VERA – Forward Visions on the European Research Area

VERA is funded by the European Union's FP7 programme for research,
technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 290705

FLA Inventory Database

An Inventory of Forward-Looking Activities 

VERA started with stocktaking current forward-looking activities (FLA) in Europe and internationally and assessing their usefulness for policymaking. During the project, we developed an open access database, which provides an overview of FLA relevant for research and innovation priority-setting in Europe. In the ERA Forward-Looking Inventory, 67 screened FLAs are searchable in particular as regards the question of how these documents address the discourse on the Grand Societal Challenges

The Grand Societal Challenges (GC) were identified on the basis of existing EU documents and discussion papers that have been published and discussed in relation to the future governance of ERA, and forward-looking activities (FLA) at national, EU and global levels. We focused on Grand Challenges that are relevant for the future governance of ERA, directly or indirectly. We took into consideration five different types of activities/documents to identify the Grand Challenges (not older than 2005):

1.    ERA-governance related policy and strategy papers
2.    European FLA addressing the future of EU and ERA (directly or indirectly)
3.    FLA on national R&I priorities (not obviously ERA-related)
4.    FLAs on important sectors for Europe
5.    International scope

The definition of a Grand Challenge was crucial for clustering the 761 Grand Challenges we identified, as many GC were not necessarily titled as such or had a different definition. The FLA inventory now contains 726 individual Grand Challenges. It can be downloaded below and is meant to serve FTA analysts as well as all those involved in shaping research and innovation policies. 

The major conclusion of this stocktaking is that this set of GC –compared to current policy strategies or programmes– has a more global perspective, e.g. in the way it considers migration, impoverished regions, multipolarity and material resources, and it includes more fundamental societal realms or principles such as new values and lifestyles, the role of the state, the stability of public finance, the current economic model, education and EU competitiveness. As such, it reminds us that orientating policies towards Grand Societal Challenges poses challenges, such as questioning fundamental principles like the orientation towards growth and competitiveness, the need to link R&I policies with sectoral, educational, environmental, development, social or fiscal policies or the design and adaptation of democratic and participatory political processes which help to channel the GC discourses into collective high-level policy objectives.

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found 65 items
Project Document Title Keywords Date of Publication
2009 Ageing Report:Economic and budgetary projections for the EU-27Member States (2008-2060) 2009
A Budget for Europe 2020 (Part I) 29.06.2011
A Budget for Europe 2020 (Part II) 29.06.2011
Adapting to Climate Change 1.4.2009
Agrimonde: Scenarios and Challenges for Feeding the World in 2050 December 2009
An Environment Research Funders' Forum Report: Horizon Scanning Study 2007
Annual Threat Assessment DNI 16.02.2011
A roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050 08.03.2011
AUGUR - Challenges for Europe in the world of 2030 2012
Breakthrough technolgoies to secure the supply of critical minerals and metals in the EU economy 2011
Changing Multilateralism: the EU as a Global-regional Actor in Security and Peace. EU-GRASP 2012
Citizens Visions on Science, Technology and Innovation. CIVISTI 2011
Cooperation in the Context of Complexity: European Security in Light of Evolving Trends, Drivers, and Threats (FORESEC) 2011
CReATE - Creating a joint Research Agenda for ICT Innovation in the Creative Industries across Europe 2010
Crisis Response and Disaster Resilience 2030: Forging Strategic Action in an Age of Uncertainty (FEMA - USA) 2012
EFONET: Assessment of Energy Foresight in the EU January 2009
Energy Efficiency Plan 2011 08.03.2011
Energy Roadmap 2050 15.12.2011
Envisioning Digital Europe 2030: Scenarios for ICT in Future Governance and Policy Modelling
ERA: New perspectives 04.04.2007