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					IST –2001-37627
FISTERA - THEMATIC NETWORK ON FORESIGHT ON
INFORMATION SOCIETY TECHNOLOGIES IN THE EUROPEAN
RESEARCH AREA



        WP 1 - REVIEW AND ANALYSIS OF NATIONAL FORESIGHT
                     D1.2 – SECOND SYNTHESIS

                                      STATUS: PUBLIC
                                   PARTNER RESPONSIBLE:
         FZK-ITAS Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft

                      Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse

                                                    Germany

                                  DATE OF PREPARATION: 27 July 2005




AUTHOR:
The present report was prepared by Michael Rader, ITAS




The FISTERA network is supported by the European Community under the FP5 specific program for
research, technological development and demonstration on a user-friendly information society (1998-
2000).

Copyright of the document belongs to the European Communities.

Disclaimer
The views expressed in this document are those of the authors. The European Commission is not
responsible neither for the views nor for the use made of the information contained in this report.
FISTERA – THEMATIC NETWORK – IST-2001-37627 D1.2 Second Synthesis, Review and Analysis
of National Foresight



                                             WHAT IS FISTERA?

FISTERA is a Thematic Network on Foresight on Information Society Technologies in the European Research
Area.

The FISTERA network is supported by the European Community under the FP5 specific program for research,
technological development and demonstration on a user-friendly information society (1998-2002).

The aim of the FISTERA Thematic Network is bring together on a systematic and extended basis, actors and
insights in national foresight exercises on IST in the Enlarged Europe.

Main objectives:

         Compare results of national foresight exercises and exchange visions on the future of IST
         Provide a new forum for interactive consensus building on future visions for IST
         Contribute to the European Research Area through benchmarking and community building, by providing
         a dynamic pan European platform on foresight on IST

In order to meet these three key objectives, FISTERA will:

         Review and analyse the national foresight exercise outcomes (a country synthesis report)
         Build aggregate pan European Technology trajectories (a roadmap of potential developments of key
         emerging technologies)
         Map the European IST actor space (an analysis of the EU IST actor space)
         Provide an IST Futures Forum (strategically selected scenario exercises that will look at wider aspects of
         applications of IST)
         Disseminate the results to a targeted audience by various means (a dynamic website at the address
         http://fistera.jrc.es/, an e-mail alert service, publications, conference presentations, a "road-show" of
         workshops and a final conference)

Network Membership:
Core partners (coordinators, work package leaders):

         JRC-IPTS (Institute for Prospective Technological Studies), part of the European Commission's Joint
         Research Centre, Scientific Coordinator of the network.
         FZK - ITAS (Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft, Institut für
         Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse), Germany.
         TILAB (Telecom Italia Lab - Scenarios of the Future), Italy.
         ARC/sr (ARC Seibersdorf research GmbH, Division Systems Research Technology-Economy-
         Environment, Seibersdorf), Austria.
         PREST (Policy Research in Engineering, Science and Technology) of the University of Manchester,
         United Kingdom.
         GCI (GOPA - Cartermill International), Belgium, Administrative and Financial Co-ordinator.

The group of Members, which is expected to grow over the duration of the contract, currently includes the
following organisations: TNO-STB (The Netherlands), Danish Teknologisk Institut (Denmark),
TecnoCampusMataró (Spain), Observatório de Prospectiva da Engenharia e da Tecnologia-OPET (Portugal),
ARC Fund (Bulgaria), IQSOFT (Hungary), Tubitak (Turkey), The Researchers' Association of Slovenia (Slovenia),
NMRC, University College Cork (Ireland) and BRIE-Berkeley University (USA). In addition, McCaughan
Associates (McCA) runs a group of High-level Experts to the Network Management Committee.

                                  FISTERA Web site: http://fistera.jrc.es/




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Contents

Executive Summary .............................................................................................................................................. 4
     Aims of the Second Synthesis Report ................................................................................................................ 4
     Main Findings with Respect to the European Dimension .................................................................................. 4
     Technology trends and issues: NBIC ................................................................................................................. 5
     Technology trends and issues: hardware and networks...................................................................................... 5
     Trends and issues in Services and Specific Application Areas .......................................................................... 6
     Other Results: Plans and visions ........................................................................................................................ 7

1.       Background and Objectives........................................................................................................................ 8
     1.1          General................................................................................................................................................. 8
     1.2          The Studies Selected for this Report.................................................................................................... 8
     1.3          Discussion of Selection Criteria........................................................................................................... 9

2.       Data on Countries Covered and on the European Perspective ............................................................. 10
     2.1          Selected Data on Countries Covered in this Report ........................................................................... 10
     2.2          The European Dimension in Foresight .............................................................................................. 12

3.       Strengths and Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats ........................................................................ 17
     3.1          By Country......................................................................................................................................... 17
     3.2          Summary of Findings on Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) .................... 23

4.       IST in the Foresight Exercises .................................................................................................................. 25
     4.1          Introduction........................................................................................................................................ 25
     4.2      Physical Aspects of ISTs.................................................................................................................... 27
        4.2.1   Convergence of Nano, Bio, Info, Cogno and Beyond ............................................................... 28
     4.3          Software-related Developments ......................................................................................................... 43
     4.4    Ambient Computing........................................................................................................................... 52
        Korea: ......................................................................................................................................................... 52
     4.5          Application Areas .............................................................................................................................. 55
     4.6         Non –technical Issues......................................................................................................................... 65
        -.................................................................................................................................................................... 67

5.       IST Visions ................................................................................................................................................. 67

6.       Other Important Results........................................................................................................................... 73

         Literature ................................................................................................................................................... 81

Annex: Tabular Overview of Studies ................................................................................................................ 83




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Executive Summary

Aims of the Second Synthesis Report

(1) This report presents a synthesis of the foresight studies reviewed and analyzed during the
    second phase of work done on work package 1 (WP1) with special focus on IST relevant
    results.
(2) Foresight studies selected for review in the second phase were on the one hand new foresight
    exercises undertaken within the enlarged EU, and on the other hand non-European studies.
    Reference are also made to major exercises already covered in the first synthesis report (Rader
    et al. 2003) where these activities have been continued, e.g. the German "Futur" project or
    United Kingdom Foresight.
(3) The studies covered in this report are:
        -    two recent EU member state studies from Greece (the Greek Technology Foresight
             programme) and Sweden (the second foresight study),
        -    Science and Technology Foresight for Israel (Israel)
        -    from the USA, work by the Rand Corporation for the National Intelligence Council,
             USA, and a report by the National Science Foundation and the US Department of
             Commerce on “Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance”
             (2001);
        -    various foresight-like activities in Korea, focussing strongly on IST-related fields, i.e.
             The “Vision 2025” (2000); The “National Technology Road Map” (2002); and The
             “Master Plan for KBE” (2002);
        -    The Canadian Science and Technology Foresight Pilot Project;
        -    The Seventh Japanese Technology Foresight (2001);
(4) This shift of focus to non-European studies took place in order to learn from foreign
    experiences. Consequently the task of review and analysis was broadened to include two new
    items:
        -    Comparison of aims, results and concerns from foresight studies or related studies
             from European and non-European countries.
        -    Extraction of non-European perceptions of the European position within in a rapidly
             globalising economy.
(5) The definition of foresight applied for the second phase was relaxed. While the studies
    selected for the first phase were required to qualify as "foresight" with a significant
    participatory element, this report includes also studies oriented strongly towards future
    developments in science and technology and of society in general, but lacking the element of
    “participation”.

Main Findings with Respect to the European Dimension

(6) According to these studies, the future of Europe is not at all certain and depends largely on
    important choices which should be made in the near future.
(7) To some extent, the future position of Europe is contingent on developments, such as the
    relative importance of sustainable development, where Europe is perceived as being fairly
    strong.

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(8) Cultural diversity is both a challenge and a particular opportunity for Europe. If Europe is
    unsuccessful in achieving social cohesion, this diversity could lead to problems, such as social
    unrest. If Europe develops concepts for integration which it can successfully implement, this
    diversity can prove a strength in the development of applications of technology.
(9) Certainly, a major challenge will be the aging of European society.
(10) Europe’s position in research and development is regarded as likely to be challenged by
    such regions as China and India.
(11) Poor links between the academic sector and industry leading to deficits in innovation seem
    to be a common problem globally since it is also mentioned for Korea and Canada. Similarly,
    obsolete regulatory and legal frameworks act as barriers to innovation, not only in Europe.
(12) An option to overcome skill shortages is specialisation in higher education, concentrating
    on areas of special competence. With such specialisation, it should be possible to attract
    foreign students, creating loyalties, which could help to overcome local skill shortages or to
    forge links for collaboration when the students return to their home countries.

Technology trends and issues: NBIC

(13) The general trend for “mainstream” technology is continued miniaturisation and lower
    power consumption. Semi-conductors based on nanotechnology are needed to extend existing
    trends in the future.
(14) While convergence between Nano-, Bio, Info- and Cogno- is very likely a topic of great
    future significance, many technology observers still have to get an adequate hold on the
    subject, to separate a great deal of hype and ideology from true potential.
(15) Some of the developments anticipated in foresight studies are prime candidates for debates
    on ethics, so there are many non-technical issues involved before bold NBIC visions can be
    realised.
(16) While much progress is being made on understanding neural processes in the
    neurosciences, there is still uncertainty how such knowledge can be translated into
    technology.

Technology trends and issues: hardware and networks

(17) Hardware based on the current technology is expected to continue to dominate for at least
    another 15 years before computers based on biotechnology become commonplace. Quantum
    computing is expected to become practical by 2015, but not commonplace before 2030.
(18) Networks are a topic in virtually all foresight studies, i.e. the provision of bandwidth,
    usually via broadband cables or wireless technology. However, Korean experience shows that
    this is only a necessary condition for the knowledge society: non-technical measures for
    education, training and enhancing uptake are equally important.
(19) In mobile communications, most studies again recognise a trend towards more
    sophisticated devices, capable of handling multi-media applications. Two identify portable
    multimedia terminals as a key future technology.
(20) Digital broadcasting is also expected to take off, diminishing existing distinctions between
    computers and home entertainment devices.




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Trends and Issues in Software development
(21) With the spread of technology like mobile devices or embedded/ambient computing,
    software is a key component of technology in knowledge-based societies. Some studies
    emphasise the role of software programming for entertainment purposes, which can spill over
    into other areas.
(22) The studies covered for this second report particularly stress the importance of software
    for complex applications, such as navigation systems, simulation or systems to continuously
    monitor the environment. Complex modelling is mentioned as a traditional strength of some
    new member states.

Trends and issues in Services and Specific Application Areas

(23) Concepts similar to “ambient” computing are mentioned implicitly in several non-
    European reports, so this is likely to be an area for intense international competition.
(24) Security has emerged as an important separate topic in several of the foresight studies.
    Security, privacy and data protection concerns were identified as one of the major barriers to
    widespread acceptance and use of information and communication technology in virtually all
    spheres of everyday life.
(25) Precaution against such events as terrorist attacks and containment of their impacts is still
    an acknowledged task of state authorities. Technology, including information technology, can
    play a key role in preventing incidents or in reducing impact, should they take place. Much of
    the technology required for security purposes is already available, so it is a case of developing
    concepts and deployment to greatest effect.
(26) The other side of the coin is that technology which can be used for terrorist or other
    criminal purposes is becoming readily available and difficult to control and monitor
(27) Most of the studies covered in this report are “post bubble”. It is necessary to underline the
    importance of cultural factors in the diffusion of e-commerce: in certain cultures, it is
    important to actually handle goods before making a purchase, so there are other barriers to
    overcome before e-commerce can become widespread beyond security, privacy and data
    protection which have proved a major barrier in Europe and some other countries.
(28) Health and aging are mentioned as important future application areas in most studies,
    presumably because these are high on political agendas.
(29) Government is identified as an important pioneer user of IT in several studies, although at
    least the Swedish study raises doubts with respect to the current “e-readiness” of existing
    authorities. Another aspect mentioned is the need for streamlining or for crossing
    departmental boundaries to achieve true efficiency.
(30) ISTs offer opportunities for increased citizen participation and some studies also anticipate
    increased demands from citizens for the introduction of more participation and involvement in
    decision-making
(31) Environment, sustainable development and “comfortable living” are an important future
    application area for ISTs, for example in complex systems designed to monitor the
    environment. With the anticipated increase in globalisation and corresponding flows of goods
    and travel by humans, applications for transport and travel are mentioned in many studies.
(32) Many of the studies covered in this report address the use of technology for automatic
    translation, which continues to be high on the agenda, although doubts are at times expressed
    with respect to realisation.



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Other Results: Plans and visions

(33) The visions contained in the studies covered for this report range from the very bold vision
    of a new renaissance of science and ensuing “golden age” under the leadership of the USA to
    alternative visions of individual countries depending on the decisions made for their futures
    today.
(34) Even in those countries whose foresight activities have traditionally focused largely on
    technology, such as Japan, there is greater awareness of the social dimension of technology,
    for example in the recommendation “that actors should be creating technology trends instead
    of simply forecasting them”. Among the conclusions drawn from such findings are the stress
    on interdisciplinarity in technological development and demand orientation.
(35) Some studies contain fairly concrete plans for the short to medium term on steps needed to
    achieve the longer-term societal goals. A major message of the Swedish exercise is the need
    to enter a societal dialogue on desirable futures.
(36) Both the Korean and the Canadian studies contain at least one vision very similar to the
    Lisbon objectives.




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1. Background and Objectives

1.1 General

The task of work package 1 of the FISTERA network project is to construct an IST sector specific
analysis for an enlarged Europe (EU 25+) taking into account national Foresight exercises, and
building upon existing general comparisons of foresight studies. Differences between foresight
studies in different countries will be explained with the aim of drawing conclusions on IST
developments and IST-foresight requirements at the European level. A major aim of the work
package is to provide a basis for other FISTERA activities in the subsequent work packages 2 to
4.
A novel aspect of FISTERA and the work done in work package 1 is its focus on a single area of
technology, namely Information Society Technologies. The intention of the work package is
eventually to provide a concise overview of IST aspects of recent foresight studies at the national
level in European Countries, the United States, and Pacific Rim countries with a view on
identifying European IST priorities.
The first synthesis report covered national foresight studies from Austria, the Czech Republic,
France, Germany (Futur), Hungary, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (the second cycle).

1.2 The Studies Selected for this Report

This present report covers the results of the second phase of work done on work package 1 (WP1).
It contains a review and analysis of selected national foresight exercise outcomes. In contrast to
phase 1, the focus is largely on non-European studies, which has a twofold aim:
   -   Comparison of aims, results and concerns from foresight studies or related studies from
       European and non-European countries.
   -   Analysis of non-European perceptions of the situation of and within Europe in a rapidly
       globalising economy.
Among the cases covered are two recent EU member state studies from Greece and Sweden (the
second foresight study) and a study from Israel, a country with strong European orientations
which is sometimes regarded as a “future tiger”. The other case studies done to prepare this
document are:
   -   Work by the Rand Corporation for the National Intelligence Council, USA, for its “Global
       Trends” report, most notably Antón et al.(2001): The global technology revolution:
       bio/nano/materials trends and their synergies with information technology by 2015;
   -   The report by the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Commerce on
       “Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance” (2002);
   -   Various foresight-like activities in Korea, focussing strongly on IST-related fields (The
       “Vision 2025” (2000); The “National Technology Road Map” (2002); and The “Master
       Plan for KBE” (2002));
   -   The Canadian Science and Technology Foresight Pilot Project, which included two pilot
       studies on “Biosystemics” and “Geostrategics”, both of which have a strong IST element;
   -   The Seventh Japanese Technology Foresight (2001). This is the latest of the series to have
       published reports. The eighth foresight is nearing completion, but it is unlikely that there
       will be any reports in English before the autumn of 2005 (personal communication by
       Akihiro Fujii of NISTEP, 2 March 2005).

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Reference will also be made to major exercises which represent a continuation of activities
already covered in the first synthesis report (Rader et al. 2003), such as the second German
“Futur” project, which pursues much the same approach as the first, or the third wave of UK
foresight, which is thematically focused rather than broad-ranging as were its predecessors. In
contrast, the second Swedish Foresight still covers a very broad range of technologies, so that it
was covered by a case study to pinpoint any differences in perceptions between 2000, when the
first study was completed, and 2004, when the reports on the second study were published.
An interim report, based on preliminary findings from three recent foresight studies (Rader, 2004)
has been incorporated and updated for this present report. This was focused on the three areas
security, convergence and the “new economy”.
This document has been prepared by the workpackage leader, the Institute for Technology
Assessment of Karlsruhe Research Centre (FZK-ITAS).

