16 February 2015:

Andersen & Andersen (2014) describe in their research the co-evolution of conceptualisations of innovation, innovation policy and foresight over the past seventy years and provide an overview of the various phases of innovation and foresight models:

– 1st generation models prior to WWII with innovation as a linear process from scientific discovery through technological development in firms;
– 2nd generation demand-pull innovation models from the mid-60s with focus on growth, productivity and large-scale industries;
– 3rd generation innovation models in the 1970s driven by market consolidation and rationalisation with the need for discovery, broader market perspectives and links to socio-economic data;
– 4th generation innovation models driven by technology and production advancements in the 1980s, organisational innovation and the rise of Japanese firms; and
– 5th generation innovation models emerging in the 1990s which accounted for enhanced complex market dynamics driven by ICT and networking process involving vertical and horizontal (joint R&D and strategic alliances) linkages.

Based on their research, the authors suggest a new approach through an “Innovation System (IS) Foresight” model which provides a foresight approach that “… explicitly takes the IS framework as its theoretical underpinning and thus operates with a systemic, contextual and evolutionary understanding of innovation”. The authors define IS Foresight as a “… systemic, systematic, participatory, future-intelligence-gathering and medium-to-long-term vision-building process aimed at present-day decisions and mobilising joint actions to improve innovation system performance with the ultimate goal of improving desirable socio-economic performance”.

The presented and modified framework (from Andersen & Rasmussen 2012) with generic phases includes eight steps across pre-foresight, foresight and post-foresight activities:

Fig. 1. Innovation System Foresight (ISF): Generic Phases and Steps in a Foresight Exercise (Andersen & Andersen 2014, following Andersen & Rasmussen 2012)

Fig. 1. Innovation System Foresight (ISF): Generic Phases and Steps in a Foresight Exercise (Andersen & Andersen 2014, following Andersen & Rasmussen 2012)

This authors conclude that “… the concept of innovation system foresight (ISF) constitutes an improved integration of the contemporary understanding of innovation into foresight” and provides four areas for further research, including 1) conceptual design of foresight, 2) definition of foresight goal and scope, 3) participation of actors, and 4) methods for mapping the present.

Andersen, Allan Dahl & Andersen, Per Dannemand 2014, “Innovation system foresight”, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, vol. 80, October, pp. 276–286.

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