Foresight helps Government think systematically about the future.
Foresight reports directly to the Government Chief Scientific Adviser and the
Cabinet Office and is a part of the Government
Office for Science within the
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. The current round of Foresight
activities look at three or four different projects at any one time. Topics can
be either issues where science and research hold the promise of solutions, or an
area of cutting edge science or research where the potential applications and technologies
have yet to be considered and articulated.
Projects bring together key people from academia, industry and government, and
summarise knowledge and ideas, to identify where new research and technologies could
provide solutions to major UK issues (e.g. flooding and coastal defence, mental
capital and wellbeing) or might have wide ranging impacts (e.g. cognitive systems)
and to agree what actions are needed now to make the most of these opportunities.
Current Foresight projects include:
The Research Councils work collectively and individually with the Foresight teams
to identify possible topics for future Foresight Programmes. Research Councils are
also represented on the High-Level Stakeholder Group set up for each project and
provide access to expert researchers and research information.
The outputs from Foresight projects can vary significantly, but usually include:
a state of the art review of the area of science or research; futures analysis;
and policy options for Government, industry, research funders and others, and networks
of key players. As such, the Research Councils ensure that the outputs from Foresight
projects are used as an input to the development of scientific strategies and priorities,
and in the formulation of programmes and funding initiatives where this is relevant.