1.3 Discussion of Selection Criteria

While this report still has “national foresight” in its title, the definition of foresight has been
relaxed even further than for the first synthesis report: the first report covered cases described as
“national foresight”, this report includes studies oriented strongly towards future developments in
science and technology and of society in general, even if they do not lay any claim to being
“foresight” or “future studies”. This was due to decisions within the FISTERA team to
particularly examine certain newly emerging trends like convergence between Nanotechnology,
Biotechnology, Information Technology and the Cognitive Sciences (NBIC), or the treatment of
security as an issue in studies published after September 11 2001.
The Rand Corporation offers a pragmatic definition of foresight: “A foresight activity examines
trends and indicators of possible future development without predicting a single state or timeline
and is thus distinct from a forecast or scenario development activity”. The references given for
this definition are Coates (1985), Martin and Irvine (1989), and Larson (1999).




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2. Data on Countries Covered and on the European Perspective

2.1 Selected Data on Countries Covered in this Report

As in the first synthesis report, this section contains selected figures on the countries covered in
the report, mainly on research and development expenditure and on the importance of IST for the
country concerned. Statistics for these indicators are still not collected uniformly and although
there are or have been collections of data relevant to the information society, the related
endeavours have lacked continuity (e.g. Hobley 2001, which compiles useful figures on internet
use, electronic commerce, IT and related figures for the EU, but seems to have been a one-off
effort). Other activities have been related to ERA and the 3 percent target for R&D expenditure
(e.g. DG Research 2004). Nonetheless, it continues to be difficult to find comparable and reliable
figures for such indicators as internet access.
Despite EU enlargement which has mainly involved countries with low access levels, the
percentage of households with internet access across the EU has grown slightly from 40.4 to 42
percent from 2002 to 2004. The number of enterprises with internet access is nearing the 90%
mark. Of the two EU member states covered by case studies, Greece is at the lower end of the
scale for virtually all indicators, while Sweden is at the top end. This is particularly visible for
such factors as R&D expenditure or home access to the Internet. However, Greek enterprises are
not far behind EU average in terms of internet access.
With the exception of South Korea, the non-European countries covered are above EU-25 average
for all indicators. In the case of Korea, GDP per capita is lower than the EU 25 average, but
growth rates are probably higher, so that Korea will no doubt overtake EU-25 average in the
foreseeable future.
Not reflected sufficiently in the statistic on internet access is Korea’s much-admired effort in
creating a broadband ICT infrastructure for the country. In this connection, it is interesting to note
that European broadband subscriptions are expected “to outpace the US by 2007” (Greenspan
2003).




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Country/region                      EU 25            Greece        Sweden   Canada      Israel        Japan     South    USA
                                                                                                                Korea
Inhabitants in 1000 (2002)          377,131          10,988        8,909    31,262      6,442         127,006   47,640   287,676

GDP at current prices and 9,754                      153           267      769         121           3,798     605      9,727
exchange rates (bio €), 2003
GDP per capita in PPS 2003          21.4             17.3          24.6     27.8        19.3          24.4      19.2     32.9

GERD as percentage of GDP 1.93                       0.64 (2001)   4.27                               3.12               2.76
(2003)
Governmental             budget 0.76                 0.28          0.95                               0.71               1.05
allocation to R&D as % of
GDP, 2003
Percentage of households with 42                     17            68       >54.5                               >51.3    >50.5
home internet access (2004)                                                 (2003)                              (2002)   (2001)
Percentage of enterprises with 89                    87            96       76 (2002)                 98
internet access (2004)
Table 1: General indicators on country differences
Sources:
Population:




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2.2 The European Dimension in Foresight

While only two of the countries covered by full case studies for this report are currently members
of the European Union, the EU and individual member states are frequently considered in other
countries’ foresight activities, usually when comparing a country’s performance with its
competitors in the global market or with a view to cooperation.
As stated before, the two EU countries are currently at extremely different stages of IST
development and have made widely differing progress towards the achievement of EU targets,
such as the Lisbon objectives and the 3% target for R&D spending. In contrast to most European
foresight studies covered in the first FISTERA synthesis report, the European dimension figures
quite heavily in both of these foresight studies, although this is to be read with the caution that
information on the Greek foresight study is restricted largely to what was available on the project
web-site as of March 2005 and a report for the EUFORIA project. While this latter report involves
many of the experts on IST who also provided the input for the Greek foresight study, the results
and opinions are not necessarily identical. It is possible that some opinions will have changed due
to events having taken place since work for EUFORIA, or that results reported for the Greek
foresight study will undergo a review process which has influence on what is contained in the
official project report.
Sweden
         As a small country, Sweden has had to find its niche in Europe and the world outside and
         define its own priorities, since it cannot be active across the entire range of technology.
         While the report of the first Swedish foresight study was quite optimistic, underlining
         Sweden’s strengths and “e-readiness” in particular, the second study urges for a “major
         and far-reaching initiative to modernize Sweden” (Swedish Foresight 2004a, p. 39).
         Europe is part of the arena for the future development of Sweden and the final report on
         the second Foresight study recommends an active role for the country in developing the
         infrastructure of Europe as a whole, indicating that such an infrastructure would benefit
         Sweden as well as the rest of Europe. The report recognises an opportunity to market
         Sweden to potential foreign investors as “an innovative knowledge-intensive country” (op.
         cit, p. 31). The report also points out the need to initiate a debate on the areas from which
         Sweden should withdraw (op. cit., p. 37). Even more than the first study, the second
         focuses on the European aspect: not only is the market for Sweden no longer limited to the
         country itself, but initiatives at the European level are needed to ensure that Sweden can
         flourish. It draws the conclusion “that we must ally ourselves with other European nations
         in order to retain and improve our competitiveness” (Swedish Foresight 2004a, p. 30).
Greece
         The Greek foresight programme is oriented strongly towards the European dimension,
         arguing for an analysis of particular weaknesses both at the European and individual
         member-state levels. In the next 10 to 20 years, the programme anticipates that Europe
         will face faster and more spectacular changes than it has ever witnessed before in peace
         time. Drivers for these changes are globalisation, scientific and technological progress, EU
         enlargement, the common currency and the single market, and demographic development,
         notably aging and migration.
         It is argued that Europe needs to improve its position in the global “knowledge society”,
         especially with respect to globalisation, competitiveness and know-how. There are
         existing disparities between rich and poor regions and between those located near the
         centre of the Union and those on the fringes. There is additional danger of new divides
         between the information haves and the information have-nots, and between those with
         full-time employment and those holding part-time jobs (cf. http://www.foresight-gsrt.gr,
         page on Europe: Risks and Challenges).


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         Among the challenges facing Greece is achieving growth rates for the economy without
         community funding (cf. http://www.foresight-gsrt.gr, page on Greece in the Modern
         World).
         Among the inputs to the Greek foresight study are four separate scenarios on the future
         development of Europe:
         -   The United States of Europe: Europe moves toward a federal structure, has a single
             currency, policy on fiscal issues, social welfare, foreign policy and defence converges,
             there are low inflation rates and a single market for persons, goods, services and
             capital. Research, technology and innovation have high priority; the European
             knowledge society is becoming reality as is ERA. Europe is a strong competitor to the
             US and Japan, it is possible to attract researchers to the EU.
         -   Fragmented Europe: currently on-going integration is reversed with the result of
             heterogeneous policies, currencies and markets. Research and innovation have low
             priority; there is less European cooperation than now. There will be significant
             differences throughout Europe with different speeds of development.
         -   Competitive-Liberal Europe: the public sector decreases its significance in all areas
             and is replaced by flourishing private companies Research is the responsibility of
             these companies.
         -   Social-Ecological Europe: state policies are based on social and ecological
             principles. A prime assumption of this scenario is that “(g)lobalisation turns society
             friendly” (ibid).
Israel
         While Israel is strongly oriented towards Europe and also participates actively in the
         Framework Programmes, the existing information on the foresight study does not contain
         any indication of assessments of European positions.
Canada
         Although Canada’s proximity to the US means that the US-Canadian relationship and its
         development play a prominent role in all future-oriented thinking, Europe is mentioned in
         the Canadian Foresight pilots, with Asia, as a partner for reinforced trade and investment
         (p. 52). Europe is also mentioned as a possible role model for governance (p. 18). A
         recommendation to avoid complete dependence on the US is an autonomous immigration
         policy under which skilled immigrants can work in Canada and “sell services or products
         to the US” (p. 52).
Korea
         The Korean foresight activities describe Europe as an emerging economic superpower.
         Europe and individual countries are discussed explicitly in connection with
         competitiveness.
Japan
         The U.S. and Japan were perceived by the 7th Japanese Foresight Study as the leading
         nations in the field of information and communications, with Japan in the lead on topics
         related to size reduction, increasing density or raising performance in devices. The U.S.
         had the lead on software based on new concepts or complex theories, while Japan has a
         slight edge in broadcasting (p. 130).
         Japan is seen as trailing slightly behind the U.S. in the field of electronics, with the EU a
         long way behind (p.170).
United States of America


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       Europe does not really figure in the US nanotechnology and NBIC forward-looking
       activities although one might assume that competition from Europe plays a role in
       devising strategies to gain a global competitive lead. The only real references in the NBIC
       conference report to Europe address the aging of its population and resistance to
       genetically modified maize. On the other hand, the WTEC Panel on nanoparticles,
       nanostructured materials and nanodevices titles its report: Nanostructure Science and
       Technology - A Worldwide Study.
       The panel’s conclusions include the following: (1) In the synthesis and assembly area, the
       U.S. appears to be ahead with Europe following and then Japan; (2) In the area of
       biological approaches and applications, the U.S. and Europe appear to be rather on a par
       with Japan following; (3) In nanoscale dispersions and coatings, the U.S. and Europe are
       again similar with Japan following; (4) For high surface area materials, the U.S. is clearly
       ahead of Europe and then Japan; (5) In the nanodevices area, Japan seems to be leading
       quite strongly with Europe and the U.S. following; In the area of consolidated materials,
       Japan is a clear leader with the U.S. and Europe following.
       The main RAND report examined for this review treats nanotechnology more broadly,
       describing it as the least concrete of the key areas discussed in the report. It is nonetheless
       regarded as essential: “International competition for dominance or even capability in
       cutting edge nanotechnology may still remain strong, but current investments and
       direction indicate that the United States and Europe may retain leadership in most of this
       field” (Antón et al., 2001 36).
       In comparison with the US, European markets are seen as limited by “social concerns”,
       but additionally driven by “educational value” (Anderson et al. 2000). In Europe there was
       greater focus on realising economic value while maintaining and protecting existing
       cultural and social values. There was greater belief in ability to actively shape the course
       of developments to achieve these goals. As a result, there is more determination to
       alleviate disparities than in the US. Privacy is generally more important than in the US
       (ibid).
       A report on the RAND conference on political, economic and social consequences of the
       information revolution presents a series of inferred national models of the information
       revolution future (Hundley et al. 2000, p. xvii).
       -     IR achievers – those who have substantially achieved most goals of the information
             revolution, e.g. Australia;
       -     IR Drivers – nations going beyond being achievers to create new characteristics and
             new manifestations of the information revolution, e.g. the US;
       -     IR Strivers – nations working very hard to achieve the information revolution, e.g.
             Taiwan;
       -     IR Modifiers – nations seeking to actively modify and shape certain characteristics of
             the information revolution to reconcile them with their own values, e.g. Singapore;
       -     IR Veneer Societies – in these, there is a small fraction of society actively
             participating in the information revolution while the vast majority is largely
             unaffected, e.g. India;
       -     IR Left-Behinds – nations almost entirely by-passed by the information revolution,
             e.g. Zaire;
       -     IR Luddites – nations that oppose the very idea of an information revolution, e.g.
             North Korea;
       -     Sore IR Losers – the nations which seek to participate in the IR but at some point fall
             behind and are dissatisfied with this situation.

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       The report actually avoids putting Europe or individual European countries into these
       categories, although it does state that the mentions are only examples and not intended to
       be exhaustive. There could be discussion on whether Europe is an example of IR Drivers
       or Modifiers.
       The national Intelligence Council (NIC) is in the process of assembling a new report on
       “Global Trends 2020” with working papers resulting from workshops and conference
       publicly available on the web. These documents are perhaps of greatest interest where
       they convey the probable US perception of the development of Europe within the
       timeframe.
       -     The EU will continue to expand. The scenario for 2020 anticipates EU membership
             for Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, the Balkans, Turkey and possibly the Ukraine. One
             anticipated result of expansion is decreased homogeneity in living standards.
       -     Europe is expected to steer a course more independent of the US and to have
             economic and political power rivalling the US and China.
       -     Aging is expected to be an important driver for developments in Europe, leading
             ultimately to shifts in the dynamics to regions with greater birth rates.
       -     With regard to science and technology, Europe is expected to remain a centre of
             innovation, although it is likely to be challenged by, among others, China with respect
             to “high-level” products. Europe should be able to maintain its position due to “well-
             established high technology industries and clusters, and its relatively good education
             system…” (Commonwealth Conference Scenario, p.4 of an unnumbered paper).
       -     Nonetheless, it is expected that “old” EU economies will continue to be inflexible,
             causing the region to perform below its economic potential. EU regulations are
             regarded as “costly” and a barrier to growth, particularly in Eastern Europe.
       -     There might be threats to social cohesion due to immigration from poorer regions,
             particularly those with Muslim participation. There are only insufficient concepts of
             integration.
       -     A collapse of Europe as a result of the inability of Germany (particularly) and France
             to come to terms with their structural problems was not ruled out. At any rate, it was
             seen as likely that these two countries will no longer be the motor driving EU
             developments.
Discussion
According to all of the statements contained in the foresight or foresight-like studies examined for
this report, the future of Europe is not at all certain and depends largely on important choices
which should be made in the near future. Certainly, a major challenge will be the aging of
European society, which will
-   Create a demand for technology catering for the needs of older users – Korea identifies a so-
    called “silver society industry” which is expected to emerge as a new high value-added sector
    by 2010,
-   Have an impact on the skill structure of the workforce, possibly creating a demand for lifelong
    learning to counter the problem of skill obsolescence through the aging of the workforce,
-   Probably set policy-makers thinking about immigration policies. Canada has a similar aging
    problem and one of the scenarios for a dynamic and competitive Canada envisages a multi-
    cultural society which has succeeded in integration of immigrants while making the most out
    of cultural diversity.
Similarly, cultural diversity is both a challenge and a particular opportunity for Europe. On the
one hand, if Europe is unsuccessful in achieving social cohesion, this diversity could lead to

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problems, such as social unrest. On the other hand, if Europe develops concepts for integration
which it can successfully implement, this diversity can prove a strength in the development of
applications of technology. The most recent work for the National Intelligence Council argues that
current concepts are inadequate.
Europe can build on high-quality education and skills of its citizens, although, according to the
results of the OECD’s PISA Studies, some Member States’ education systems require a serious
overhaul. Europe’s position in research and development is regarded as likely to be challenged by
such regions as China and India. The regulatory framework, in particular in the old EU 15, is
widely regarded as inflexible and unfavourable for innovation. Germany and France are seen as
losing international stature and, overall, outside perceptions of Europe do not see the region as a
leading player at the global scale, except in very few areas. While the Greek foresight is flavoured
by a fairly similar assessment, stating, in particular, the opinion that Europe is not achieving its
information society goals, the Swedish foresight urges for efforts to upgrade critical aspects of
Europe, such as its infrastructure.
To some extent, the future position of Europe is contingent on developments, such as the relative
importance of sustainable development, where Europe is perceived as being fairly strong,
although the Japanese foresight sees a global US lead on environmental technologies with Japan
in second place and Europe trailing as poor third (p. 377). This could be due to the concentration
of the Japanese study on few selected items suitable for inclusion in a Delphi survey, so it will be
interesting to see which conclusions are drawn on this topic by the ongoing Eighth Study.




