Third and Last Announcement and Call for Papers

EU-US Scientific Seminar on New Technology Foresight, Forecasting & Assessment Methods

mardi 17 février 2004

13-14 May 2004,
Seville, Spain

The analysis of rapidly emerging technologies is vital to decision making today. Such analysis informs critical choices at all levels from international (e.g., European Union), through national and regional, to organizational (e.g., firm). The decisions that need such information include : scoping or awareness raising on emerging technologies ; prioritizing R&D efforts ; managing the risks of technological innovation ; managing technology portfolios ; and enhancing technological competitiveness of products, processes, and services.

Recent years have seen a rejuvenation and growth in future-oriented technology analyses (FTA) to meet these demands. Today they form a set of partly overlapping fields of practice, including : technology foresight, forecasting, intelligence, roadmapping, and assessment. This diversity reflects the complexity of demands for FTA relating to differences in scope (geographic scale and time horizon) ; relationship to decision making, the extent of participation ; the purpose of the analysis (awareness raising, envisioning, consensus building, corporate technology planning, etc) ; the reliability of source information ; and so on.

During the recent sharp expansion of FTA, there has been little systematic attention to conceptual development, research on improved methods, methodological choice, or how best to merge empirical/analytical methods with stakeholder engagement processes. This scientific seminar aims to provide an occasion for methodological innovators and practitioners to begin to share and germinate ideas.

The seminar will be organized to encourage cross-fertilization in a number of key areas that have been identified by the Technology Futures Analysis Methods Working Group (see paper). To this end abstracts are invited for each of six thematic sessions. The themes for the six sessions are :

1. Methodological selection : experience and guidance on which methods to use for what purpose, when and in what combination with other techniques.

2. Process management : what is the relationship between the aims and scope of FTA and the analytical methods employed ? What lessons can we take from public policy analysis processes for FTA ? Examples of good practice on how to scope FTA.

3. Models and voices : how to successfully integrate human (and expert) judgments and formal analytical methods. How to successfully implement and combine ’hard’(quantitative ; empirical ; numerical) and ’soft’(qualitative ; judgmentally based ; reflecting tacit knowledge) techniques, and how to back up these methods with other techniques dealing with information negotiation.

4. What’s the use ? conceptual frameworks and evaluation lessons learned from attempts to increase the impact of FTA. Experiences on the validity and utility of FTA by assessing both process and content factors.

5. Tales from the frontier : new methods for FTA — e.g., exploiting information resources in new ways, interactive simulations, fostering participation, and visualization of findings.

6. Importing ideas : analysis of methods and tools that have been or could be adopted from other fields.

Papers, whose length should be from 5000 to 7000 words, should have a mix of substantive empirical and conceptual analysis will be subject to the following timetable :

27 February 2004 Closing date for submission of abstracts (<500 words)

12 March 2004 Advice of acceptance of abstract

23 April 2004 Deadline for receipt of final paper for inclusion in the proceedings

We especially welcome papers that provide practical cases. We especially seek papers on items 5 and 6. A selection of papers will be published in a book edited by the Technology Futures Analysis Methods Working Group. We will try to provide support to attend the conference for those whose papers are chosen for presentation in the parallel sessions. We will actively encourage submissions by young researchers under the age of 35, and we will provide grants for participation in the seminar. In addition we would like to encourage papers that are not coming directly from the FTA fields but from other fields whose methods might find application in FTA.

Abstracts should clearly indicate to which of the six thematic sessions they aim to contribute. They should be sent in electronic format (preferably MS Word) to the following e-mail address :

ftaseminar@jrc.es

We have attached to this message a collectively authored stage setting paper that will appear in the journal Technological Forecasting and Social Change. This paper summarizes the state-of-the-art of the main methods of FTA.

Please forward this call to your colleagues who might have an interest in contributing.

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