The overarching objective of BOHEMIA (Beyond the Horizon: Foresight in Support of the Preparation of the European Union’s Future Policy in Research and Innovation) is to identify priorities and themes for Future European R&I policy and to provide a description of the issues that should be addressed by R&I policy and funding. The time horizon considered in the project is 2040. By this time, the results of research and innovation activities funded by the next European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation are expected to reach a very substantial impact in practice. Project BOHEMIA involves three main phases:

  • Explore possible alternative futures setting the societal, economic and political conditions and boundaries for EU R&I policy;
  • Assess the possible future evolution of socio-economic as well as of scientific and technological challenges, needs and opportunities;
  • Recommend potential priority areas and policy approaches for addressing them.

The project starts with the analysis of a wide range of foresight and strategic intelligence sources, addressing different types of future developments: emerging technological trends and societal challenges, innovation opportunities, new R&I practices, and wider contextual developments.

This information is synthesized into a set of scenarios that aim to sketch possible future settings and boundary conditions for the development of future R&I policy and funding. BOHEMIA develops pairs of scenarios for seven domains: global political and socio-economic context, climate and energy, environment and ecosystem resources and services, health, security and resilience, accelerating innovation, and ‘a world of cities’.

The approach of developing pairs of context scenarios was chosen in order to capture the variability of the future in a simple manner, by distinguishing for each pair between a “perseverance scenario” and a “transition scenario”. Transition scenarios entail major structural and institutional changes in the seven domains explored. They define the requirements and opportunities for future R&I, but also point to important implications for other policy areas and strategies of stakeholders. As for the perseverance scenarios, the fundamental structural and institutional conditions prevail more or less as they are today.

  • The resulting report, Future scenarios for research & innovation policies in Europe, is available here.

Further on, Bohemia invites experts across Europe and the globe to engage to assess future technologies, societal issues, and R&I practices through a Delphi survey.  The latter draws on a unique and innovative methodology (“Dynamic Argumentative Delphi” – DAD) that enables not only the assessment of Delphi statements, but also supporting or questioning the statements by proposing and evaluating arguments.

  • The resulting study, Data from a Delphi survey in support of future European Union policies in research and innovation, is available here.

Finally, BOHEMIA aims to build on the scenarios and the results of the Delphi in order to derive policy recommendations. The Delphi results supply the foundation for the formulation of more targeted scenarios, which provide orientation for possible thematic directions in future R&I policy. The targeted scenarios are validated and refined in a workshop with the EC Foresight Correspondents’ Network, and subsequently subjected to a final online consultation. The latter aims to deliver an overall assessment of the perceived relevance of the targeted scenarios for European R&I policy, and an amended and ranked list of R&I items perceived as potential priorities within each of the targeted scenarios.
The project team:

The project draws on a team of highly experienced foresight and R&I policy experts, who have been involved in several key foresight and R&I policy projects at national and European level. AIT has a long-standing track record in matters of foresight and its use in the context of R&I policy at regional, national, European and international levels, also covering a broad range of sectoral domains. ISIS has a strong track record in scenario development, addressing domains such as energy, transport and cities, as well as global developments. Institutul de Prospectiva has substantial expertise in developing and implementing Delphi-survey instruments; and extensive experience with the use of online tools in the context of policy research and public participation. Finally, Fraunhofer-ISI has excellent expertise in Delphi and other foresight methods, but can also draw on a broad range of thematic competencies for policy analysis and development.

Project partners

  • Austrian Institute of Technology
  • Institutul de Prospectiva
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI
  • ISINNOVA, the Institute of Studies for the Integration of Systems