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3. Strengths and Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

3.1 By Country

The aim of this section is to analyse the foresights covered by this report with respect to their
findings on particular strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for Europe as a whole
and in its mutual relationships with the individual member states. In the case of non EU
studies, an attempt will be made to draw conclusions for Europe from statements on Europe
and any SWOT elements on the region or country which actually is the subject of each study.
Greece
         Greece is seen as having severe structural weaknesses, although it has the potential to play
         a leading role in the Balkans and the Middle East. It is regarded as essential for the
         country to close the gap to other EU economies and to improve the quality of life for
         average Greek citizens. Movement to a knowledge society bears the risk of social
         exclusion of a significant proportion of the population not ready for the changes.
         Among the challenges facing Greece are achieving growth rates for the economy without
         community funding, structural change in the economy and the development of research
         and technology. There is apparently an obsolete social infrastructure which is being
         rapidly, and at times randomly, modernised, causing confusion and hindering creativity. In
         the cultural sense, Greece is in a particularly paradox situation, since foreign expectations
         are high due to Greek history and traditions, while Greeks are described as being “content
         to have already ‘given too much to the world’” ( cf. http://www.foresight-gsrt.gr, page on
         Greece in the Modern World). This leads to uncertainty on how Greece can be culturally
         “reactivated”.
         In view of the role of tourism and the country’s cultural heritage, the environment is
         mentioned as an important national priority (ibid.). This heading includes sustainable
         development, awareness of environmental issues and cultural heritage, promotion of
         environment and culture as comparative advantages.
Sweden
         The synthesis report on Swedish Foresight consists very largely of a discussion of
         strengths and weaknesses of Sweden at the general level, not specifically with respect to
         IT, although since the report also identifies IT as a vital area of technology, it does
         therefore implicitly also address IT strengths and weaknesses. The strengths are more
         explicitly the subject of the work of the panel on “Inspiration for Innovation” which
         actually identifies areas of technology where Sweden has good potential for the future.
         There are in all 100 fields of technology and knowledge, in which the panel concerned
         believes that Sweden has opportunities for the future. These are split into 11 groups, of
         which the following have IT relevance:
             1. Safer/more secure complex systems. This group includes work on open
                standards, simulation technology, large complex systems, security technology,
                mobile robotics in demanding environments, flexible production systems,
                computer security including software engineering, automation. Road safety
                technology also belongs to this group and might also include IT elements.
             2. Mechanical systems and structures. This group includes rapid product
                development – which usually involves IT use – model-based development,
                microtechnology and Microsystems. The IT connection in this group is weaker
                than in the first, but still present in the examples mentioned.

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             3. Interactive technology. This group includes man-machine interfaces, machine-
                machine interfaces, infotainment technology, electronic paper, intelligent sensors
                and vision, telematics including intelligent transportation systems, and image
                sensors.
             4. Functional materials. This includes bioelectronics, biocomputing and
                traceability, along with fields not classically linked with IT such as biomaterials
                and nanotechnology, which might involve the use of IT in research.
             5. Environmental and life cycle technology. This includes user- and production-
                oriented design, which usually implies the use of IT.
             6. Safety, security and protection include advanced weaponry and network-based
                defence, both of which are probably largely based on IT.
             7. Accessible IT is the bracket term for IT in seamless applications everywhere.
                These include efficient tools for medical care, IT in home health-care, mobile
                communications, batteries and low-energy management, broadband,
                IT/international/e-commerce, language technology, associative memories and
                mobile infrastructure.
             8. Health care technology. This includes gene chip technology, technical aids for
                improved quality of life, computer aided surgery and probably several other
                applications in such things as protein research and engineering, chemical analysis
                and synthesis etc.
       The three groups without any specific link to IT are mobile energy supply, fixed energy
       systems and sustainable food production. Obviously, IT will also be employed in
       applications belonging to these groups, but the main subject identified is not specifically
       IT-based.
       The two Swedish reports discuss some of the shortcomings of the Swedish innovation
       system which imply that good research is not necessarily transformed directly into
       innovation. One factor mentioned by the “Inspiration for Innovation” panel is that
       researchers are working in areas that are connected to industrially interesting fields and
       activities (cf. Swedish Foresight 2004b, p. 12).
       Major weaknesses are recognised in Sweden’s use of human resources. The results of
       underutilisation of energy and creativity are described as frustration, lack of confidence in
       those having power and ill health.
       Remedies to this are opportunities for participation and an overhaul of the taxation system
       to encourage studies, work and innovative entrepreneurship.
       The current education system also is seen as having weaknesses. Although Sweden as a
       whole has been ranked quite high by OECD comparative studies, the panel notes that the
       education received by the “new Swedes” is of far lower quality than the average and thus
       sees a need to end segregation. Overall the report feels that value for money in education
       needs to be boosted in addition to making schools more attractive for teachers and pupils
       (cf. Swedish Foresight 2004a, p. 44).
       The report also sees a need to set priorities and specialise in higher education, which is
       also a prerequisite for international cooperation. Swedish universities are seen as lacking
       in capabilities for interdisciplinary work. There is a need to cater for the interests of
       foreign students and to attract them to study at Swedish universities.
       An interesting finding reported by the Swedish synthesis publication is that lifelong
       learning programs actually tend to widen gaps between groups in society instead of
       narrowing them. This is because those who participate in such programs tend to be the
       already well-educated (Swedish Foresight 2004a, p.45).


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Israel
         There was such a large degree of consensus on two items from the first round of the Israel
         Delphi survey that these were dropped from the second round: relative advantage, or
         strengths, of Israel, and constraints on realisation, or weaknesses. Israel’s main advantages
         are perceived to be scientific competence and quality of human power (the workforce).
         Israel’s shortcomings appear to be in the technical and financial areas (ICTAF 2001, p. II).
         On the positive side, the American University’s web site on the Landscape of IT in
         Nations Around the World, underlines the strongly networked character of Israeli society
         as a result of its geopolitical situation and the resulting role of military service: “The
         compulsory military institutions has (sic.) created a very centralized and team-oriented
         nation, while Israeli world renowned programs and educational institutions have produced
         some of the most talented Information technology developers and workers”.
         (http://www.american.edu/carmel/nk3791a/strengthsandweaknesses.htm).
Japan
         With respect to Japan’s position in ICT, the report by the seventh Foresight study’s sub-
         committee on information and communications includes a statement by a sub-.committee
         member addressing administration, industry, transportation and distribution. This states
         that “(t)he last five years have been characterized by the appearance of the full effects of
         the “lost decade” from the bursting of Japan’s economic bubble, a drop in company R&D
         spending, and a conspicuous loss of confidence by Japan as it fell well behind the U.S. in
         information-related technology” (NISTEP 2001, p.127).
         The U.S. and Japan were perceived as the leading nations in the field of information and
         communications, with Japan in the lead on topics related to size reduction, increasing
         density or raising performance in devices. The U.S. had the lead on software based on new
         concepts or complex theories, while Japan has a slight edge in broadcasting (p. 130).
         Japan is seen as trailing slightly behind the U.S. in the field of electronics, with the EU a
         long way behind (p.170).
Korea
         Both the “Vision 2025” and “Master Plan for KBE” reports contain relatively
         comprehensive and candid analyses of Korea’s strengths and, in particular, weaknesses.
         -   The development of science and technology in Korea has taken place in a
             comparatively short length of time (Vision 2025, p.28). S&T efforts in Korea have
             long been concentrated on emulating, assimilating and improving on technologies
             from “more advanced countries” (op. cit. p. 29). Thus Korea has “to some extent”
             traditionally been dependent on science and technology from other countries (ibid).
             The downside to this is described as: “the nation is currently facing economic, social
             and structural dilemmas, resulting, in part, from neglecting to actively prepare for the
             future…” (ibid). The country “has not yet truly established a core technological
             presence at the world level…”(p.30). In summary, Korea is seen as having a weak
             S&T innovation system (ibid). Lack of cooperation between companies, academia and
             industry is seen as a major deficit.
         -   Both reports recognise insufficient management and deficits in the institutional
             environment. There is insufficient technology transfer, a low level of technical
             cooperation and an unfavourable legal environment. Science and technology is viewed
             largely as a “peripheral factor”. As a special feature, Korea suffers from a high level of
             defence expenditure due to its geo-political situation (division).
         -   Korea has the world’s lowest illiteracy rate at two percent (Vision 2025, p. 33), the
             population has great interest in higher education, the workforce has a high basic level
             of education and there are numerous research groups (ibid).
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       -     At the same time, the quality of the Korean workforce is described as “problematic”
             (Woo 2000, p.6): there is a small proportion of really skilled workers with a large
             number of workers in jobs characterised mainly by repetition. To some extent this is
             balanced by the high level of basic learning ability and the knowledge absorption
             potential which provides capacity for “collective creativity” by means of horizontal
             networking (ibid).
       -     At the regional level, China has lower wage levels and Japan has a higher rate of
             technological development than Korea (Vision 2025, p. 37). This is offset by lower
             costs for technical and research personnel than in Japan and by better R&D production
             technologies, industrial infrastructure and transparency in regulatory systems than in
             China (Woo, p. 6).
       Among the measures proposed uniformly by all reports are the development of human and
       intellectual capital, the establishment of lifelong learning and attracting highly educated
       personnel from overseas.
       Already well-known are Korean efforts to create and continually upgrade a modern IT
       communication infrastructure, which are seen as an essential step to achieving world-class
       status for Korean industry in important areas. The Korean government’s endeavours in the
       field of broadband are widely acknowledged (cf. for example Tuomi 2005, who speaks of
       a “miracle”).
       Even so, the “Broadband IT Vision Korea 2007” identifies some problems with the
       broadband program:
       -     Informatization of the public sector is not progressing as rapidly as expected (p.7), due
             largely to a lack of information sharing and networking. There is also no systematic
             outcome management for investments (ibid). This indicates a lack of attention to the
             organisational aspect of innovation.
       -     Despite the extremely high “connectivity rate” of the Korean population, the main
             uses of the Internet are leisure, games and chatting (p.7).
       -     The participation of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, which comprise the bulk of
             Korean companies, in informatization is still low (p.7).
       -     There is also some fear about the emergence of China and the European Union as
             economic superpowers (p. 10).
       “Digital divides” pose a particular problem for Korea, which is described as “an
       egalitarianism-oriented society” (Woo 2000, p. 19), resulting in a need to maintain social
       cohesion. Since Korea has now opted to embrace more elements of free market
       competition, loss of growth momentum could lead to an aggravation of existing divides
       that society is ill-equipped to handle. Measures to counter the emergence of divides
       include life-long learning systems, a “cyber education system” and the provision of
       practical job training for the unemployed (Woo 2000, pp. 10-11). However the Vision
       2025 (p.12) predicts that “a group-oriented society based on social consensus under
       common social norms and values will be transformed to a more individual-oriented
       society based on independence and selective ideals”.
       A basis for activities directed at achieving supremacy in the knowledge society is “New
       Paradigm for the New Millenium, Comprehensive Development Plan for KBE”
       (2000).
       This plan pursues five strategic goals:
             1. Making Korea into one of the world’s top ten information and knowledge
                superpowers;


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             2. Developing the next generation Internet and the information superhighway by
                2005;
             3. Promoting the use of computers by students, teachers and the military, conducting
                radical reforms in education to arm the country for its drive to transform itself into
                a KBE;
             4. Transition to an Internet society where people will participate in the governance
                process through ICT, in a democracy based on human rights;
             5. Closing the “development divide” through productive welfare and balanced
                regional development.
Canada

       One major reason for engaging in the Pilot Foresight study was a perceived weakness in
       Canada’s science and technology system governance. Some technology requires
       horizontal approaches to take advantage of its benefits. The Science Based Departments
       and Agencies (SBDAs) were seen as having competing cultures, which make it harder to
       deal with negative impacts (cf. Smith 2003b, p. 10). Foresight tools are regarded as
       suitable for strengthening horizontal governance and to provide anticipatory capacities for
       the federal system as a whole.

       There was no explicit analysis of strengths and weaknesses as a systematic exercise in the
       Canadian Pilot Foresight, but there are several pieces of evidence on self-perception
       contained in the discussion of scenarios at the special workshop, most notably the “Agility
       Canada”, “Muddling Along” and “Say, Can’t You C” scenarios.
       As in Europe, cultural diversity is simultaneously a major asset and a potential threat, if
       not addressed rightly. The “Agility” scenario recommends using such differences to
       advantage, while building on a set of shared values. A threat is posed by the possibility of
       decreasing immigration, which would dry up the supply of creative talent with the
       ultimate danger of a brain drain, possibly to the US. This would lead to acceleration of
       aging of the population.
       Education is identified as a key factor for success, particularly for the integration of
       immigrants. While Canada is one of the most highly educated countries in the world with
       numbers of technology graduates increasing and it has 5 to 6 world-class universities,
       there is apparently a lack of focused support for universities. In addition, there is no
       uniform national education system.
       A weakness, which could ultimately pose a threat, is a “technology commercialization
       gap” (Masum, Smith 2003, p. 41), due to insufficient capital and lack of experienced
       management.
       A particular asset of Canada is its natural environment, in particular water and forests.
       “Ecotourism” is an important economic activity, which could be endangered if there are
       serious threats to the environment. Among the major tasks to maintain its potential with
       respect to environmental assets is management of renewable resources, oceans and inland
       waters. While there is likely to be climate change, this can be “partly accommodated
       through making the arctic more arable” (op. cit., p. 18). Aquaculture could account for as
       much as 25% of world protein, assuming that workable trade-offs can be found between
       environmentalists and harvesters (ibid).
       E-government is mentioned as a possible strength with “good” decisions due to the
       potential to reflect the views of a well-educated (informed) population. Government itself
       has the potential to maintain a position as a well-respected full player – the US
       government is perceived as being in danger of being shunned (Masum, Smith 2003, P.

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       18). Among the major tasks for government are a cost-effective transport policy and
       “managed northern development” (ibid.).
       An issue present in the three scenarios discussed here is the Canadian-US relationship.
       While it is obviously essential for Canada to have a good relationship with the US, there is
       a perceived threat of too great dependence, at its most extreme in the scenario where
       Canada has become part of the US in all but the full legal sense. Europe is mentioned,
       with Asia, as a partner for reinforced trade and investment (p. 52). Europe is also
       mentioned as a possible role model for governance (p. 18). Through appropriate laws and
       customs, Canada has the potential for high public trust in government and its corporations
       in a climate of responsible, ethical behaviour (p. 18). Another recommendation to avoid
       complete dependence on the US is an autonomous immigration policy under which skilled
       immigrants can work in Canada and “sell services or products to the US” (p. 52).
       Opportunities could be achieved by striking a balance between intellectual property and
       common knowledge. If this were accomplished, Canada could be one of the few countries
       in the world through which intellectual property still flows.
       Among the strategic areas where Canada is perceived as having strengths which could be
       turned into economic opportunities are nanotechnology, post-genomics medicine, niche
       manufacturing, photonics, regenerative technologies and automated translation (p. 18).
United States of America
       The entire tone of the NBIC report (Roco, Bainbridge 2002) indicates that the US were
       perceived as being in a good position to take the lead in NBIC convergence and also that it
       is regarded as imperative to do so, in order to retain the lead in global economic
       development, benefiting humankind in the process (see the first part of section 4.1).
       The recommendations on science and education, however, indicate that the current
       education system is not regarded as geared optimally to produce the workforce required
       for NBIC convergence and the attendant “new renaissance” of science and technology. A
       precondition to attract students into professions related to NBIC is acknowledgement that
       research in the area will produce results beneficial to society. Thus education about the
       technologies concerned individually or in combination is an essential element to achieve
       acceptance and to attract an adequately trained and motivated workforce.
       Canton, who addresses the impact of converging technologies on business and the
       economy, sees “a crisis of inadequate qualified human resources to manage the future
       opportunities…” (Roco Bainbridge 2002, p. 74). Performance in tests on maths and
       science by scholars in the existing school system is low. “Most of the doctoral students in
       the technical sciences are from abroad” (ibid.). There is a skill shortage of close to one
       million highly qualified persons. Apart from underlining the urgency of adequate policy,
       Canton does not develop any remedies for this situation.
       The synthesis report from Rand (Antón et al. 2001) does not concern itself primarily with
       strengths and weaknesses, since it is not designed to inform decision making on science
       and technology policy. In certain places it does underline the need for investment in
       resources to achieve a good position, e.g. the finding that the US and Europe would
       continue to retain leadership in cutting edge nanotechnology. In several other places, the
       report indicates the potential to play a role for countries without great investment
       capacities, e.g. “…genomic processing and rapid prototyping might be pursued with
       relatively low-cost equipment and with little infrastructure, allowing biological and part
       manufacturing practically anywhere in the world” (Antón et al. 2001, p.47).
       The Rand conference on technological trends (Anderson et al. 2000) devoted some of its
       attention to “markets”, identifying examples of possible regional market drivers and
       limiters. In comparison with North America, Europe was seen as limited by “social

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       concerns”, but additionally driven by “educational value”. South Asia, Africa and Latin
       America were viewed as particularly limited by lack of capital, infrastructure and human
       expertise.
       As stated before, the conference on political, economic and social consequences of the
       information revolution devoted special effort to an examination of regional differences,
       which imply also certain strengths and weaknesses.
       In North America, the information revolution is viewed largely as inevitable and,
       ultimately, socially beneficial, despite backlashes of various kinds. There were concerns
       related to digital divides and threats to privacy.
       In Europe there was greater focus on realising economic value while maintaining and
       protecting existing cultural and social values. There was greater belief in ability to actively
       shape the course of developments to achieve these goals. As a result, there is more
       determination to alleviate disparities than in the US. Privacy is generally more important
       than in the US. This more or less confirms the opinion that Europe might be “limited by
       social concerns” (see above).
       In the Asia-Pacific region, there is less concern about disparities or privacy. There is
       confidence in this region that most Asian countries will be winners in the information
       revolution.
       The Middle East, Africa and South Asia consist largely of extremely polarised societies
       with an elite already enjoying benefits of the information revolution, while the vast
       majority of the population is excluded. The report ventures that much of the information
       revolution in these regions will be based on non-Internet technologies, such as wireless
       telephony, accessible satellite TV broadcasting, photo copiers and fax machines, audio
       and video cassettes etc. (Hundley et al. 2000, p. xvii).

