Completing the Third Cycle of the Russian S&T Foresight 2030: Stand Together
On February, 27, 2013 the regular workshop for the participants of the Russian S&T Foresight 2030 took place at the Higher School of Economics. The discussion of the principal results achieved within the project framework in 2012 as well as of the objectives for the year 2013, was held under the guidance of reconciling various Foresight blocks.
The workshop “Russian S&T Foresight 2030: Results and Objectives for the Future” was organized by the project coordinator — the HSE Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge (ISSEK).
System of coordinated lots
The long-term S&T Foresight, the building of which has been initiated and is being realized on order of the Ministry of Education and Science of the RF, is a complex multilevel system of interrelated lots. Thirteen organisations bring them into action. The project assumes elaboration of various macroeconomic scenarios, analysis of very-long-term trends in the context of the civilisation cycles, preparation of Foresight for fundamental research, building of roadmaps for academic fields and economic sectors, as well as determination of the most significant S&T competences.
The project involves a great number of experts. They represent all priority academic fields, the business community, the authorities, development institutions. Validation of the Foresight results is carried out with the participation of prominent foreign scholars among others. As the Deputy Director of ISSEK, Director of the HSE Foresight Centre Alexander Sokolov mentioned in his lead-in, the Higher School of Economics alone engages about two thousand leading experts to complete its tasks. It’s worth reminding that together with coordinating the work of the whole team, HSE also performs the Foresight update for the most important directions of the S&T development up to 2030.
The large-scale project is approaching its final stage and before preparing the consolidated final result of the big team’s multi-year work the HSE organises systematic discussions of intermediate results of the Long-term S&T Foresight third cycle. A workshop for the leading Universities, responsible for the Foresight infrastructure, i.e. formation of the sectoral network of S&T Foresight in six prior areas, has taken place recently. The following executives of the Foresight blocks were invited to take part in the February workshop: representatives of the Center for Macroeconomic Analysis and Short-term Forecasting (CMASF), of the RAS Institute for the Study of Science (ISS RAS), of the RAS Institute of Economic Forecasting (IEF RAS), of Strategy Partners Group (SPG), of Pitirim Sorokin — Nikolai Kondratieff International Institute (SKII) and of Petrozavodsk State University (PetrSU).
|Alexander Chulok: “There’s extremely little time left for our multilevel complex Foresight system to make the worthy finish”.|
Among prior objectives for the year 2013 Alexander pointed out the necessity to integrate the Foresight results into the system of decision making. Thus, the key task of the Foresight third cycle, besides determining points of breakthrough on high-tech markets and possibilities of building in global value chains, is forming a set of clear measures of the S&T policy. Alexander Chulok emphasised that this task, in its turn, “dictates high demand for our common results agreement”.
Common results – in the common language
In the way of completing this task, while discussing the results obtained in the year 2012 as well as the plans for the closing year of the S&T Foresight third cycle, the workshop participants touched upon the questions of agreeing the results of the common work and of elaborating the unified format of their presentation as well.
Dmitriy Belousov from the Centre for Macroeconomic Analysis and Short-term Forecasting called elaborating “the common language for linking all parts of the Foresight” to be the essential task of his organisation within the project framework. According to him, “the language of economic effects” is a language like that. The experts of the Centre have formed key demands that come out of macroeconomic scenarios, setting a kind of “frame” for the whole team’s activity. They have also worked out the Foresight preliminary variant. Other participants’ results were integrated into it at the next stages, in such a way specifying original results.
Other reports, too, touched upon the topic of “transforming” of “transferring” some Foresight results (macroeconomic, technology) into the other ones (e.g., into the description of challenging competences and road mapping). Even critical remarks on some of the experts’ observations sounded like: “You’ve been inside the standard language of your methodology”. The issues of “the common language” (those of elaborating the unified format, attaining better coherence in the executives’ activity and closer agreement of their work results) — these are rather the issues of the form. Sometimes they correlated with the contents issues.
The second group of problems outlined after the analysis of intermediate reports is the profundity of elaborating the Foresight results. As Alexander Chulok explained through the example of his block, “the profundity of description of technology trends as such can be different: one can list trends and consider this enough or one can show the trends’ influence on the markets, products and technologies, formulate the measures that are to be taken to achieve these effects. Creating such chains is quite a complicated task; it dictates special requirements for the results quality”.
Foresight integration into the policy making
|Maksim Antonov (Ministry of Education and Science): “I call to cooperation among executives”|
The leading expert of the Section of Analytical monitoring, Statistics and Foresight of the Ministry of Education and Science of the RF Maksim Antonov confirmed the great interest in the Foresight results on the part of his department as well as on the part of other institutions responsible for the development of the national innovation system. Having mentioned the importance of the work coordination done by the HSE within this big project he emphasised the necessity of not only agreeing various blocks of the Long-term Foresight but also adjusting its general results to larger (and getting even larger) context of working out the strategy of the country’s innovation development.
It’s worth reminding that the Ministry of Economic Development of the RF has initiated working out a forecast of Russia's long-term social and economic development until 2030. Besides, President Vladimir Putin in his Decree about the long-term state economic policy, issued on May, 7, 2012 commissioned the Government to create the united national system of the technology Foresight. This work will be coordinated by the interagency committee for technology Foresight that is created at the Presidium of the Council for Modernization of the Economy and Innovative Development. The committee will include leading experts of the Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade and other interested departments. The scientific and methodic support is to be provided by the Higher School of Economics. Consequently, the results of the Long-term S&T Foresight can make the basis for the committee’s work. In such a case, as Alexander Chulok emphasised, “the results we form should agree with those of our colleagues”.
The reporters at the workshop “Russian S&T Foresight 2030: Results and Objectives for the Future”. Programme (in Russian)
Representatives of the coordinator — Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge (ISSEK, HSE)
Alexander Sokolov, Deputy Director of ISSEK, and Director of HSE Foresight Centre
Representative of the customer — Ministry of Education and Science of the RF
Maksim Antonov, the leading expert, Section of Analytical monitoring, Statistics and Foresight, Department of Strategy, Analysis and Foresight, Ministry of Education and Science of the RF
Representatives of the implementing organisations
Dmitriy Belousov, Centre for Macroeconomic Analysis and Short-term Forecasting Presentation (in Russian)
Svetlana Sigova, Petrozavodsk State University Presentation (in Russian)
Sergey Ostapyuk, RAS Institute for the Study of Science Presentation (in Russian)
Nikolay Komkov, RAS Institute of Economic Forecasting Presentation (in Russian)
Valeriy Abramov, Pitirim Sorokin — Nikolai Kondratieff International Institute Presentation (in Russian)