Science Foresight for Joint Strategy Development

Jointly charting the roads for scientific excellence to meet the scientific and societal grand challenges creates a basis for joint action of research organisations.  Foresight provides a mechanism for this by developing a shared vision of the long-term research agenda.  The ESF aims to develop scientific foresight and use its results as a basis for joint strategy development at the supranational level.  This action will address the need to develop an effective European research policy, capitalising on cultural, geographic and scientific diversity and to promote transnational funding, benchmarking of quality and shared scientific priorities for strategic research and researcher-driven programmes.

This Forum, launched at the end of 2010, aims to become a platform for Member Organisations to develop joint strategies in Europe through science foresight.

Objectives and Working Groups
The Forum’s action plan is based on these objectives:

  • To outline the specific characteristics (e.g. principles, criteria) of science foresight.
  • To map and identify good practices for science foresight (e.g. through publishers, scientific associations, MOs, other international institutions).
  • To identify the needs and gaps of science foresight at the European level
  • To identify the required tools, methodologies and data needed (in collaboration with the MO Forum on Evaluation of Publicly Funded Research).
  • To identify mechanisms on how to engage the top level scientists.
  • To propose appropriate joint foresight processes/framework in science.

And the following working groups:

WG1. Positioning and capacities

  • Develop a joint strategy and determine the role of ESF
  • Survey national scientific foresight activities and identify how to influence the European ones
  • Conduct a mapping exercise: actors, roles, levels, approaches
  • Examine Funding vs. Performing Organisations’ approaches to and needs for scientific foresight

WG2. Tools, methodologies and results

  • Discuss the role of the scientific community and define tools and measures to ensure, attract and motivate top quality scientists
  • Discuss the methodologies, performance indicators, process, marketing analysis, impact assessment/factors
  • Discuss results and audiences

Expected Outcome

Recommendations to ESF Member Organisations, the European Science Foundation and Science Europe.


  • Large survey
  • Series of workshops
  • Development of recommendations
  • Implementation plan

Timeline: August 2010 - August 2012

For more information please contact mo-fora[at]