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The Knowledge-Sharing Platform

01 Jun 2017

Foresight study outlines scenarios for future research and innovation policies in Europe

On 1 June 2017 the European Commission published a report which is the outcome of the study "Beyond the Horizon: Foresight in support of future EU Research and Innovation Policy (BOHEMIA)". It describes a range of future scenarios that Europe might be facing in the 2030s, and suggests ways for research to create conditions for Europe to cope and flourish. Echoing the Commission’s recent White Paper on the Future of Europe, the scenarios of this report navigate between "megatrends", forces that drive the future of the world, and the policy goals and values of the European Union.

This foresight report, commissioned by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, describes two possible outcomes: That the trends go on unmanaged and uncontrolled, or that society takes action. The first outcome would be negative: climate change, environmental degradation, explosive migration, an unhealthy population, crowded and dangerous cities, mass unemployment and global strife – and Europe a victim. The second outcome would be positive: climate control, sustainable land and sea management, a circular economy with greater productivity, a healthier and longer-lived population with fulfilling work and leisure, peace – and Europe a leader. The report goes on to illustrate specific ways in which research and innovation could help Europe realise the positive scenario or at least minimise the harm of the negative  scenario.

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