3.2 Summary of Findings on Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
    (SWOT)

Since only two of the countries covered by case studies in this phase were EU member countries,
only these two can be expected to specifically address EU SWOT. The other cases can only
provide indications in the shape of comparisons with the EU. At the more general level, the
synthesis identifies the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats regarded as relevant
within the current global context.
The weaknesses and threats identified for the EU member countries are:
-   The danger of individual member countries becoming too dependent on community funding;
-   Risk of social exclusion through inadequate training and education, in the case of Sweden the
    risk of the exclusion of immigrants due to lack of education policies targeted specifically at
    this social group. In Sweden, it actually appears that programs for lifelong learning are
    actually increasing existing divides, since they appeal most to those already well-educated;
-   Poor links between the academic sector and industry leading to deficits in innovation: this
    seems to be a common problem globally since it is also mentioned for Korea and Canada.
-   The under-utilisation of human resources through poor management and motivation;
-   A regulatory and legal framework acting as a barrier to innovation, and, related to this, an
    “obsolete social infrastructure” and lack of thoughtful planning in modernisation of such
    infrastructures. Again, similar concerns are expressed for both Korea and Canada.
The two EU countries mention two specific opportunities:



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-   Making the most of the existing cultural and natural heritage: While this was mentioned in
    connection with Greece, it applies equally to many regions in the EU or “old Europe”;
-   Specialisation in higher education: for small countries, like many EU member states, it is no
    longer possible for universities to provide excellent higher education in all subjects, so there is
    a need to concentrate on areas of special competence, frequently with the aim of entering
    international collaboration. With such specialisation, it should be possible to attract foreign
    students, creating loyalties, which could help to overcome local skill shortages or to forge
    links for collaboration when the students return to their home countries.
Multi-culturalism and the integration of immigrants are both a particular opportunity which can be
turned into a strength, but also pose a threat arising from unrest if integration is unsuccessful. This
applies not only to EU member countries and the EU as a whole if and when it develops
something approaching a “common identity”, but also to countries like Canada or Korea, which
regard attracting skilled immigrants as essential for their successful survival in the oncoming
knowledge society.
Among the more general weaknesses and threats mentioned are:
-   Technical and financial aspects of innovation systems as barriers to the implementation of
    good research in marketable products;
-   Too great reliance on strategies successful in the past.
Almost all countries, with the possible exception of Japan, mention the threat of a skill shortage
which they will be unable to overcome unless the country is successful in attracting foreign
researchers and technologists to work there. This can have different reasons:
-   In Korea, the basic level of education and public interest in continuing (lifelong) education is
    high, but there is a lack of a true experience base on which to build in order to develop
    innovative products.
-   In the USA, the general (public) education has serious deficiencies which become particularly
    visible in technical subjects, mathematics and science: the majority of PhD students in these
    fields are from countries other than the US.
-   Sweden and Canada see a need to adequately integrate and educate immigrants for creative
    professions if the countries are not to stagnate due to aging of the population.
While aging is certainly posing a threat, not only to those countries particularly affected by aging,
but also those currently relying on surplus savings from the workforces in aging societies to
compensate for their own public deficits and private debt (cf. Weisman 2005), aging populations
are seen as a lucrative future market (the “silver society” industries) and, due to better over all
health standards, working life could be extended creating new requirements for “age-friendly”
technologies.
Digital divides are a particular threat to several countries and there seems to be no simple remedy
for their emergence: Even programs specifically designed to overcome existing disparities seem to
have the opposite effect unless there are very effective accompanying programs to enhance
awareness of the need for continuing education (cf. Sweden). In the case of Korea, the almost
inevitable emergence of new, second-order divides having little to do with access to IST and the
Internet is causing disruptions in a society characterised largely by equality of its citizens. This is
probably not unique to Korea, although most likely not so much of a problem in Europe.




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4. IST in the Foresight Exercises

4.1 Introduction

Perhaps the most surprising general finding on IST from the seventh Japanese technology
Foresight Study was a decline in its overall importance in the ranking of respondents from 2010 to
2030. While it was ranked among the top three technology fields in 2010, its support dropped by
half to 2030. The reasons behind this were the subject of a supplementary survey conducted in
May 2001.
According to the results of this survey, the change is due mainly to different concepts of
information technology applied by the various respondents. Those who continued to award high
ranks for the importance of information technology employed a broad concept which included
“peripheral domains” (NISTEP 2001, p. 17). Those who gave lower rankings assumed that
information technology would decrease its visibility to become integrated in other fields of
technology. Technologies involving semiconductors and computers were also expected by some
to reach maturity (ibid.). This finding points strongly in the direction of expectations of the
realisation of concepts of ambient or embedded intelligence.
Developments anticipated in the technology field information and communication technology
were expected on average five years earlier than in other fields, with most being realised by 2020.
The report interprets this as “in effect forecasting that our information society will show signs of
reaching maturity in the 2030s, and that science and technology to support our post information
society will become a key theme” (NISTEP 2001, p. 121). While this may be true, it is also
possible that the results simply indicate that developments in the field are so dynamic that it is not
possible to stretch human imagination sufficiently to cover 30 years.
The Japanese foresight final report includes a selection of more general findings from the sub-
committee on information and communication, including some duplicated in other fields. For
instance, the sub-committee stresses that actors should be creating technology trends instead of
simply forecasting them. This requires interdisciplinary research, since technology alone cannot
solve problems such as those facing e-commerce and e-government, to give but two examples.
Instead of trying to paint a comprehensive picture across the entire range of information society
technologies or to align the findings of the foresight studies with the structure of the FISTERA
WP2 database, this report will focus on selected topics, such as those already covered in an
interim paper (Rader 2004). These topics were:
-   Convergence of Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology and Cognitive
    Sciences (the so-called NBIC convergence);
-   Security concerns, i.e. the use of IST to provide greater security as well as the vulnerability of
    IST to various kinds of threats to privacy and security;
-   E-commerce, following the bursting of the “Internet Bubble” on the stock markets.
Additionally, this report will deal with further topics, seen to be important as the result of other
work-packages in FISTERA or of the work of other bodies, such as DG INFSO’s high-level
expert group or the IPTS in projects other than FISTERA. Beside convergence, the following
have mainly to do with the physical elements of ISTs:
-   Computers and Hardware
-   Infrastructures
-   Mobile communications and devices


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-   Interfaces and Interface Devices
-   Possible disrupters.
The next topic is a “guiding” vision for the development of information society:
-   Ambient Computing.
Two have to do with the development of software and content, a group which also covers security
concerns. While these do have a strong technological focus, social and organisational concerns are
also taken into account:
-   Content/Software
-   Complex Modelling, Virtual Reality
To conclude, we will discuss findings on selected application areas:
-   Health, Aging
-   Government, Democracy
-   Transport and Travel
-   Automatic translation.
This group also includes a discussion of findings on e-commerce in the “post bubble” era.




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4.2 Physical Aspects of ISTs

Nanotechnology and biotechnology have been discussed in connection with information
technology for some years already, with biocomputing in particular predicted for some time now,
although its realisation is still not within grasp. The announcement of the programme for the
convergence of nano-, bio, info-, cogno- in the USA has had the impact of a bombshell elsewhere
in the world, although the only foresight report on which it has yet had visible impact has been the
Canadian Federal Foresight Pilot Project on “Bio-Systemics”. At the European level, the topic has
occupied a high-level expert group which worked very quickly to produce a report defining a
specifically European approach to convergence, called CTEKS (Converging Technologies for the
European Knowledge Society).
While this is very likely a topic of great future significance, many technology observers still have
to get an adequate hold on the subject, to separate a great deal of hype and ideology from true
potential. This is, for instance, a reason why the German “Futur” exercise has not yet put
convergence at the centre of its agenda.
The greatest uncertainty at present concerns the role of the cognitive sciences in convergence.
While much progress is being made in neurosciences in understanding neural processes, there is
still uncertainty on how such knowledge can be translated into technology. Some of the
developments anticipated in foresight studies are prime candidates for debates on ethics, so there
are many non-technical issues involved before bold NBIC visions can be realised.
Hardware based on the current technology is expected to continue to dominate for at least another
15 years before computers based on biotechnology become commonplace. Quantum computing is
expected to become practical by 2015, but not commonplace before 2030.
The general trend for “mainstream” technology is continued miniaturisation and lower power
consumption. Semi-conductors based on nanotechnology are needed to extend existing trends in
the future.
Korea expects to continue to be at the cutting edge of innovations in semi-conductors and
technology capable of fully automating high performance LSI design is described in the Japanese
Delphi as crucial to the country, if it is not to fall seriously behind the USA.
Digital broadcasting is also expected to take off, diminishing existing distinctions between
computers and home entertainment devices.
Networks are a topic in virtually all foresight studies, i.e. the provision of bandwidth, usually via
broadband cables or wireless technology. This is addressed as an urgent topic, not only for
Sweden, but for Europe as a whole in the Swedish foresight study which describes the
infrastructure as “densely interwoven, redundant” and “based to the greatest extent on fiber optics,
supplemented by wireless communications”.. Korea, in contrast, puts a great deal of emphasis on
wireless, since it has already achieved a great deal in linking up the country with broadband.
However, Korean experience shows that this is only a necessary condition for the knowledge
society: non-technical measures for education, training and enhancing uptake are equally
important.
The Japanese foresight study specifically mentions power cables as a basic technology for home
networks. Otherwise, the study stresses mobile networks and argues that there is a need to think
about applications and services. At the more global level, the Japanese study sees a key role for
optical fibres.
In mobile communications, most studies again recognise a trend towards more sophisticated
devices, capable of handling multi-media applications. The Korean studies identify a “portable


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multimedia terminal” as a key future technology. Similarly, the seventh Japanese foresight study
describes mobile terminals as “the key devices of the IT revolution”.
In the field of interfaces, there are expected to be improvements in display technology, including
flexible devices, electronic paper and ink, printers.
The Canadian foresight is one of the few to expressly discuss possible disrupters, including
technologies likely to have an impact on societal organisation and institutions rather than simply
technology. Among these are virtual reality-based visioning tools to enable better citizen
participation and wireless communications of increasing degrees of richness. At the more
technical level, plants and other life forms could be harnessed to work in sensor systems.
One of the US studies sees a disruptive impact of high-speed all-optical communications on the
established computer and communications industries.

4.2.1 Convergence of Nano, Bio, Info, Cogno and Beyond

Convergences have frequently been an issue in connection with the future of information
technology. In the recent past, this has more frequently been the convergence in single devices for
the previously separated functions of broadcasting, data processing and communication. More
lately, convergence has come to mean overlap in the complex “Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno” or NBIC.
The US report which set things in motion (Roco & Bainbridge (eds.) 2002) argues for a “new
renaissance” (critically discussed by Coenen, 2004) unifying science and technology, mainly at
the nanoscale, where the distinction between the four fields is blurred: “At the nanoscale atoms,
circuits, DNA code, neurons and bits become conceptually interchangeable” (op.cit., p. 12).

EU – HLEG and CTEKS

       At EU level, DG research of the Commission set up a High-Level Expert Group
       “Foresighting the New Technology Wave” on this second type of convergence. This group
       produced a report, entitled “Converging Technologies - Shaping the Future of European
       Societies“, edited by the philosopher Alfred Nordmann. Additionally, there were reports
       from several special interest groups (or working groups of the panel as a whole), position
       papers from individual members of the HLEG, a collection of state of the art reviews and
       related papers, and finally a set of comments by invited experts submitted prior to a
       conference “Converging Technologies for a Diverse Europe“, held in Brussels September
       14 - 15, 2004. The report of the HLEG, perhaps mischievously, adds socio, anthro, philo,
       geo, eco, urbo, orbo, macro and micro to the four “big Os“ in Nano –Bio –Info – Cogno
       convergence and proposes a distinctively European concept for convergence, which it
       calls CTEKS, standing for Converging Technologies for the European Knowledge
       Society. These are characterised by a bottom-up demand-driven approach and require
       interdisciplinary cooperation for their realisation. A major aim of this concept is to
       advance the so-called Lisbon agenda, the European path to the knowledge society (cf.
       Coenen et al. 2004 for a full discussion of the HLEG report and the CTEKs initiative).
Sweden
       The Swedish report goes as far as to call “Bio, IT and Nano… a mantra in the public
       discourse…” (p. 37). While acknowledging that these are important areas for research, the
       report warns against supporting them to the disadvantage of other “fields promising more
       growth” (ibid.). The report urges for an “integration of these technologies in other fields or
       businesses” (ibid.).
Germany
       The German “Futur” project is currently in the process of voting on NBIC convergence as
       a possible topic for development into a “guiding vision” (Leitvision). As in the case of

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        security, the scientific staff organising the process expects difficulties in focusing the topic
        sufficiently to develop a uniform research programme. One expected difficulty is
        separating hype from true potentials.
        The first round of “Futur” selected as one of its guiding visions the topic “understanding
        thought processes” which has possibly gained in importance as a result of interest in NBIC
        convergence. The vision on "Understanding Thought Processes" is oriented strongly
        towards learning, with a stress on research rather than such things as "learning services" or
        IST applications in learning. Among the technologies mentioned in the context were
        artificial intelligence, new computer architectures and algorithms, autonomous robots,
        artificial retina, inner ears and muscle control, and organic computing. Many of these
        themes are now being dealt with under the heading of NBIC in the US.
United Kingdom
        The most novel aspect of the discussion on convergence has been to draw renewed
        attention to the cognitive sciences as a key to the realisation of many of the visions related
        to convergence. Although there is no apparent link with US American interest in
        convergence, one of the first topics to have been dealt with in depth in the “third cycle” of
        the reshaped UK foresight initiative has been “cognitive systems”, described as “natural or
        artificial information processing systems, including those responsible for perception,
        learning, reasoning, decision-making, communication and action” (UK Foresight 2004).
        Among the main conclusions of British Foresight’s Cognitive Systems project were:
        -    “As we rely more and more on complex systems for our essential services we will
             need self adapting, self learning systems to ensure their dependability.
        -    Cognitive systems will be an important underpinning technology in the future as the
             ability to 'think' is built into more and more infrastructure and objects and information
             processing power becomes a commodity.
        -    Cognitive systems will have significant economic and social implications.
        -    In certain areas advances might only be possible with collaboration.
        -    The neuroscience community needs better models and artificial cognitive systems to
             analyse the ever increasing amounts of information generated as they move to
             recording multi-neurone activity. Such technology could lead to significant advances
             in the treatment of mental disorders.” (UK Foresight 2004).
Korea
        While NBIC convergence was not mentioned explicitly in any of the Korean documents
        examined for FISTERA, several of the ideas and developments regarded as likely are now
        being treated under this heading elsewhere.
        The Korean Vision 2025 contains a number of predictions on technological developments
        expected between 2001 and 2025. These are not original conclusions of the Vision 2025
        task force but compiled from the 6th Japanese and 2nd Korean Delphi studies and a paper
        published in 1997 by George Washington University and Joseph P. Coates.
        Among the developments expected between 2001 and 2010 with a broad link to NBIC
        convergence is computer-designed medicines.
        Between 2011 and 2020, the Vision identifies the following likely technological advances
        in the NBIC area:

        -    Super-computers enable progress on understanding sensory perception in the human
             brain;
        -    Computer technologies developed for hearing, taste, touch with capacity equivalent to
             humans’;


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        -    30% of human brain functions will be understandable. Neurocomputers modelling
             brain functions for logical thinking will be possible.

