The technology foresight process seeks to identify technologies that will be key to national and-or regional economic  development  in  the  longer  term  and  to  make  recommendations  to  address  the  opportunities  and challenges  associated  with  these  technologies.  International  experience  demonstrates  that  technology foresight is neither simple nor is it unproblematic. As such, most international experts have come to agree that  it  is  likely  to  be  most  successful  as  a  continuous  process  rather  than  a  one-off  task.  To  make technology  foresight  exercise  simpler,  cheaper,  less  problematic  and  inherently  continuous,  we  have decided  to  support  it  by  the  Internet  accessible  software  toolkit.  This  software,  called  STRATFOR (Software  Toolkit  Rendering  Aid  to  Technology  Foresight  Process)  also  represents  an  effective  platform for  harmonising   various  foresights   and  underlying   methodologies  into  a  consistent  composite. STRATFOR   enables  a  holistic  foresight  exercise,  based  on  both  panel  activities  (scenarios,recommendations, policy proposals, etc.) and a large scale “via-net”  Delphi survey.

The  key  to  successful  foresight  involves  an  appreciation  of  holistic  environment  in  which  technology operates  and  consists  of  social,  politic,  economic,  environmental,  technological  and  competitive  forces. Therefore, while designing our STRATFOR toolset our objectives were:

• To  actively  integrate different  social  values  and objectives,  and  involve  all  potentially  affected social actors (representatives from non-governmental organisations, consumers, etc. in addition to experts from industry or government). 
 
• To provide a platform for multiparadigm approach to technology foresight, to facilitate integation of  various,  complementary  methodologies  (i.e.  expert  panels,  Delphi,  scenario,  etc.).  The combination of multiple paradigms supplies a firm foundation for addressing complex technology foresight problems more objectively;
 
• To  take  advantage  of  networked  society  and  emerging  information  technologies  and  make  a Software  Toolkit  Rendering  Assistance  to  expert  panelists  and  other  participants  in  continuous, time and resources consuming, Technology Foresight process (STRATFOR);
 
• To  make  high  quality  (accurate,  complete,  reliable  and  up-to-date)  information  base  on  best available  technologies,  economically  viable  (BATEV),  readily  available  to  all  actors  in  technology foresight process, so that they can perform multicriteria assessment of technologies to better  foresee  their  future  impact,  either  by  themselves,  or  using  another  software  tool  from  our toolkit  - DEBATER;
 
• To provide a comprehensive, computer-baserd, Internet accessible decision-aid for evaluation of best available technologies, economically reputable (DEBATER) to help expert panelist to assess future impact and benefits of both mature and inovative technologies, taking into account holistic environment  and  all  relevant  criteria  (technical,  economical,  environmental,  social,  etc.) simultaneously;

• To  help  expert  panelists  to  maintain  balanced  perspective  between  the  “science-push”  factors (which  include  the  creation  of  new  technological  or  commercial  opportunities  by  scientific research) and “demand-pull” factors (reflecting application perspective and including the priorities and needs of the broader community), using the same multicriteria assessment tool - DEBATER;
 
• To avoid the limitation of conventional methods. For instance, a "paper and pencil" Delphis are usually  limited  by  the  "top-down/bottom-up"  dichotomy,  rather  than  allowing  more  complete parallel entry to any aspect of the problem. In the computerized environment, using Cyber DELPHI software  tool,  individuals  could  be  free  to  tackle  any  aspect  of  the  problem  according  to  personal preferences. 
 


 


 

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

A Via-Net science and technology foresight exercise

S. VraneÅ¡   ICS-UNIDO, International Center for Science and High Technology Area Science Park

B. Opačić   ICS-UNIDO, International Center for Science and High Technology Area Science Park

F. Pizzio   ICS-UNIDO, International Center for Science and High Technology Area Science Park

The technology foresight process seeks to identify technologies that will be key to national and-or regional economic  development  in  the  longer  term  and  to  make  recommendations  to  address  the  opportunities  and challenges  associated  with  these  technologies.  International  experience  demonstrates  that  technology foresight is neither simple nor is it unproblematic. As such, most international experts have come to agree that  it  is  likely  to  be  most  successful  as  a  continuous  process  rather  than  a  one-off  task.  To  make technology  foresight  exercise  simpler,  cheaper,  less  problematic  and  inherently  continuous,  we  have decided  to  support  it  by  the  Internet  accessible  software  toolkit.  This  software,  called  STRATFOR (Software  Toolkit  Rendering  Aid  to  Technology  Foresight  Process)  also  represents  an  effective  platform for  harmonising   various  foresights   and  underlying   methodologies  into  a  consistent  composite. STRATFOR   enables  a  holistic  foresight  exercise,  based  on  both  panel  activities  (scenarios,recommendations, policy proposals, etc.) and a large scale “via-net”  Delphi survey.

The  key  to  successful  foresight  involves  an  appreciation  of  holistic  environment  in  which  technology operates  and  consists  of  social,  politic,  economic,  environmental,  technological  and  competitive  forces. Therefore, while designing our STRATFOR toolset our objectives were:

• To  actively  integrate different  social  values  and objectives,  and  involve  all  potentially  affected social actors (representatives from non-governmental organisations, consumers, etc. in addition to experts from industry or government). 
 
• To provide a platform for multiparadigm approach to technology foresight, to facilitate integation of  various,  complementary  methodologies  (i.e.  expert  panels,  Delphi,  scenario,  etc.).  The combination of multiple paradigms supplies a firm foundation for addressing complex technology foresight problems more objectively;
 
• To  take  advantage  of  networked  society  and  emerging  information  technologies  and  make  a Software  Toolkit  Rendering  Assistance  to  expert  panelists  and  other  participants  in  continuous, time and resources consuming, Technology Foresight process (STRATFOR);
 
• To  make  high  quality  (accurate,  complete,  reliable  and  up-to-date)  information  base  on  best available  technologies,  economically  viable  (BATEV),  readily  available  to  all  actors  in  technology foresight process, so that they can perform multicriteria assessment of technologies to better  foresee  their  future  impact,  either  by  themselves,  or  using  another  software  tool  from  our toolkit  - DEBATER;
 
• To provide a comprehensive, computer-baserd, Internet accessible decision-aid for evaluation of best available technologies, economically reputable (DEBATER) to help expert panelist to assess future impact and benefits of both mature and inovative technologies, taking into account holistic environment  and  all  relevant  criteria  (technical,  economical,  environmental,  social,  etc.) simultaneously;

• To  help  expert  panelists  to  maintain  balanced  perspective  between  the  “science-push”  factors (which  include  the  creation  of  new  technological  or  commercial  opportunities  by  scientific research) and “demand-pull” factors (reflecting application perspective and including the priorities and needs of the broader community), using the same multicriteria assessment tool - DEBATER;
 
• To avoid the limitation of conventional methods. For instance, a "paper and pencil" Delphis are usually  limited  by  the  "top-down/bottom-up"  dichotomy,  rather  than  allowing  more  complete parallel entry to any aspect of the problem. In the computerized environment, using Cyber DELPHI software  tool,  individuals  could  be  free  to  tackle  any  aspect  of  the  problem  according  to  personal preferences. 
 


 


 

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