VTT has done foresight exercises since late 1990s, and the importance of foresight has been increasingly recognised in 2000s. Foresight in VTT has expanded from technology roadmaps to broader socio-economic and ecological contexts. Nowadays VTTs foresight covers both the “demand pull”: creating vision and identifying future drivers, markets and products; as well as the “science push”: responding to issues raised by science and technology. The focus of a recent strategy has been on searching for R&D driven solutions to grand challenges, e.g. linking challenges of energy and water issues, scarcity of raw materials, healthy ageing and climate change. Foresight is seen as one part of strategic decision making in VTT (figure 1).
Figure 1. Strategic policy intelligence for managing innovation systems
VTT has an internal team called “foresight and socio-technical change” focused on doing research on and developing foresight and systemic societal change. The team also provides expertise on foresight both for internal purposes as well as external purposes, e.g. providing foresight services for clients. In 2012 a project aiming to network experts involved in foresight in VTT was launched. This foresight network captures the unique advantage of VTT: having both the technological competencies as well as foresight know-how under one roof.
Here is a short list of foresight projects that VTT has done on the national, Nordic and EU-level.
National-level cooperation (examples)
- Finnsight 2015, incl. VTT panel members. Tekes and the Academy of Finland, 2005-2006
- SITRA’s foresight network, incl. VTT reseachers 2005-2006
- TrendWiki working group of the Ministry of Economy and Employment, 2010=>
- Open Wave, Tekes/Finnish Boat Industry (2010-2012),
- Strategy support for EIT ICT Labs Finnish node, Tekes 2011
Nordic-level cooperation (examples)
- Nordic Hydrogen Energy Foresight, VTT as a core partner. NICe & NER, 2003-2005
- Nordic ICT Foresight, VTT as coordinator. NICe, 2005-2007
- Nordic Biomedical Sensor Foresight, VTT as partner. NICe, 2005-2006
- GoReNEST (2008-2009), TOP-NEST (2011 =>), SHHP Innovation Networks (2008-2009),
EU-level cooperation (examples)
- Nanotechnology roadmapping. EU FP6, 2004-2005
- Emerging S&T priorities in public research policies in Europe, US and Japan. EU Platform Foresight , 2004-2005.
- ETEPS – BIO4EU. IPTS/European Parliament, 2006
- ForSociety ERA-Net, VTT involved in Future Dialogues, 2006-2007
- TESTNET – WT & CP future outlooks for European ETV system, 2006-2008
- ATEsT. EU FP7, assesment of energy system modelling and transition management tools, 2009-2012
- Research and Innovation Strategies and Investment in Grand Challenges, ERAB, 2011