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The FNR Foresight

The FNR Approach

The Foresight exercise was done in two phases. In the first phase of the exercise, the Luxembourg research environment was analysed and followed by a mapping and assessment of research priorities. These steps of the exercise were done by background data collection, active consultations of the research actors and public as well as the participation of these same people in the assessment of the research topics in the light of the collected data.
The first phase culminated in a joint meeting of our board of administrators and scientific council with support from international experts. Based on the preceding work, the FNR has retained the general research priorities/domains that form the basis of the thematic discussion groups of the second phase. In the second phase, detailed research priorities were worked out with the aid of specific expert panel workshops.

Phase 1

Background data collection

Aims :
  • identifying research domains of interest for Luxembourg according to a set of criteria,
  • benchmarking existing research areas and directions in Luxembourg against trends followed outside the country,
  • evaluation of FNR programmes and mapping of FNR projects and programmes onto the entire research environment in Luxembourg.
Approach :
The background data collection resulted in the production of a preliminary Baseline Report which will be the basis for discussion in the Exploratory workshop. The approach for the collection of background material for is based on three areas :
  • Evaluation of the current FNR programmes
  • Analysis of the R&D sector in Luxembourg
  • Analysis of R&D trends outside Luxembourg
The data collection made use of existing reports, collection of new data (e.g. bibliometrics), as well as targeted interviews with key stakeholders supplemented by questionnaires.
50-60 interviews were conducted, and 300 responses were obtained to the online questionnaires.
5 research thematic based workshops for 'junior' researchers were oprganised to get the input of the future generation of project leaders and research directors.

The Baseline Report provided a sound and shared understanding of the current R&D situation in Luxembourg in addition to a long list of 56 possible future research domains including 250 research issues.

Exploratory Workshop

Aims :
  • Bringing stakeholders together with the aim to get them actively involved
  • Complementation of preliminary baseline report
  • Testing of priority axes classification and regroupings
Approach :
The Exploratory workshop was a structured discussions event with approximately 150 invitees. The discussions were based on the preliminary baseline report.

Phase 2

Phase 2 of the exercise largely built on the outcome of Phase 1 and the main objectives was to review the research domains identified in Phase 1 in specific thematic expert panels.

Thematic Fields:
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
  • Law, Economy and Finance
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Life Sciences
  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Prior to the thematic workshop a workshop with high ranking stakeholders of the Luxembourg society was organised to identify the major challenges Luxembourg is facing in the future in order set a frame for the research prioritites to be identified in the subsequent step.

Stakeholder Workshop

Aims :
  • Indentification of future challenges for Luxembourg
Approach :
In the stakeholder workshop, several ranking representatives from Luxembourg society, business and research were invited to identify the main challenges which Luxembourg is facing.

Domain expert panels

Aims :
  • Refining priority axes regroupings and objectives of FNR programmes
    • Analysis of priority axes regroupings issuing from 1st Phase
    • Analysis of objectives of the reserach priorities in view of the findings in the Baseline Report
    • Debate on whether research strands will be followed, integrated in other thematic domains or be dropped
Approach :

The goal of these workshops was to (re)define and review the research domains and research issues that had resulted from the first phase, to discuss how the R&D environment might evolve within the given time frame and to "build a case" for prioritization.
In order to frame the tentative research priorities into concrete terms, a 2nd series of workshops was organised in February 2007. At these workshops, participants critically assessed and validated the proposed research priorities in the light of the criteria mentioned above. Participants discussed the objectives, the rationales, the feasibility and the implementation issues of each domain. Consequently, all research domains were further grounded and clarified, some of them were to a certain extend redefined.

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Published on: 2007-10-24 (22451 reads)

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