Research and Innovation Futures 2030: From explorative to transformative scenarios

The RIF project aims to systematize knowledge on emerging patterns, trends and drivers of change in ways of doing and organising research in the knowledge societies, to provide an outlook on future pathways for STI systems and practices by way of scenarios and to establish a dialogue on future perspectives for STI in order to identify strategic options and opportunities for action. RIF focuses on the dynamics of change resulting from the interplay of developments inside and outside of STI systems. It is based on the assumption that current trends will give rise to certain tensions and dilemmas which may be resolved within the constraints of current institutional settings, or else through substantial transformation of STI systems and practices.
The project starts with a comprehensive stocktaking of European and international forward-looking activities, and an analysis of academic literature on emerging new modes of doing and organising research (Lead Participant: Austrian Institute of Technology / Petra Schaper-Rinkel). This serves as the basis for a two-stage interactive scenario process.
At first explorative scenarios with a time horizon of 2020 will be developed based on exploration of current trends and drivers within the constraints of today’s STI framework. These scenarios will point towards key critical junctures in ways of doing and organising research.
The second phase will generate long-term transformative scenarios towards 2030 that may incorporate significant structural and institutional changes in STI systems and practices.

In a series of tailored interactive workshops the scenarios implications for key policy objectives will be assessed and strategic options for different actors and stakeholders explored. RIF will rely on extensive stakeholder interaction, using both face-to-face formats and Web 2.0 tools. A range of dissemination activities ensures a widespread debate of RIF findings by stakeholders.

Research and Innovation Futures
Research and Innovation Futures, RIF 2030
Workshop in Vienna


WP 1 Stocktaking of trends and drivers in organising research

WP 1 focuses on collecting and compiling the most up-to-date academic and forward-looking knowledge on new and emerging patterns of STI. This includes:

  • Stocktaking of recent and ongoing forward-looking activities (FLAs) on new ways of carrying out STI
  • State-of-the-art review of scientific research on new concepts and changing patterns of carrying out STI
  • Based on these two main sources, first identification of patterns, trends and drivers in doing and organizing research, as well as of institutional and policy implications

This WP draws on two main sources of data. First, the European Foresight Platform EFP provides a comprehensive inventory and database of recent and ongoing FLAs. Second, a review of recent scientific research in innovation economics, social studies of science (and technology) and of research management literature will be conducted. Drawing on this material collected, a first cross-cutting analysis of findings will be carried out. A second analytical building block will look in a comparative manner at European and international experiences respectively. The findings will be critically revisited in a stakeholder dialogue, organised in conjunction with work package 5.

Lead Participant: Austrian Institute of Technology / Petra Schaper-Rinkel