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
INFU Innovation futures in Europe: A foresight exercise on emerging patterns of innovation. visions, scenarios and implications for policy and practice. 2012
Prospects of Quantum Key Distriubtion: Making Data Communication Secure for the Future May 2011
Rare Diseases: Europe's challenges 11.11.2008
Research Infrastructures: foresight and impact 2011
Roadmap robotics for healthcare 2008
Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system 28.03.2011
Rural Ireland 2025 Foresight Perspectives 2005
SANDERA (The Future Impact of Security and Defence Policies on the European Research Area) 2011
SESTI - Scanning for Emerging Science and Technology Issues 2010-2011
Shell Energy Scenarios 2050 2008
Single Market Act 13.04.2011
Study into European research and education networking as targeted by eEurope 2003
SWAMI dark scenarios 30.6.2006
TECHNOLIFE a Transdisciplinary approach to the emerging challenges of novel technologies: Lifeworld and imaginaries in foresight and ethics 2011
Technology and Innovation Futures Technology and Innovation Futures: UK Growth Opportunities for the 2020s 2010
The Ageing Society 2030 2006
The BMBF Foresight Process. 1st cycle 2009
The Future of healthcare in Africa 2011
The Future of healthcare in Europe 2011
The Future of Pensions and Healthcare in a Rapidly Ageing World 2010