Future scenarios for research & innovation policies in Europe
The growing complexity of the world will require that society develop more options for coping. Options will come from new discoveries, inventions, ideas – in short, from research and innovation. This foresight report, commissioned by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, draws on a broad range of sources about megatrends shaping the world today and projects them forward into the 2030s. The report describes two possible outcomes: That the trends go on unmanaged and uncontrolled, or that society takes action. The first outcome would be negative: climate change, environmental degradation, explosive migration, an unhealthy population, crowded and dangerous cities, mass unemployment and global strife – and Europe a victim. The second outcome would be positive: climate control, sustainable land and sea management, a circular economy with greater productivity, a healthier and longer-lived population with fulfilling work and leisure, peace – and Europe a leader. The report goes on to illustrate specific ways in which research and innovation could help Europe realise the positive scenario or at least minimise the harm of the negative.