        Finally, during the period between 2021 and 2030, the Korean “Vision 2025” expects
        progress in the following domains:

        -    Availability of Artificial Intelligence chips enabling computers to understand human
             feelings and of computers able to read information stored in human brains;
        -    It will be possible to understand logical inference in human brains and human
             cognitive mechanisms, enabling their adoption by computer science;
        -    The gene controlling human sensitivity will be identified and interfaced directly with
             computers.

        A rather “future-oriented” recommendation in the final “Vision 2025” report is
        “technological development to support cyber life” (Vision 2025, p.48), which is described
        as essential. This refers to “cyber intelligence” which can replace humans.
        Brain research is described as being “at the fledgling stage” and as requiring contributions
        from the cognitive sciences and information technology. It is further described as an area
        “very appropriate for Korea” (op. cit., p. 81), due to the country’s highly educated
        workforce. The report recommends focusing “on the brain information processing area
        which uses information technology, one of Korea’s strengths” (op. cit., p. 82).

Japan

        The seventh Japanese Technology Foresight also does not explicitly address NBIC
        convergence, although it addresses both bio technology and nano-technology in
        connection with ICT. Bio-computing is regarded as likely some time in the future.
        Interestingly, the time horizon for its expected realisation has shifted back by two years
        against the results of the sixth technology Delphi. Topics related to artificial intelligence
        and knowledge bases are ranked as important, but according to the participating experts
        the time horizon for their realisation is distant (post 2020). Respondents were sceptical
        regarding the development of expert systems to replace human judges, lawyers or patent
        attorney with some questioning whether such a development is at all desirable.
        According to the seventh Japanese Technology Foresight, Research at the nanoscale, but
        also at the cosmic level, is expected to have considerable impact on developments in the
        field of information and communication. It is anticipated that in 30 years quantum
        computers will be as commonplace as today’s PCs. This will probably result in major
        changes to peripheral information and communication technology as well. Research on
        biotechnology is expected to yield insights which can be used in imitation or application
        of principles in information and communication systems. Research in the information and
        communication field itself will result in much higher processing speeds and much greater
        memory capacity. Innovative software making full use of these capacities will emerge, as
        will technology for integration in other fields. An example is a human-like robot, meaning
        a robot incorporating artificial intelligence. The availability of such technology will
        require special legislation and new social rules.
        Brain research is expected, among other things to provide insights which can be used in
        artificial intelligence and advanced computing. Beside research on physiological processes
        and encoding by neurons as digital signals, this also implies research using mathematical
        models.




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Canada

       European activities on CTEKS were preceded by the Canadian Foresight Pilot Project
       which also included ecological science under its own heading for convergence
       “BioSystemics”. However, ecological science has been largely omitted from this analysis
       for FISTERA.
       As the Canadian foresight projects points out, there is a degree of overlap between the
       areas of NBIC technology, meaning both that the technologies can be used alternatively
       for similar purposes, and also that there are areas where the technologies are converging,
       e.g. computing using biological processors or biotechnology at the level of atoms.
       Additionally, the technologies combined under the NBIC heading have certain critical
       features in common, which on the one hand make them an exciting field for future-
       oriented research, while on the other hand they are also an area for concern with regard to
       misuse or possible negative impacts. In addition to overlapping, they address fundamental
       processes, such as the modification of life forms or the direct manipulation of atomic
       structures, they are able to reproduce themselves, they are widely available and distributed
       spatially and they are also the subject of great public interest. They have great potential as
       “disrupters” changing the playing field in innovation processes.
       The Canadian report admits that its preoccupation with NBIC was inspired to some extent
       by US interest in convergence: “The US in particular sees these converging technologies
       as the key to continuing technological superiority and they do not intend to fall back”
       (STFPPP Report#4, p.11).
       Despite the conclusion that distinctions between the component technologies are blurring,
       the Canadian report differentiates its findings by the individual strands comprising NBIC,
       combining information technology and cognitive science. In fact, it is successful in
       identifying for each field important technology-related events expected for the period until
       2025. In addition, the report includes a section on “systemic technologies”, which
       addresses the integration of theories, mainly through the use of models and simulations.
       Among the technological developments explicitly mentioned by the study was “Mood
       control by nanotechnology (direct/chemical)”, which is expected before2010.
       Of the foresight projects considered for this paper, the Canadian Pilot Project goes into the
       greatest depth in examining the NBIC complex. Even so, its conclusions are at best very
       preliminary: “Some of these promising technologies are very speculative, others have
       prototypes in labs. The next two decades will ultimately be the only way of knowing how
       BioSystemics technology will evolve” (STFPP Report #4, p.11).

USA

       Both US American reports selected for inclusion in this FISTERA synthesis have a strong
       orientation towards convergence. The Rand Corporation book, “The Global Technology
       Revolution” (Antón et al. 2001) is sub-titled “Bio/Nano/Materials Trends and Their
       Synergies with Information Technology by 2015”, thus predating the NBIC (nano-bio-
       info-cogno) convergence debate by a few months. The volume edited by Roco &
       Bainbridge (2002) popularised the acronym NBIC and focused global attention on this
       kind of convergence.
       The Rand book was conceived as a quick foresight into global technology trends in
       biotechnology, nanotechnology, and materials technology and their implications for
       information technology and the world in 2015. The report “Converging Technologies for
       Improving Human Performance - Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information
       Technology And Cognitive Science” (Roco, Bainbridge 2002) is a collection of papers
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       and summaries of discussions from a conference in December 2001 rather than a genuine
       foresight study.
       Behind the heightened interest in the potential of NBIC convergence is the belief that
       science and technology is on the threshold of a new era, optimistically labelled the “new
       renaissance” which will overcome all of the divides of disciplinary science: “Convergence
       of diverse technologies is based on material unity at the nanoscale and on technology
       integration from that scale. Science can now understand the ways in which atoms combine
       to form complex molecules, and how these in turn aggregate according to common
       fundamental principles to form both organic and inorganic structures. Technology can
       harness natural processes to engineer new materials, biological products, and machines
       from the nanoscale up to the scale of meters. The same principles will allow us to
       understand and, when desirable, to control the behavior both of complex microsystems,
       such as neurons and computer components, and macrosystems, such as human metabolism
       and transportation vehicles” (Roco & Bainbridge, 2002, p.2).
       The concept of NBIC convergence does not necessarily mean that all four elements are
       present in all combinations. The unifying element is the nanoscale, which is seen to be the
       key to progress. In information science past progress “has depended largely upon the
       constant improvement in the speed and cost effectiveness of integrated circuits” (op. cit, p.
       10). There was widespread belief that existing technology was rapidly approaching its
       limits, so that Moore’s law (to give an example) would come to an end. Nanotechnology
       is seen as providing the promise that improvements in hardware could continue for at least
       another decade beyond the limitations of current methods (ibid.). It is also held that
       software efficiency has not kept pace with hardware improvements. In this case, possible
       breakthroughs are expected from biocomputing, software methods employing analogies
       from branches of biology such as genetics. Further impulse is expected from cognitive
       science “which can help computer scientists develop software inspired by growing
       understanding of the neural architectures and algorithms actually employed by the human
       brain” (ibid.).
       In fact the new element in NBIC convergence is the (re-)discovery of cognitive science:
       awareness of potential synergies between biotechnology, nanotechnology and information
       technology had already existed for some period of time before the conference. Cognitive
       science has a two-fold role to play in NBIC convergence, the first as an “enabler” for the
       necessary renaissance of (unified) science by building bridges between isolated
       communities, the second as a part of convergence itself by exploring fundamental
       processes:
       For potential applications, it is useful to look at the findings for five major areas
       distinguished in the NBIC report:

Expanding Human Cognition and Communication

       The major recommendation in this area is to set up an endeavour known as the “Human
       Cognome Project” – an obvious allusion to the Human Genome Project, also implying its
       strategic importance. The aim of this project is to “chart the structure and functions of the
       human mind” (p. 98). This project is not only to include a “complete mapping of the
       connections in the human brain” (p. 98) but also “new kinds of rigorous research on the
       nature of both culture and personality” (ibid.). The minimum benefit from the research
       under this heading was expected to be greater understanding of the human mind to allow
       engineers to “design technologies that are well-suited to human control and able to
       accomplish desired goals most effectively and efficiently” (p. 98). At the more extreme
       end of the scale of expectations was “long-term potential for uploading aspects of
       individual personality to computers and robots, thereby expanding the scope of human


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       experience, action and longevity” (ibid.). The “Human Genome Project” seems now to be
       under way in the shape of a loosely connected private initiative (cf. Horn 2002).
       Applications mentioned under this heading include personal sensory device interfaces,
       such as enhancing hearing and vision, memory external to the brain and new sensors to
       provide humans with information about their social and physical environments. The vision
       for this kind of application includes neural interfaces directly permitting delivery of
       complex information to the human mind (cf. p. 94).
       The report claims that NBIC discoveries will humanise technology rather than
       dehumanising society (cf. p. 99). Robots and intelligent agents would need to be sensitive
       to human needs. For this purpose, research would be needed on how to translate needs,
       feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values into forms able to guide the “helper” devices. This is
       an area of research required and expected to enable the “new renaissance” of science:
       “Without the guidance provided by the combined NBIC sciences, technology will fail to
       achieve its potential for human benefit. Multidisciplinary research to humanize computing
       and communications technology will expand the social competence of individuals and
       increase the practical effectiveness of groups, social networks, and organizations” (p. 99).
       Another major application area for NBIC is learning, in this case “Learning to learn”. The
       report goes on to state that past efforts, such as interactive media, have largely failed
       because of a narrow and shallow scientific base (cf. p. 99). A deeper and broader base
       could be provided by cognitive science.
       Design of complex technology is described by the report as a difficult challenge. There is
       thus seen to be a need for the development of wholly new industrial design methods, e.g.
       those inspired by biology, or sophisticated simulation techniques. The costs for high-end
       design simulations are currently prohibitive so that the report urges for the creation of a
       National Center for Engineering Design. Progress for small-scale design activities is
       expected from such fields as visual language, personalised design, designing around
       defects, and the cognitive science of engineering (cf. p. 100).
In the field of Improving Human Health and Physical Capabilities, the report identifies six
priority areas:
    - nano-bio processors for research and development of treatments, including those resulting
         from bioinformatics, genomics and proteomics;
    - nanotechnology-based implants and regenerative biosystems as replacements for human
         organs or for monitoring of physiological well-being;
    - nanoscale machines and comparable unobtrusive tools for medical intervention;
    - multi-modality platforms for increasing sensorial capabilities, particularly for visual and
         hearing impaired people;
    - brain-to-brain and brain-to-machine interfaces;
    - virtual environments for training, design, and forms of work unlimited by distance or the
         physical scale on which it is performed (Roco, Bainbridge (eds.) 2002, p. xi).

Enhancing group and societal outcomes

   A key recommendation in this application area concerned an NBIC system called “The
   Communicator”. This was expected “to remove barriers to communication caused by physical
   disabilities, language differences, geographic distance, and variations in knowledge, thus
   greatly enhancing the effectiveness of cooperation in schools, corporations, government
   agencies, and across the world” (p. xi).
   “Other areas of focus are in enhancing group creativity and productivity, cognitive
   engineering and developments related to networked society. A key priority will be
   revolutionary new products and services based on the integration of the four technologies
   from the nanoscale” (p. xi).

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   Among the examples discussed under this heading is the example of a completely re-vamped
   aircraft incorporating state-of-the-art knowledge and the opportunities provided by the
   individual NBIC technologies, an example of an “NBIC ambient”.

National security

   The NBIC workshop took place shortly after the September 11 2001 attacks on the World
   Trade Center and the Pentagon which probably gave added urgency to this topic. Nonetheless,
   security concerns and military applications are almost certainly one of the main drivers for
   interest of the US in NBIC technologies. The report singles out seven application areas seen as
   particularly urgent in view of the changing nature of challenges to security in the new
   millennium:
       -     data linkage and threat anticipation, i.e. using combinations of sensors and data
             processing capabilities to identify potential threats to security and to launch counter-
             measures;
       -     uninhabited combat vehicles, which will obviously also rely on a combination of
             sensors and information and communication technologies;
       -     war fighter education and training, presumably employing IT based simulation
             techniques and virtual reality;
       -     responses to chemical, biological, radiological and explosive threats, which will again
             include complex systems of sensors, but also protective clothing to enable humans to
             operate in hazardous environments;
       -     war fighter systems, which are designed to provide humans with extra information for
             use in combat situations by extending memory, sensory perception, alertness etc.;
       -     non-drug treatments to enhance human performance, meaning the use of a
             combination of biotechnology and nanotechnology for such purposes as compensation
             for sleep depravation, enhancing physical and psychological performance and
             improving the likelihood of survival when physically injured;
       -     application of human-machine interfaces, e.g. direct communication with the human
             brain in critical situations.

Unifying science and education

       Each of the NBIC component technologies currently exists in isolation. The report does
       not really explore paths towards interdisciplinary cooperation, instead calling for “the
       emergence of new kinds of people who understand multiple fields in depth and can
       intelligently work to integrate them”.
       This implies “radical transformation from elementary school through postgraduate
       training” (p. xi). It includes the development of new curricula, concepts to ensure
       intellectual cohesion between the disparate pieces of knowledge and even new forms of
       educational institutions (ibid.).
       The results of NBIC convergence will again also have impact on the ways in which
       science and education take place.
       Among the important developments discussed as fairly likely in the Rand report (Antón et
       al. 2001), several are in the field of hardware.
       -     The availability of nano-fabricated semi-conductors needed to continue existing
             hardware trends;
       -     “Novel nanoscale computers” are regarded as a “wild card” technology. While
             quantum computing and molecular electronics are regarded as likely to make
             significant progress by 2015, they are not expected to have achieved application status


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             or to have had significant impact by that time. Similar remarks apply to molecular
             manufacturing.
       -     Top-down semiconductor lithography is likely to be challenged by self-assembly
             methods, some based on biological approaches, but again, not within the 2015
             timeframe.
       In the area overlapping with biology, the following developments are identified
       - Information technology and new manufacturing technologies are seen to be enabling
           the production of customised biomedical structures, e.g. replacement bones (op. cit.
           13).
       - There is likely to be progress made in understanding certain phenomena taking place
           in the human brain. While this is not likely to result in intelligent systems, it should be
           possible by 2015 to produce systems capable of performing such tasks as home
           vacuum cleaning, mine detection or autonomous search.
       In the field of materials, nanotechnology and biotechnology, among those developments
       with most relevance for ISTs are:
       - The development of technology to enable the use of “quantum dots” and “nanotubes”.
       - The development of nanoscale semiconductors is regarded as both feasible and
           essential is the exponential trend in processing power is to continue.
       - Quantum computers using different concepts are regarded as attractive “because of
           their massive parallelism in computing” (op cit. p26), but are not expected at any real
           scale by 2015. An important factor is the entirely new computer architecture required
           for quantum computers. Major barriers are problems in error correction, de-coherence
           and signal input-output for quantum switches.
       - Molecular electronic devices have the advantage of massively reduced power
           consumption. However, there are still problems regarding the ability of molecular
           memories to retain their state. Manufacturing processes are expected to lead to device
           defects, creating a heightened need for defect-tolerant computer architectures.
           Interconnects between devices could be based on nanotubes, which creates additional
           challenges. Over all, the report expects substantial progress on all of the challenges,
           but does not expect molecular computers to be widely diffused.
       It is anticipated that digital computers based on semiconductor technology will continue to
       dominate the next 15 years. The question which has dogged developments in computing in
       the past will continue to persist: how long will silicon computing last?
       Nanotechnology is described as the least concrete of the key areas discussed in the RAND
       report. It is nonetheless regarded as essential: “International competition for dominance or
       even capability in cutting edge nanotechnology may still remain strong, but current
       investments and direction indicate that the United States and Europe may retain leadership
       in most of this field” (op cit. 36).
       The final chapter of the report is a discussion which devotes space to the synergies
       between nanotechnology, biotechnology and information technology. One benefit
       mentioned is that different fields tend to produce different views and approaches to the
       world. A combination of such views is seen as enabling the combination of “the best from
       each world and enabling applications that would not be possible otherwise” (op.cit, p. 38).
       In this place, there is no discussion of problems of working with alien disciplines, or of
       likely development, such as the emergence of new specialisations of sub-disciplines
       versus the re-unification of science (the “New Renaissance” discussed in connection with
       the NBIC initiative). However, later in the report, the possible need for multidisciplinary
       degrees is discussed.
       In particular: “The overall workforce will likely have to contribute to and understand an
       increasingly interdisciplinary activity. Just as computer skills are becoming more
       important today, a basic capability to work with or use new materials and processes

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         involving biology and micro/nanosystems will likely be required” (op. cit., p. 47). The
         report repeats the need for multidisciplinary education and foresees a special role for
         distance learning to “facilitate the rapid dissemination of knowledge from developing
         specialists” (op. cit, p. 47).
Discussion
Both the Swedish and German cases include a strong suspicion of the influence of “Zeitgeist” in
putting the subject of NBIC convergence on the political and popular agendas. At closer
examination, the core of convergence is already the subject of a great deal of research under the
label of nanotechnology and its variants. The new heading simply serves to underline the
importance of research in this field, which is expected to yield great benefits for the future
position of countries in technology. Additionally, there is strong interest in the US in the military
relevance of this kind of convergence as evidenced in the title of the seminal report on the subject:
“Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance”. This work includes an entire
section devoted to national security, covering applications such as war fighters and uninhabited
combat vehicles.

