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A Bridge between Science and Practice

On May 20, 2013, as part of Innovation Media Day, a discussion panel ‘Technologies of the Future: A View from Innovation Leaders, Development Institutions, and Media’ took place. The panel was organized by the HSE, RIA Novosti, and Russian Venture Company.

On May 20, 2013, as part of Innovation Media Day, a discussion panel ‘Technologies of the Future: A View from Innovation Leaders, Development Institutions, and Media’ took place. The panel was organized by the HSE, RIA Novosti, and Russian Venture Company.

Discussion panel ‘Technologies of the Future: A View from Innovation Leaders, Development Institutions, and Media’
Discussion panel ‘Technologies of the Future: A View from Innovation Leaders, Development Institutions, and Media’

Ozcan Saritas, HSE Professor and researcher at the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, spoke about how Foresight doesn’t predict the future but makes it possible to detect ‘early signals of change’, set priorities on the use of limited resources, and outline an action plan in order to make the desired future real. Foresight, in fact, is the first step to innovation.

A system for monitoring global trends has been created at the HSE, not only in technological areas but also in the sphere of the economy and social relations. Professor Saritas outlined some of these trends: growing human functional capabilities, the development of communication between various computer devices, the creation of artificial forms of life (including those created using nanotechnology), and the development of sustainable energy and new transportation technologies.

Another project, ‘A Forecast of the Russian Science and Technology Development up to 2030’, which was commissioned by the RF Ministry of Education and Science and prepared by the HSE, was presented by Alexander Chulok, Head of the HSE’s Foresight Center Department. Over 2,000 experts analyzed dozens of challenges, threats, and opportunities in priority areas of the development of science and technology, from the life sciences to transport and space systems.

The results of the forecast are not very comforting. While in some areas (such as nano- and biotechnologies) Russia has made some ‘good starts’, in many fields the situation is critical: in order to avoid falling behind global trends, active work in those areas should have been started several years ago.

According to Alexander Chulok, it is necessary to ‘bridge the gap between science and business’. Researchers need to understand what technologies are necessary to create products whose characteristics which will be in demand with consumers in several years’ time.

Oleg Seregin, HSE News Service