BOHEMIA is the main EU strategic foresight study supporting the Commission’s proposal for Horizon Europe, helping the European Commission to identify its Research and Innovation priorities.
BOHEMIA – Beyond the Horizon: foresight in support of future EU research and innovation policy – was funded by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (R&I).
For the first time in the history of R&I Framework Programmes, this comprehensive foresight exercise was launched to complement the traditional approach relying on the evaluation of past Programmes combined with wide consultations among stakeholders.
BOHEMIA investigated all scientific and technological domains, along with their potential synergies and trade-offs.
Another innovative feature of the project was the explicit reference to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which provided BOHEMIA with its basic framework of objectives.
Concretely, BOHEMIA produced:
A review of existing R&I oriented foresight studies at European, national and subnational level
A set of meta-scenarios to frame the macro-dynamics of societal needs and technological opportunities and the associated R&I challenges and policy options
A wide-scope DELPHI exercise to elicit mega trends, drivers, and weak signals that will affect future R&I challenges and policy priorities
What We Did
ISINNOVA led the scenario building component of the project, designing and implementing a highly participatory process to:
Define and agree upon the scope and structure of the macro areas to be investigated. Rather than adopting a traditional approach by thematic area, this scoping phase was driven by societal needs and aspirations, in order to gear R&I needs to the ultimate objective of developing people-centred research strategies
Scan a wide and varied body of information sources to document current and emerging trends (scientific, technological, societal) that can contribute to meeting societal needs
Framing and developing a set of alternative scenarios, reflecting different visions and their differentiated impacts on the achievement of the SDGs.
Scenarios were developed both at the level of macro areas and, within each of those, “mini-scenarios” were illustrated focusing on critical dimensions.
Our Added Value
BOHEMIA produced a series of reports that were officially published by the European Commission, and widely quoted in Horizon European preparation documents and beyond.
The overall project success stems from the high professionalism of the team, but more specifically from two fundamental ingredients that ISINNOVA champions across all of its activities:
Multidisciplinarity and systems thinking as fundamental prerequisites to address complex and wide-ranging challenges, such as the design and development of a multi-billion, all-encompassing R&I funding programme
Participation, with the capability to mobilise and actively engage a broad range of stakeholders in devising a funding programme that will not only affect the research community but, ultimately and most importantly, society at large, its economic actors and all citizens
“Many of the innovations in this report sound like science fiction, but are on the way to becoming science fact. It is fascinating and refreshing to get such a broad overview of potential future innovations together with an analysis of Europe’s relative position on the world stage. This report will help policymakers across Europe prepare for the future and will intrigue anyone interested in what that future will look like” – Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.
Click here to read about the European Commission’s view on BOHEMIA.