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The main objective of FORSEE is the development of a methodology that will be used regularly beyond the span of the project to allow SEE governments to perform Regional Foresight exercises with the contribution of all stakeholders in an organised and effective manner, and to use the output as a tool for Policy Review in the field of ICT Research and Technological Development. Foresight will be introduced through the project to the SEE participating regions as a systematic, participatory, future-intelligence-gathering and medium-to-long-term vision-building process aimed at present-day decisions and mobilising joint actions. The project will address those issues that prevent the SEE countries from successfully identifying national competitive advantages and cooperation opportunities and focus on establishing the basis for open collaboration between governmental institutions, scientific communities, enterprises and civil society in SEE. FORSEE aspires to open an inclusive dialogue of all relevant stakeholders, synthesize views and create a sense of regional ownership of results.
FORSEE aims to highlight transnational collaboration opportunities and identify complementarities that the SEE countries could exploit in order to make better use of their limited resources in funds and expertise under a regional planning process that would give access to the accumulated innovation products of all participating regions. The participatory spirit that will be employed will provide a sense of transparency and stimulate participation of all stakeholders in the Innovation process, thus increasing investment and creating opportunities.
Ultimately, FORSEE aspires to embed a foresight culture in the SEE region. Most countries in the region determine their Research policies according to needs dictated by their academic communities or even on the basis of priorities identified at European level. Very rarely other inputs are taken into account such as macro-regional business scenarios, global trends, national/regional competitive advantages and most importantly future-oriented technology analyses (FTA) and studies (including strategic Foresight, forecasting and technology assessment). Forecast instruments are very limited, and almost ignore any cross-border perspective, which hinders the development of credible Research Agendas even further. The implementation of a regional Foresight exercise will provide regional stakeholders with adequate tools, resources and a process that will be applicable regularly in the future to enable them to anticipate trends and developments, to join forces with their neighbours to compete in the global environment, to bridge the local industry and academia and to make better use of scientific resources creating business opportunities while responding to strategic national/regional needs. It is, therefore, envisaged that Foresight exercises will become an integral part of the policy making process in the region (which is not the case today). Identified areas of focus will be prioritised in the allocation of resources and dispersion of already rare commodities (funds, personnel etc) will be minimised.
FORSEE will conclude with the development of feasibility analysis and a Plan for the establishment of a Regional Foresight Centre. This Plan will present a viable proposal for sustainability by developing “good-practice” guidelines for institutionalizing a virtual Regional Foresight Centre among participating regions, laying the foundations for profound long-term collaboration. The methodological approach (tools, documents etc.) and the institutionalised structure (Foresight teams, involvement of stakeholders, consultation processes, etc), built through the project, will provide the foundation of a sustainable mechanism and a tangible regional tool for the continuation of this practice beyond the span of the project. The sustainability plan will define the governance, business and operating model of establishing and running a virtual Regional Foresight Centre. Regional ownership will be a key element of this plan, detailing actions required, responsible entities and relevant timeline for ensuring effective set-up and operations of this interregional structure. In this way, long term success and continuation of relevant activities will be ensured, laying the foundations for participating regions to reap associated benefits over coming years.
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CALENDAR / June 20, 2013