On 1 February 2012, the European Commission FP7 funded project “Forward Visions on the European Research Area” (VERA) has officially started. The project has been launched with a kick-off meeting in Brussels on 9 February.
VERA aims to provide relevant strategic intelligence for the future governance and priority-setting of the research, technological development and innovation (RTDI) system in Europe and for better adapting science, technology and innovation policies to the shifting global environment and upcoming socio-economic challenges.
The VERA project has been proposed by a consortium of ten internationally renowned institutes from nine EU countries involving a team of more than 20 researchers with outstanding expertise both in terms of relevant knowledge and forward-looking methodology and excellent contacts with RTDI stakeholders in Europe and the world.
During the kick-off meeting, European Commission officials from the Social Sciences & Humanities (SSH) and ERA Policy units expressed their interest in the products and expertise of the project. They said the project might be helpful, among other things, in indicating global challenges not yet recognised in the policy discussions as well as in elaborating the concrete problematics behind global challenges in more detail. The project has been designed with enough flexibility to accommodate different kinds of forward-looking expertise useful for ERA policy development.
VERA is running until mid 2014 and will come forward, as its key outputs, with an ERA ‘fabric map’, a series of descriptive scenarios of ERA’s future in 2030 and related policy options for a 2020 horizon.