4.2.2    Computers and Hardware

Israel
         Among the longer term developments to be realised between 2010 and 2030 were
         biological computers, systems mimicking human senses, the incorporation of human
         creative thinking mechanisms in computers (presumably based on the results of cognitive
         science research), autonomous robots and vehicles, earthquake early-warning systems,
         microwave power transmission from space and the development of means to read
         information directly from the human brain. (cf ICTAF)
         Materials research is expected on new materials for semiconductors         and “intelligent
         materials, chips with 1 Terabit memory capacity and at the nanolevel.     In electronics, a
         trend towards the nanometer level and towards high performance            and low power
         consumption is expected for processors. Such electronics will be           integrated with
         communication technologies (cf. ICTAF 2001, p. V).
Korea:
         Among the developments expected in the Korean Vision 2025 study by the end of the
         current decade are the widespread use of pocket-book sized computers and computers
         with almost no need for a keyboard, responsive to voice and expression. By then there
         should also be complex drives uniting the best features of magnetic and optical drives,
         semi-conductors and ceramic technology. Computer technologies developed for hearing,
         taste, touch with capacity equivalent to humans’ are expected by 2020. Finally, Artificial
         Intelligence chips enabling computers to understand human feelings and of computers able
         to read information stored in human brains are expected to be available by 2030. By 2015,
         Korea is expected to be able to develop world-class technology in such fields as
         telecommunications terminals based on infra-technology. The country is predicted to be in
         the position to lead the world market for some products by 2025.
         The Vision 2025 includes among its key future technologies an item: “Future
         informatization base technology: Nano-technology that serves as a basis for future
         informatization, optical Internet technology and telepathic signal processing will be
         developed” (p.49).
         Under the heading “Future computer technology”, the report also describes “Next-
         generation computer-related equipment and devices, including 10-tera flops computer,
         fiber-optic and nerve network and bio computer and the portable multimedia high-tech
         computer” as a key technology likely to be developed by 2025.

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        Finally, the Vision 2025 addresses “Next-generation ultra-large scale IC technology:
        through the development of 4/16764/100 Giga DRAM and key semiconductor
        components, Korea will keep the leading edge in the global semiconductor market” (p.50).
Japan
        Following dramatic improvements in the performance of computers and work stations, the
        respondents to the Delphi survey for the seventh Technology Foresight seem to rate this
        technology as largely mature. The report on the survey also addresses the “internet
        bubble”, noting that it underlines the fragility of the network society, but also that it
        indicates the aspirations for a new society based on computers and networks harboured by
        the general public.
        Experts now expect a further reduction of the size and power requirements of systems
        with the creation of new applications taking advantage of the new potentials of PDAs and
        mobile phones. Among the most prominent uses mentioned are the distribution of music
        and games by electronic means.
        Bio-computing is regarded as likely some time in the future. Interestingly, the time
        horizon for its expected realisation has shifted back by two years against the results of the
        sixth technology Delphi. A similar remark applies to low-power, small size appliances,
        although in this case, the realisation date has been shifted only from 2005 to 2007. Among
        the developments with high expectations are high resolution printers and low-power
        personal computers. A development previously regarded as fairly far-fetched but now
        coming into the more realistic realm is “widespread use of portable electronic notebooks
        that offer the same level of flexibility as paper (thin and pliable).
        It is anticipated that in 30 years quantum computers will be as commonplace as today’s
        PCs. This will probably result in major changes to peripheral information and
        communication technology as well.
        Research on biotechnology is expected to yield insights which can be used in imitation or
        application of principles in information and communication systems.
        Research in the information and communication field itself will result in much higher
        processing speeds and much greater memory capacity. Innovative software making full
        use of these capacities will emerge, as will technology for integration in other fields. An
        example is a human-like robot, meaning a robot incorporating artificial intelligence. The
        availability of such technology will require special legislation and new social rules.
        In the area of electronics, many items have a relationship with IST. Semiconductor
        integrated circuits are described as the “brain and nervous system” of information based
        society. A number of items discussed in the Delphi survey are critical for progress to take
        place at the same pace as in the past:
             -   Practical use of VLSIO with more than 256 Gbits of memory per chip;
             -   Practical use of technology enabling the mass production of LSI with minimum
                 pattern dimensions of 10 nm
            - Widespread use of wafers of 600 mm in diameter.
        While systems on chips or in packages were not the subject of the Delphi survey, the
        relevant panel recommends watching developments here closely.
        LSI is described as progressing at a faster pace than before. The survey addresses possible
        ways of achieving qualitative improvements, such as new materials. High-temperature
        superconducting materials are expected to be widely available within the next ten years.
        Several need-driven developments are regarded as likely, even though the technological
        challenges involved are considerable. This indicates the expectation that resources will be
        devoted to their achievement:

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             -   Practical use of flexibly adaptable card-size wireless communication instruments;
             -   Practical use of an automatic automobile driving system based on GPS
             - Practical use of 100M gate scale LSIs whose functions are reconfigured in real
               time.
       Technology which can fully automatically design high performance LSIs is regarded as
       crucial to Japan, although the country is perceived as seriously lagging behind the US.
       This is described in the report as an area for urgent action.
Canada
   Molecular computing is expected by the participants in the Pilot exercise on biosystemics by
   2011. Other expected developments include:
       -     Low-power PCs running for one year on batteries (2013)
       -     Bio-chips 1012 bits/cm2
       -     Sensory chips for taste, smell and sound (2015);
       -     Photonics to replace electronics (2015)
USA
   The Rand report (Antón et al. 2001) discusses a number of developments viewed as fairly
   likely in the field of hardware:
   -   The availability of nano-fabricated semi-conductors needed to continue existing hardware
       trends;
   -   “Novel nanoscale computers”, which are regarded as a “wild card” technology. While
       quantum computing and molecular electronics are regarded as likely to make significant
       progress by 2015, they are not expected to have achieved application status or to have had
       significant impact by that time. Similar remarks apply to molecular manufacturing.
   -   Top-down semiconductor lithography is likely to be challenged by self-assembly methods,
       some based on biological approaches, but again, not within the 2015 timeframe.
   In the field of materials, nanotechnology and biotechnology, the developments with most
   relevance for ISTs are:
             -   The development of hard materials, such as nanocrystalline coatings and
                 diamonds for, among other things, computer disk drives.
             -   The development of technology to enable the use of “quantum dots” and
                 “nanotubes”.
             -   The development of nanoscale semiconductors is regarded as both feasible and
                 essential is the exponential trend in processing power is to continue.
             -   Thermal dissipation in chips with extremely high device densities is expected to
                 pose a serious challenge, the major problem being the high cost for heat
                 dissipation mechanisms and cooling technology.
             -   Quantum computers using different concepts are regarded as attractive “because
                 of their massive parallelism in computing” (op cit. p26), but are not expected at
                 any real scale by 2015. An important factor is the entirely new computer
                 architecture required for quantum computers. Major barriers are problems in error
                 correction, de-coherence and signal input-output for quantum switches.
             -   Molecular electronic devices have the advantage of massively reduced power
                 consumption. However, there are still problems regarding the ability of molecular
                 memories to retain their state. Manufacturing processes are expected to lead to
                 device defects, creating a heightened need to defect-tolerant computer
                 architectures. Interconnects between devices could be based on nanotubes, which
                 creates additional challenges. Over all, the report expects substantial progress on


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                    all of the challenges, but does not expect molecular computers to be widely
                    diffused.
          It is anticipated that digital computers based on semiconductor technology will continue to
          dominate the next 15 years. The question which has dogged developments in computing in
          the past will continue to persist: how long will silicon computing last? The answer is
          given in a prior report by Rand (Anderson et al. 2000, 7): While exponential growth in
          computing is expected to continue over the next 10 to 15 years, the limits of silicon will be
          reached in about 2015.

4.2.3     Infrastructures, Bandwidth

Sweden:
          In IT, networks are gaining importance “The network becomes the genuinely valuable
          resource, not computers in themselves. The trend is toward a network that is continuously
          available, while we and our devices are online around the clock. This trend will continue
          over the next 10 – 15 years.” (Swedish Foresight 2004a, p. 21). The report labels the
          concept “ubiquitous computing”.
          A report on infrastructure adds IT infrastructure to the list including such things as tracks,
          roads, pipelines and cables. Sweden is faced with the problem of an aging of the existing
          physical infrastructure while the institutional framework for the IT infrastructure would
          appear to have halted its previously rapid expansion (op. cit., p. 56).
          The synthesis report concludes, however, that a “genuinely good infrastructure for digital
          communications is needed. This should be a broadband system, structured as a densely
          woven, redundant network based to the greatest extent on fiber optics, supplemented by
          wireless connections” (Swedish Foresight 2004a, p. 31). The creation of this network
          requires active support, presumably from the state, in the form of funding, coordination,
          regulation and role allocation (ibid). Since there are currently several parallel
          infrastructures to households in construction, there will be a need to develop clear,
          standardized interfaces between them (op. cit., p. 42).
Greece
          Electronic networks will facilitate new kinds of work. This is likely to involve the
          supervision of such work using the networks.
          Networks will also provide part of the infrastructure needed for new forms of business
          organisation.
Israel:
          It is expected that the early 21st century will be characterised by high availability of all
          types of information, including multimedia. Bandwidth and processing power will be
          unprecedented, offering opportunities for all kinds of applications and services. The Israel
          Delphi underlines the dynamism of developments in this area, since most expert
          assessments were restricted to the 5 to 7 year time horizon.
          The expected extreme volume of data transfer serves to focus attention to data
          management and security, advanced optical communications and quality control for
          communication networks. Technical feasibility will create opportunities for the
          development of advanced services, such as data transmission between ambulances and
          hospitals, environmental monitoring, traffic control, natural speech recognition and
          automatic translation (cf. ICTAF 2001, p. III).




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Korea
        In a box listing key technologies for the period until 2025, the Korean “Vision 2025”
        report includes (pp. 48 – 50):
        -    “Next-generation telecommunications network technology: In order to establish a
             network infrastructure that serves as the backbone for cyberspace, the next-generation
             infra-technology of telecommunications needs to be secured, such as high-speed
             networks that include wider band wireless communications in the U-NII band,
             Internet-related technology, and networking…
        -    High-speed wireless data communication system: The development of high-speed
             wireless network access technology, multimedia processing and transmission
             technology, and wireless multimedia middle-ware set-up technology will open up the
             window for the development of high-speed wireless multimedia data (text, voice,
             motion picture, image, and graphic) processing and transmission technology and the
             information system on the Internet as well as in the mobile computing environment”.
        The most recent Korean master plan for KBE (Knowledge-Based Economy) focuses
        strongly on broadband IT. Of particular interest is a chapter on “Establishing a basis for
        generating new IT growth”. The overall goal is to employ IT growth to achieve per capita
        national income of $20,000 per annum. The key technologies mentioned are:
        -    Next generation mobile communication;
        -    Displays;
        -    Digital/TV broadcasting;
        -    Intelligent home networks;
        -    Next-generation semi-conductors;
        -    Software solutions, with emphasis on embedded software, e-logistics;
        -    Digital content;
        -    Next generation batteries;
        -    Intelligent robots, e.g. for medical services or home use;
        -    Next generation PCs for ubiquitous/ambient computing.
        In each of these fields, a major role is foreseen for the government. In some cases, the
        report even states “the government will develop”, e.g. “technologies such as next
        generation mobile communications, display, D_TV, and home network by securing
        original technologies…” (Broadband Vision 2004, p. 78f).
Japan
        Japan was ranked in the Seventh Technology Foresight as a leading country with respect
        to technological capabilities, including the development of a TV set with automatic
        translation capabilities. Closer to infrastructure in a stricter sense, the widespread use of
        information equipment using home networks based on electric power cables was expected
        by 2010.
        Due to the availability of networks and mobile devices, the report on the Seventh
        Technology Foresight argues that there is a need to think about the functions, applications
        and services that these should be delivering, in particular whether there are any “killer
        applications” or whether there will be a collection of “minor services”, such as those
        existing for iMode (p. 130). In this connection, security is a crucial issue and the report
        suggests that the security of existing operating systems should be included in any security
        reviews.
        The security of networks and applications on such networks is essential for the growth of
        the Internet. Other important factors are speed, affordability and ubiquity.


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         The sub-committee on electronics underlines the importance of infrastructure (high-speed
         networks), (de)regulation and standardization at the international level. It also addresses
         ubiquitous computers and the design of the human-machine interface, high-definition
         displays and card-sized interpretation systems. Robots and guide systems are expected to
         find use due to the solution of problems related to cost, size etc.
         Optical fibre communication is a key technology for global communications and optical
         storage media are also expected to make progress.

4.2.4    Mobile communications and devices

Greece
         Greece is a typical “mobile phone society” with widespread use of mobile phones and
         very low internet access and usage figures. While measures are in place to improve
         “connectivity”, Greece also has a higher-than-average Internet drop-out rate (ibid). This
         does not necessarily imply that Greece should seek to build up an industry for mobile
         devices, but it does imply opportunities for firms offering mobile services.
Israel
         It is expected that there will be worldwide use of portable wireless multimedia terminals,
         low-cost high-efficiency solar cells, multi-processor self-restoring systems, integrated
         microsystems controlled by sensors-actuators and single-chip speech recognition and
         translation systems. Optoelectronics will be applied for optical communication, e.g.
         advanced optical switching, multiplexing, light-emitting semi-conductur devices, low cost
         optical fibre signal transceivers for use in households (cf. ICTAF 2001, p. V).
Korea
         A key future technology, described in the “Vision 2025 report is: “Core parts of
         Telecommunication device: An integrated circuit will be developed in which many
         circuits are integrated on a nano-meter scale: smart Microsystems terabit fiber-optic
         materials that sends out information at speeds of 10 trillion bits per second, ultra-high
         frequency passive devices and core modules, wireless sensor network systems (smart
         dust), millimetre wave transmission and reception modules, millimetre wave antenna and
         high-speed switch” (Vision 2025, p. 49).
         A key future technology is the “Portable multimedia terminal: Parts integration and
         miniaturization and a low-voltage circuit system will contribute to the development of the
         portable multimedia terminal with other functions of telecommunications with computers
         and the development of multimedia information retrieval systems” (Vision 2025, p.50).
Japan
         In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the use of the internet and mobile
         phones for communication. At the time of the study, Japan had the highest rate of users
         connected to the internet only by mobile phone. The communication domain was ranked
         of high importance as was electronic commerce. Expectations in this field include
         providing safety, lower network costs and fast communication. This is interpreted as
         indicating enthusiasm for a safe, high-speed, country-wide broadband communication
         system. This was also reflected in expert assessments of contributions of developments in
         this field to socioeconomic development and peoples’ needs.
         Most items related to communications were regarded as likely by 2015. Among the items
         regarded as less likely was the development of a quantum optical communication system
         capable of suppressing almost all noise generated by optical amplifiers.



