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Forward Visions for the European Research Area

The VERA project aimed to provide relevant strategic intelligence for the future governance and priority-setting of the research, technology, development and innovation (RTDI) system in Europe and for better adapting science, technology and innovation (STI) policy to the shifting global environment and upcoming socio-economic challenges. For this purpose VERA carried out an in-depth stocktaking of RTDI related forward looking activities in Europe and internationally and a thorough review of trends and drivers of long-term change of European RTDI governance. On the base of these insights VERA developed scenarios on the evolution of the European Research Area, assessed the critical issues for the ERA’s future capabilities emerging from these scenarios, explored subsequent strategic options and ultimately generated a set of policy recommendations for responsive and future oriented multi-level, multi-domain RTDI policy strategies.

Related sector

  • M - Professional, scientific and technical activities
  • N - Administrative and support service activities
  • O - Public administration and defence; compulsory social security

Lead organisation

Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research - Research and education actor ( Public research organisations (non-HEI) )

Geographical scope

EU countries

Top foresight methods

  • Workshops
  • Expert Panels
  • Brainstorming
  • Critical Issues Analysis
  • Conferences

Application Area

  • Science and Research Policy


  • Open dialogue among ERA actor groups from society, industry, academia and policy in order to jointly discover shared visions and strategic options to accomplish ERA’s 2020 Vision.
  • Enhance participation of relevant actors in the dialogue on the strategic options for ERA.
  • Engage stakeholders in an appropriate manner and to ensure that international perspectives are integrated.
  • Engage with key stakeholders to explore strategic responses on the critical issues for the ERA evolution
  • Provide sound recommendations on research, technology development and innovation (RTDI) policies and their governance and coordination across ERA

Critical Issues from assessment: