded into major ministries and senior policymaking • Widely acclaimed. "We consider Foresight to be a long overdue attempt to address the UK's failure to turn excellence in basic research into industrial success. We want to make sure that its momentum is not lost".
  6. 6. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Foresight, Interrupted 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 Foresight Second Cycle Office of S&T (1992-2006) Located: Department of Trade and Industry.. Party in Power: Coalition: Conservative (Major) Labour (Blair to 2007, then Brown) Con-Dem •Intended to carry on Foresight mission – but with new staffing. •Numerous panels and WGs, with little common methodology •Hope of using new web-based media. •Quality of panel work challenged. •Topics “lacked ownership” in DTI •Programme reviewed, and found to be mismatched to the Foresight mission.
  7. 7. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Foresight Rebooted – the Third Cycle 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 Foresight Third Cycle ???? Office of S&T (1992-2006) of Science & Innovation (2006-7) Located: Department of Trade and Industry till 2006 Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills till 2007.. Gvnmnt. Office for Science. Located: Department of Business, Innovation & Skills Party in Power: Coalition: Conservative (Major) Labour (Blair to 2007, then Brown) Con-Dem •Moved away from wide-spectrum Foresight, to more Focused Foresight projects directed at specific themes •Aimed for impact by enlisting senior policymakers into leading roles • A few cases of limited impact but many projects highly influential. •Location subject to wider politics. 2004 OST Horizon Scanning Centre in Foresight Unit
  8. 8. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Projects (typically c2 years) • Cognitive Systems2003 •Cyber trust and crime prevention •Exploiting the electromagnetic spectrum •Future flooding 2004 • Drugs futures 20252005 • Infectious diseases • Intelligent infrastructure futures 2006 • Reducing obesity2007 • Mental capital & wellbeing2008 • Land use futures2010 • Migration & global env. change • International dimensions of climate change • Future of food and farming 2011 • Future of computer trading in financial markets 2012 • Future of manufacturing2013 • Current projects on Cities and Ageing
  9. 9. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Impacts? Each project produced a one-year review of uptake; major projects success documented more broadly – cf. Also Newsletters .... Yes, and beyond UK and in STI and more widely
  10. 10. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Third Cycle Foresight – beyond projects Policy Future projects: shorter studies of hot policy topics, e.g. Disaster preparedness Horizon Scanning 2004 on Website at foresight.gov.uk, 2008
  11. 11. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 HSC within Foresight (2009)
  12. 12. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Foresight website • The website has moved locations – www.foresight.gov.uk (1990s – 2010) – www.bis.gov.uk/foresight (2010-13) – www.gov.uk/government/collections/foresight- projects (2014) • The content has changed – Now two projects are running, on same scale as previous ones (but less systematically) – Horizon Scanning as a separate stream in GO- Science, with separate leadership.
  13. 13. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Foresight.gov.uk website January 2010 August 2010
  14. 14. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Foresight at BIS website January 2011 February 2012
  15. 15. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Foresight at BIS website 2 April 2013 March 2014
  16. 16. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Foresight website at gov.uk March 2014 October 2014
  17. 17. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Foresight: late 2014 https://www.gov.uk/government/ organisations/government- office-for-science
  18. 18. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Affirmation https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/speech-by- david-willetts-to-the-uk-science-park-association
  19. 19. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Foresight and Oversight – 1 (2006) • Interviews with stakeholders • examined 5 completed projects plus ongoing ones • Picture mixed, with one project having major problems of traction (change in political leadership, controversy of topic), but most having considerable policy impact • Impact broader than STI alone, but substantial influence on these areas.
  20. 20. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Foresight and Oversight – 2 (2007) http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmpubadm/123 /123i.pdf
  21. 21. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Foresight and Oversight – 3 (2014)
  22. 22. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Scanning the Horizon? http://www.parliament.uk/business /committees/committees-a- z/commons-select/science-and- technology- committee/news/140504-ghs- report-published/
  23. 23. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Foresight and/or Horizon Scanning • The two seem to be separated (again) • S&T Foresight in GO-Science – but projects are driven by social agenda (cities, ageing) – Meanwhile applied R&D funding informed by other means • HS in Cabinet Office for broad strategy
  24. 24. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Foresight in Hindsight - 2 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 Pre Foresight Foresight First Cycle 2nd Cycle Foresight Third Cycle ???? Strategy Unit PIU Cabinet Office Horizon Scanning DEFRA HS from 2002 - & some other Gvt. departments Horizon Scanning
  25. 25. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Horizon Scanning 2014 – Cabinet Office and GO-Science Response to critique
  26. 26. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Active Teamwork https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/horizon-scanning-programme-team
  27. 27. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Tools in the Policy Process
  28. 28. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Toolkit 2014 (beta version) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/futures-toolkit-for-policy-makers-and-analysts
  29. 29. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Meanwhile: Applied R&D Funding Collaborative Research and Development, SBRI (the Small Business Research Initiative), Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, Launchpad competitions and overseas missions. Innovation Platforms - an approach to innovation which harnesses the activities government departments use to address societal challenges to stimulate innovative solutions within UK businesses. From 2010 transferred from Regional Development Agencies - Grant for Research & Development (now branded as Smart); Innovation Vouchers
  30. 30. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Innovate (TSB) - 2012
  31. 31. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Catapult Centres Core funding, Business funding, Joint Projects 2015: “Physical centres for innovation that connect businesses with the UK’s research and academic communities.” https://www.catapult.org.uk/home Solihull Guy's Hospital, Glasgow Harwell Science & London Innovation Campus King's Cross, Borough Milton Keynes London
  32. 32. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 Conclusions • Foresight Programme has had a major impact on UK STI • In C21st impact on cross-governmental coordination around certain key areas, and some impact on broader STI communities in these areas, and on other countries and IGOs • Recurrent confusion and conflict around role of separate Horizon Scanning activity • “Evidence-based policy” is still asserted - in principle affirming need for such expertise.
  33. 33. © Higher School of Economics, Moscow 2014 END OF PRESENTATION

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