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        Digital broadcasting was already being introduced in Japan at the time of Seventh
        Technology Foresight study. This had reduced the difference between broadcasting and
        communications.
        In its section on “lifestyle, welfare, education and culture” the report on the Seventh
        Technology Foresight mentions the use of portable terminals enabling purchase of
        electronic newspapers from information kiosks as a development likely to have been
        realised by 2010.
        The report describes mobile terminals as “the key devices of the IT revolution” (p. 128).
        They offer companies a broad range of business models, including home working. This
        has yet to really take off in Japan. Companies are becoming more customer-oriented with
        the option of tailoring marketing and customer relations very closely to individual profiles.

4.2.5   Interfaces and Interface Devices

Korea
        The Korean 2025 Vision includes a box on “Key Information Technology for the Future”
        (pp. 48-50):
        Three-dimensional image processing system: High-definition flat display technology is
        required. Optical transmission technology will be developed to make a screen with a
        three-dimensional image, high-resolution that bends, and is non-toxic to humans.
Japan
        Among the items that were expected to take more than 15 years to achieve practical use in
        the Seventh technology Delphi were:
        -    Devices enabling communication with animals
        -    Widespread home use of 3-D TV sets not involving the use of glasses
USA
        Advances in battery technology and fuel cells are viewed in the Rand Report (Antón et al.
        2001) as a need to enable existing trends in more portable devices and systems to
        continue.

4.2.6   Possible disrupters

        Canada
        The Canadian report on Geo-Strategics, one of two pilot areas examined for Foresight,
        addresses the question of “disruptive and enabling technologies”, which are not in every
        case as radically “new” as the term might suggest. In the case of Geo-Strategics, the
        technologies described under this heading include nanotechnology, new designer
        materials, an extension of Moore’s law related to the processing power of ICs, the
        Internet, smart systems and agents, smart software capable of self-repair and automatic
        code generation, wireless communication as a means to revolutionise social organisation
        and interaction, fuel cells to power remote sensors, robotics and nanorobotics to help
        action decisions, organic sensors enabling the harnessing of plants and other life forms to
        act as alert mechanisms, virtual reality-based visioning tools to allow citizen participation
        and new human-machine interfaces, e.g. direct links between systems and the brain.
USA
  In particular ultra high-speed all-optical communication networks were expected to be a
  highly disruptive technology. Many leading companies in the computer and communications
  industries were regarded as threatened by this development (Anderson et al. 2000).

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4.3 Software-related Developments

Security has emerged as an important separate topic in several of the foresight studies, partly as a
result of the “bursting of the bubble”, since security, privacy and data protection concerns were
emerging as one of the major barriers to widespread acceptance and use of information and
communication technology in virtually all spheres of everyday life. Part of the remedy could be
the development of appropriate software, but as in most cases where ICT is concerned, software is
only one side of the coin, with education, training and awareness playing an equivalent role.
Additional emphasis has, however, been given to security as the result of events which have
disturbed large parts of civilisation, such as terrorist attacks, disasters and natural catastrophes
with particularly devastating effects. Precaution against such events and containment of their
impacts is still an acknowledged task of state authorities. Technology, including information
technology, can play a key role in preventing incidents or in reducing impact, should they take
place. Much of the technology required for security purposes is already available, so it is a case of
developing concepts and deployment to greatest effect.
The other side of the coin is that technology which can be used for terrorist or other criminal
purposes is becoming readily available and difficult to control and monitor. This creates
additional tasks for authorities, which again raise challenges with respect to security, privacy and
data protection, a kind of “vicious circle”, which will be on the agenda for a time yet.
Among the more general concerns involved in software were the danger of too great dependency
on software developed elsewhere, e.g. operating systems. With the spread of technology like
mobile devices or embedded/ambient computing, software is a key component of technology in
knowledge-based societies, and has been identified as an important field of technology in the
Japanese and Korean studies. The US study emphasises the role of software programming for
entertainment purposes, which can spill over into other areas. While there was not much space
devoted in the two European studies in the current round of FISTERA to the software topic, it was
of considerably greater importance in the studies covered in the first synthesis report (Rader et al.
2004).
The studies covered for this second report particularly stress the importance of software for
complex applications, such as navigation systems, simulation or systems to continuously monitor
the environment. Complex modelling is mentioned as a traditional strength of some new member
states.

        4.1.1. Security

Security has figured heavily in most recent Foresight exercises covered in this paper, particularly
those started after the terrorist actions in the US on September 1 2001 and the subsequent “war on
terror”. The events of September 11 and later events of similar nature (the March 11 2004
bombings in Madrid) are specifically mentioned in recent project reports.
Sweden
       In the report from the Swedish study, such attacks are mentioned as factors determining
       “the spirit of our age”. Fear or “Angst” receives express mention as a factor driving the
       development of technology. While the Swedish report points out, correctly, that this has
       always been the case, recent foresight studies are marked by a change in emphasis.
       Until quite recently, security has been treated in foresight studies as an important aspect of
       individual technologies, e.g. security of IT from virus attacks, security of the food chain
       from diseases like BSE, security from natural disasters like flooding, freak weather

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        conditions etc., security of power supplies, or security from technology-induced accidents
        like nuclear radiation, oil pollution from ruptured tanks and tankers. A concentration of
        security-threatening events like those described in the new Swedish Foresight Report, has
        created a sense of pervasiveness of threats to security and this might be one reason why
        security is now treated not only as an aspect of individual technologies and applications,
        but also as a separate topic.
        Increased technological and social complexity, including that of IT systems, is bringing
        with it heightened vulnerability. According to the Swedish study, this complexity is due
        largely to their socio-technological rather than pure technological nature.
Greece, Israel
        In the documents available on the foresight studies of these two countries available to
        FISTERA, security did not figure sufficiently to be discussed here. However an American
        University report on Israel underlines a prominent role for the military and security-related
        expertise in Israeli society and industry.
Korea
        Work on the Korean National Technology Road Map included the development of 5
        visions (or scenarios) for science and technology development by 2012. For each of these
        visions, the participants derived strategic products and functions required for their
        realisation. The visions are not mutually exclusive and represent facets of a vision of the
        future of Korea which might be realised to varying degrees depending on priority-setting.
        For each vision, a number of key technologies needed to achieve the vision are identified,
        a total of 99 in all. One of the five visions was “improving national safety and prestige”,
        which identified 11 key technologies. In view of Korea’s geopolitical situation, it is
        perhaps surprising that presentations highlight the aim of building the world’s tenth
        technological capability for aerospace and establishing national self-sufficiency in food
        supply under this heading, instead of addressing defence and military applications.
        In the Vision 2025 report (p. 50), security of IT systems is identified as a key area of
        future technology:
        “Info-protection and security: To safely share information around the world, security-
        related technology such as next-generation authentication access controlling and
        encryption will be developed. In addition, next-generation information restoration systems
        (e.g. virus detection and automatic vaccine application system) and Internet service quality
        verification system will be developed.”
        Security is the subject of a separate chapter in the Korean Vision 2025 Report under
        heading of “Safe Life” (p. 93 ff.). “Safe Life” here refers primarily to the prevention of
        natural and man-made disasters, such as the impacts of climate change or earthquakes.
        Information technology is used as part of systems to predict, control or overcome the
        impact of such disasters.
        Since Korea has plans to construct up to twelve new nuclear power plants additional to the
        existing 15, guaranteeing nuclear safety is an essential future task. This includes the
        development of monitoring technology and safety evaluation employing IST.
        Defence is a particular priority for Korea on account of its geopolitical situation. It
        therefore has a high level of R&D investment on defence and speculates on the benefits of
        spin-offs through dual use. The country has a special “Dual-use Technology Promotion
        Law”, enacted in 1998. Among the technologies selected by the Vision 2025 Report under
        the heading of “civilian-military dual-use” are:
        -    ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) with small capacity,
        -    Satellite image analysis technology for quick sensoring,
        -    Intelligent automotive tracking with multiple targets and sensing techniques,
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        -    Quick detection systems for explosives and chemical weapons.
        Military technology of the kind described here is probably needed equally for combating
        terrorism.
Japan
        According to the 7th Technology Foresight, there were major concerns regarding safety on
        networks and the adverse impact of mobile phone use on culture. Thus the report
        recognises a need to address not only the technological aspects of communication, but also
        the legal framework and social aspects. The security of networks and applications on such
        networks is regarded as essential for the growth of the Internet.
        Among the items regarded as less likely in the Delphi Survey for the Seventh Technology
        Foresight was the development of technology capable of automatically detecting computer
        viruses and automatically developing corresponding vaccines. Similarly, there was
        scepticism regarding the use of a reliable network capable of protecting privacy and
        secrecy from intruders.
        Work for the Seventh Japanese Technology Foresight took place considerably before the
        September 11 2001 attacks, so it will be interesting to see how the topic of security has
        been addressed in the 8th Foresight Study the results of which are expected this year.
        At the application level, the report on the Seventh Technology Foresight includes a section
        on “lifestyle, welfare, education and culture” which covers many technologies and
        applications already developed. In such cases, the experts expected widespread
        availability within the current decade (up to 2010). Examples are:
        -    Multiple use ID card systems with wireless communication ability,
        -    Tracking systems using badges or seals,
        -    Two-way portable terminals enabling location in cases of distress,
        -    On-line document systems employing security technology capable of achieving both
             privacy protection and verification.
Canada
        One of the two topics selected for the Canadian Foresight Pilot Project was “Geo-
        Strategics”. This involved over 110 experts representing a wide range of science and
        technology areas. Among the six most important topics deemed to have the greatest
        importance till and in 2025, the first mentioned was “national security & emergency”
        (sic). Others included sustainable cities and settlements and health effects and risk factors.
        It will be seen that such goals are frequently discussed under the general heading of
        security. On the one hand, this shows that the subject of security has, at least recently,
        been an important concern in S&T policy and not simply as a result of the September 11
        event and its aftermath, on the other hand, it illustrates the very broad range of concerns
        addressed under the same general heading (cf. Kallai 2003, p.30).
        Discussing drivers, the report notes that “Beyond bio and environmental security,
        Canadians are concerned with all other forms of security such as the security of the
        information infrastructure, physical security, avoidance of natural hazards and disasters”
        (op. cit, p.32).
        Participants in the pilot project had the normative goal of creating a more secure and safe
        Canada by 2025. However, this implied a number of challenges, such as predicting new
        methods of attack, the protection of key assets, such as food, water and computing
        infrastructures. Security implied the creation of contingency plans for disasters for the
        case that these occurred in the severe Canadian winter, or terrorist attacks on water
        supplies.



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       The report envisages the extension of the security concept by policy makers and the
       general public to include economic, environmental and health issues. In all applications,
       information plays a major role, in such functions as remote monitoring and identification
       in a non-intrusive manner. Among the key characteristics of required security
       management is the application of non-linear thinking, since the report concludes that it
       will not be possible to effectively predict the future based on the past (cf. p. 34). The
       report also points out the need to balance individual privacy and national security (ibid.).
       The key technologies for security and emergency applications specifically include:
       -     Improved low cost sensors undetectable by others (by 2005);
       -     Web-based counter measures to detect and neutralise cyber attacks (by 2005);
       -     Virtual reality tool integrated into personal vision (by 2007);
       -     Smart identifiers and analysers (by 2010);
       -     Inexpensive sensor webs required with real-time detection and “recognition”
             capabilities (by 2007);
       -     Cooperative robotic patrol system (air, land oceans) (by 2010);
       -     Integrated Earth Observation Systems with smart agents generating actionable
             intelligence on chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear threats (by 2015);
       -     Real-time situational assessment and intelligent global models and maps (by 2025).
       Various kinds of terrorist attacks and other catastrophic events are discussed mainly as
       “wild cards”, indicating that experts felt they were unlikely, but not impossible in the
       period up to 2025. Among these are a serious nuclear melt-down, the collapse of the US
       economy as a result of a terrorist nuclear or biological attack, and also the annexation of
       Canada by the US for its water supplies.
       Security was additionally an application area addressed in the second pilot field, bio-
       systemics. The final report on the overall Foresight pilot study remarks that priorities in
       many fields were being transformed due to heightened security awareness, for example on
       privacy and civil liberties. The terrorist attack of September 11 2001 is described as one
       prime reason for this change, but the report also attributes some share to the nature of new
       technologies, such as network communications, peer-to-peer computing and
       biotechnology. The technologies identified as being important in this connection were:
       -     Micro-sensors capable of identifying compound;
       -     Mesh networks of low powered transmitter to create a pervasive computing
             environment;
       -     Use of RFID tags to keep track of materials;
       -     Greater understanding of disease epidemiology;
       -     Artificial intelligence support systems for disaster and crisis management;
       -     Use of nano-bio monitors and drug delivery systems to modify human behaviour;
       -     Rapid identification of pathogens through genetics and proteomics.
       Since technology designed to prevent, detect and combat crime can also be used by
       criminals, several dangers or challenges were also identified:
       -     Higher levels of surveillance would mean that greater amounts of personal data might
             be available to a wider range of people;
       -     The integration of systems implies a wider range of threats;
       -     The risk of bio-threats grows as development and production capabilities become
             more distributed;
       -     Personal systems are required to monitor security;
       -     Pervasive computing is a distinct possibility.
       In this case, the R&D required to support security issues was not regarded as particularly
       demanding or complex. The major issue seemed to be their design so as to be unobtrusive.


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        Another major point was devising measures to prevent potentially dangerous technology
        from falling into the hands of the wrong people.
USA
        The NBIC workshop took place shortly after the September 11 2001 attacks on the World
        Trade Center and the Pentagon which probably gave added urgency to this topic.
        Nonetheless, security concerns and military applications were almost certainly always one
        of the main drivers for interest of the US in NBIC technologies. The report singles out
        seven application areas seen as particularly urgent in view of the changing nature of
        challenges to security in the new millennium:
        -    Data linkage and threat anticipation, i.e. using combinations of sensors and data
             processing capabilities to identify potential threats to security and to launch counter-
             measures;
        -    Uninhabited combat vehicles, which will obviously also rely on a combination of
             sensors and information and communication technologies;
        -    War fighter education and training, presumably employing IT based simulation
             techniques and virtual reality;
        -    Responses to chemical, biological, radiological and explosive threats, which will again
             include complex systems of sensors, and also protective clothing to enable humans to
             operate in hazardous environments;
        -    War fighter systems, which are designed to provide humans with extra information for
             use in combat situations by extending memory, sensory perception, alertness etc.;
        -    Non-drug treatments to enhance human performance, meaning the use of a
             combination of biotechnology and nanotechnology for such purposes as compensation
             for sleep depravation, enhancing physical and psychological performance and
             improving the likelihood of survival when physically injured;
        -    Applications of human-machine interfaces, e.g. direct communication of technology
             with the human brain in critical situations.
        A breakout group at one of the two conferences underpinning the Rand report (Antón et
        al. 2001) thought that it would be possible to reduce the incidence of physical crime
        though surveillance from inexpensive sensors, DNA tracing (presumably indirectly
        through the deterrent effect of better prosecution and detection of criminals) and other IT
        based techniques. However, it was likely that new types of crime could emerge in the IT
        world, where a cat-and-mouse game between criminals and crime detection/law
        enforcement was likely to continue.
        Rand expects the US to maintain a strong technological edge in IT-driven weaponry and
        “battlefield awareness”. Even so, it could be attacked by a number of states using weapons
        of mass destruction in unanticipated ways. The risk of war among developed countries is
        regarded as low, with the greatest potential for conflict arising from rivalries in Asia.
        Sophisticated weaponry is likely to fall into the hands of belligerent states or terrorists. A
        National Intelligence Council report on Global Trends in 2015 fed by Rand intelligence is
        uncertain about the threat of cyber warfare. While acknowledging the vulnerability of
        critical infrastructure in the US, it questions whether cyber warfare will ever evolve into a
        decisive combat arm. Biological warfare and bio-terrorism are, however, perceived as real
        threats.
Discussion
Since it has traditionally been the role of the state to take precautions to ensure security, it is this
role which is being re-examined in debate on security. In the case of threats posed by other
people, be it as a nation, group, or individual, to the physical integrity of citizens, this has
involved the potential use of force. Security systems put in place for this purpose have been
configured to deal with largely predictable threats. Since the breakdown of the “old” world order

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of the cold war with two major political blocks, each with weapons of mass destruction sufficient
several times over to annihilate each other and the rest of the world in the process, the existing
military security systems are having great difficulty in confronting new challenges:
The methods employed for terrorist means are no longer predictable and do not necessarily
respect established conventions. The collapse of the Soviet Union and its satellites has diminished
control over stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, which could easily fall into the hands of
terrorists or other criminal organisations.
Threats are no longer posed mainly by readily identified countries or groups identified with a
fixed location. Instead, threats are posed mainly by networks, which are proving difficult to
combat and virtually impossible to destroy in the short run, so that it is very likely that they will
continue to exist in the future. There will thus be a need for security systems flexible to adapt to
changing types of threat and able to anticipate various kinds of previously unknown threats.
On the one hand, modern complex technology is very prone to threats and its disruption can cause
very major difficulties for individual nations, and as a consequence, to the global economic
system. On the other hand, technology can be used to provide greater security in many areas, e.g.
by monitoring and sensoring.
Much modern technology is by nature distributed and readily available for use. As such, it can be
misused for terrorist or criminal purposes, either directly or as a target. Due to the networked,
connected character of much of this technology, local disruptions can have a “snowball” effect,
with cumulative impact for large geographical areas or even at the global scale. Recent examples
include the power blackouts in North America and in parts of Europe, where comparatively
“minor” incidents triggered large-scale disruptions.
Many of the same challenges are posed by natural and man-made disasters of the kinds mentioned
in the Swedish description of the current situation, such as flooding, violent storms and droughts,
outbreaks of serious disease, or collapse of infrastructures vital for the functioning of the economy
and society as a whole.
The heightened awareness for security concerns is probably due in no small measure to an
accumulation of events regarded as unlikely, although obviously not impossible. In the public
perception, the likelihood of similar events has probably increased with the result that they are
commonly now regarded as “probable” rather than “unlikely”. This perception has been
reinforced by proclamations by politicians about the imminence of further terrorist attacks,
usually in the run-up to elections where the ability to manage citizen security is becoming a major
issue.
There are major expectations on the one hand concerning the reduction of the likelihood of events,
e.g. greater surveillance and improved counter intelligence to make terrorist attacks less likely,
measures to ensure greater security of infrastructures and information technology, reduction of
man-made causes of climate change, monitoring activities for early warnings. On the other hand,
there are also expectations concerning the management of crises, should they actually take place,
e.g. measures to reduce damage, emergency systems to restore and uphold important functions,
measures to restore normal conditions as far as possible.
The foresight studies examined for this current paper where applicable each address areas of
technology designed to provide greater security, but also highlight aspects of a non-technical
nature, such as the configuration of infrastructures to prevent “domino effects” in the case of
disruptions, institutional aspects and the balance between greater security and other aspects such
as data protection and privacy. Many of the issues identified in this connection are of a nature
requiring interdisciplinary treatment, e.g. the development and evaluation of concepts to confront
new challenges to security.




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4.3.2   Content/Software

Korea
        In its box on Key information Technology for the Future the Korean 2025 Vision includes
        (pp. 48-50):
        -    Core software technology: Software technology and automatic programming systems
             will be developed to support the creation, storage, distribution and utilization of
             information.
        -    Intelligent multimedia contents technology: Realistic multimedia database systems
             with digital contents will be produced. Its application will enhance language education
             systems, interpretation telephone with automatic simultaneous interpretation and
             large-scale retrieval. Cyberspace will be harnessed for more efficient and multi-party
             on-line communication using information technology
        -    Human-friendly information processing technology: Bio-human computer inter-face
             technology, virtual reality technology, natural language processing technology, three-
             dimensional image processing technology etc. will lead to the development of human-
             friendly easy-to-use information production and transmission technology, such as
             multimedia agents, chirological interpretation systems and image-to-voice
             transformation systems.
Japan
        An important issue addressed by the Seventh Technology Foresight was the development
        of applications meeting social needs and finding the necessary acceptance to warrant
        diffusion. A crucial factor in this context was the development of functions and content
        making the most of opportunities provided by new technology.
        Software is regarded as one of the most important industrial fields in Japan. It is extending
        its reach from classical computers to mobile devices and home appliances and is playing a
        key role in natural and social sciences, e.g. high performance algorithms for gene analysis
        (p.125).
        Software for linking and integrating the various components of systems and for
        information formation, acquisition, extraction, compilation and integration will increase
        exceptionally in importance in the coming years.
        Of particular importance to Japan is software capable of multiple languages and for
        converting speech to text. Software with such characteristics is expected to be available by
        around 2011. Applications for handling image, aural and other data are expected for
        around 2015.
        Topics related to artificial intelligence and knowledge bases are ranked as important, but
        according to the experts participating in the Seventh Japanese Technology Foresight, the
        time horizon for their realisation is distant (post 2020).
        The experts expected significant advances regarded the provision of content via software
        with the following developments regarded as likely by 2010:
        -    Development of technology for quantitatively measuring comfort sensations;
        -    Development of an aesthetic information system (selects music adapted to mood of
             user);
        -    Development of chess programs capable of beating champions;
        -    Practical use of speech-synthesis techniques converting written information into
             speech at almost human-level quality;
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         -   Widespread use of multi-modal environments embodying various human-machine
             input techniques (voice, gestures, facial expressions);
         -   Development of technology capable of instant conversion of speech into written
             information (e.g. for use in news programs);
         -   Widespread use of systems for search and retrieval of sounds, images and video from
             electronic libraries;
         -   Development of a system that automatically detects highlights and prepares a digest
             when provided with a video and a commentary of a baseball game.
         The respondents were rather more sceptical regarding the development of expert systems
         to replace human judges, lawyers or patent attorneys, with some questioning whether such
         a development is at all desirable.
         In view of the cross-border nature of networks, the experts participating in the Delphi
         survey gave high importance to software development addressed at protecting intellectual
         property, such as automatically detecting piracy or infringements of IPR.
         The Foresight report furthermore anticipates widespread use of electronic newspapers,
         magazines and museums tailored to specific interest profiles by 2010.
         At a more general level, the report raises the question of what to do with the abundant
         processing and networking capacity now available. In this case, the report argues for a
         technology driven approach: development of content going beyond existing concepts and
         the creation of massive real-time control systems incorporating sensors.
         Concerns are expressed in the report regarding delays in realising software infrastructure.
         Japan is dependent on the U.S. for much key software, such as operating systems and
         router software. If it is to become an IT power, the sub-committee feels that Japan must
         maintain and improve its software capabilities.
USA
         Entertainment was identified as an important driver of IT developments now and at least
         over the next 15 – 20 years. Among the developments identified as important in this area
         were: multi-person computer-based games; Web-mediated physical activity; ubiquitous
         web-cams for entertainment, communication and surveillance; interactions with people of
         different cultures enabled by machine translation; the ability to view athletic events from
         almost any angle; video glasses to place images directly before a viewer’s eyes, and e-
         books (cf. Anderson et al. 2000).

4.3.3    Complex Modelling, Virtual Reality

Israel
         ISTs are likely to find further use in monitoring the environment and in integrated GIS
         data and computer-based systems in land policy and urban planning, water management
         and the appropriate treatment of the elderly and infirm.
         Particular opportunities for Israel are seen in the development of advanced driving
         simulators for especially realistic experiences, traffic control, all-weather aircraft take-off,
         landing and automatic taxiing.
Korea
         Among the IST-related developments expected between 2001 and 2010 are meetings in
         cyberspace utilising virtual reality and large display screens and real-time monitoring of
         environmental changes through worldwide computer networks.



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        Between 2011 and 2020, the Vision identifies the availability of three-dimensional
        information stockpiling material which adapts to external environments as a likely
        technological advance.
Japan
        In view of the abundant processing and networking capacity now available, the report on
        information and communications by the Seventh Technology foresight argues for a
        technology driven approach leading to the creation of massive real-time control systems
        incorporating sensors.
Canada
   Among the expected technologies and capabilities described under the heading of information
   and cognitive technology in the Pilot Foresight Report on Bio-Systemics were::
        -    The highest paid celebrity could be synthetic (2010);
        -    Functional mind-machine interface (2020);
        -    Robots mentally and physically superior to humans (2030);
        -    Tele-presence (2017);
        -    Ethical computer (2015).




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4.4 Ambient Computing

While the concept of “ambient computing” unites many technological developments dealt with
elsewhere in this report and is a concept guiding many developments in the EU, it is worth
examining foresight studies written elsewhere to see if it is a particularly “European”
phenomenon or if it is also on the agenda of Europe’s competitors. The Korean technology road
map, which is basically oriented towards the near-term specifically mentions “Anytime,
Anywhere, Any device communications”, which is definitely close to the European concept,
including such artefacts as “wearables”. These are also mentioned in US reports, so it is to be
expected that this will be an area for international competition.
Sweden:
         An update report on information technology, currently available only in Swedish, bears
         the translated title “New, Better and More Secure – IT in the Service of Future Society”. It
         addresses three main directions:
         -   Convergence, meaning in this case the decrease or elimination of the technological
             differences between telecom, data and media;
         -   Integration, which permits text, speech, audio, images and video to be processed in the
             same information system;
         -   Transparency, making it possible for services to be offered and accessed everywhere
             (cf. Swedish Foresight 2004a, p. 55f.).
Korea:
         The Korean 2025 Vision includes in its box on Key information Technology for the
         Future (p. 49):
         “Technology to support cyber life: Next generation cooperative system for three-
         dimensional image processing technology will enable people to process information while
         at home and on the move. The development and application of cyber intelligence will
         increase the convenience of daily lives, making possible inter-active tele-education,
         ultimately creating an environment suitable for education and training in cyber space.”
         This is not termed in the report as ambient intelligence, but definitely does point in the
         direction of certain visions of ambient intelligence. It is one of the groups of technologies
         addressed in the vision “Building an Information-Knowledge- Intelligence Society” of the
         National Technology roadmap. The group includes:
         -   Intelligent man-machine interface
         -   Intelligent robot
         -   Intelligent home appliance
         -   Intelligent building/home
         -   Intelligent transport system
         -   Intelligent medical system
         The same vision includes another group of technologies under the heading “Anytime,
         Anywhere, Any device communications”, which is perhaps an essential element of the
         ambient intelligence concept:
         -   Digital convergence
         -   Intelligent computing
         -   Ubiquitous network
         -   Mobile & wearable IT Device
USA
         In the field of artefacts, the main trend is expected to be the application of small-scale
         systems consisting of sensory and communications equipment to couple the physical

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       world and the cyber world “allowing information systems to react much more
       comprehensively to (changes in) their environment” (Anderson et al. 2000, 7).
       Computing and information systems are expected to become more ubiquitous through
       convergence of previously dedicated devices: wireless telephones, PDAs, radio voice and
       e-mail messaging, smart home appliances. “Wearable computers” will be increasingly
       important informational aids, enabled by such developments as WAP and Bluetooth.


Figure 1 on the next page is a graphical representation of the technological trajectories addressed
in the studies.




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                     Figure 1: Mapping national FS with
                          Technology Trajectories
                                     (design of figure courtesy IPTS)




                                           Storage                                           Printing
                                            Jp, Kr                                            Ca, Jp




                                                                                                                     Data capturing
                                                                        Information visual                                 Ca
                             Processing
                                                                              display
                        ,Il, Jp, Ca, US,
                                                                             Kr, Jp, Ca
                        UK




                                                                                                                                Pin-pointing
             Human interfacing
                 Se, Jp                         Bandwidth
                                                Se, , Kr, Jp,
                                                                                                          Info
                                                                                                        retrieval
                                                                                                        Se, Kr, Jp



                            Communications
                          ,Se, Jp, Kr, USA, Gr, Il,
                                    Ca




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4.5 Application Areas

The bursting of the “new economy” has had little visible impact on most cases studied here, for
one thing since the only focus in the Canadian Pilot Project is on the security of IT systems rather
than on IT as a whole. The first German and Swedish cases covered in the first FISTERA
synthesis report were also examples of “post-bubble” exercises, started after the excitement had
receded. The Seventh Japanese Foresight Study was started before the bubble burst, but as
elsewhere, this exercise tends to regard e-commerce and other applications, such as e-government,
as of great future importance. In particular the assessments by the American University point out
and underline the importance of cultural factors in the diffusion of e-commerce: in certain
cultures, it is important to actually handle goods before making a purchase, so there are other
barriers to overcome before e-commerce can become widespread beyond security, privacy and
data protection which have proved a major barrier in Europe and some other regions.
Health and aging are mentioned as important future application areas in most studies, but, as in
the first synthesis report, presumably because these are high on political agendas. One Korean
study sees aging as an important future market: the “silver society Industry”.
Industrial applications are also mentioned in most studies, sometimes in connection with new
materials, but most frequently in connection with concepts like “agile manufacturing” or “supply
chain management”.
Government is identified as an important pioneer user of IT in several studies, although at least
the Swedish study raises doubts with respect to the current “e-readiness” of existing authorities.
Another aspect mentioned is the need for streamlining or crossing departmental boundaries to
achieve true efficiency. ISTs offer opportunities for increased citizen participation and some
studies also anticipate increased demands from citizens for the introduction of more participation
and involvement in decision-making. In the case of Korea, this is seen as a need to achieve the
transition to a modern knowledge-based society.
Environment, sustainable development and “comfortable living” are an important future
application area for ISTs, for example in complex systems designed to monitor the environment.
With the anticipated increase in globalisation and corresponding flows of goods and travel by
humans, applications for transport and travel are mentioned in many studies. The Canadian study
explicitly also addresses potential for applications to avoid physical transportation.
In view of the importance of education, including such concepts as lifelong learning, for the
knowledge society, it is not surprising to find that several studies mention e-education and e-
learning as future application areas.
Many of the studies covered in this report address the use of technology for automatic translation,
which continues to be high on the agenda, although doubts are at times expressed with respect to
realisation. Automatic translation is discussed in connection with systems on a chip (Canada) and
television (Japan).

4.5.1    “New Economy” and the Bursting of the “Bubble”

Sweden
        Trust and security were obviously critical factors in the “new economy” and these are
        indeed subjects very much present in current foresight. The Swedish study explicitly refers
        to the “new economy” stating that bold optimism concerning this – which in the
        understanding of Swedish foresight includes both IT and biotechnology – had been
        replaced by more cautious optimism.


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Greece
         The American University site on the “Landscape of IT in Nations” suggests that the
         conditions for e-commerce were never particularly favourable, even at the height of
         interest during “bubble” times. Among the major reasons are the low rate of Internet use
         compared to such leaders as Sweden, the low penetration rate for credit cards which are an
         important prerequisite for a great deal of e-commerce, and a cultural barrier, mentioned in
         connection with several other countries: Greeks prefer to be physically present when
         shopping.
Israel
         Again, the American University site indicates that cultural factors are acting to slow down
         the uptake of e-commerce in Israel: “Although the Internet penetration in Israel is healthy
         and booming, two main factors seem to stunting e-commerce growth. First, is Israeli
         hesitancy to provide credit card information over the Internet. Second, in Israeli culture
         there seems to be a preference to touch and feel merchandise before its purchase.”
         (http://www.american.edu/carmel/nk3791a/Ecommerce.htm)
United States
         E-commerce and its impact on other areas, such as government, figure heavily on the
         Rand report. While the expectations with regard to its immediately increasing importance
         might now seem exaggerated, the conclusions on its impact in general are fairly realistic:
         -   Demolishing barriers to market entry;
         -   Cost reduction potential within existing business models, e.g. through off-shoring;
         -   Development of new business models requiring skills in innovation and business
             change not likely to be found “off shore”;
         -   Increased efficiency of government, new communication potential, challenges to
             existing regulatory frameworks;
         -   Price reductions, new products and services, increasing choice, however, with the
             danger, also, of social exclusion.
         Not unexpectedly, e-commerce does not play any major role in the discussion on NBIC
         convergence.
Canada
         E-commerce and virtual reality are mentioned as applications which are expected to
         reduce the demand for people transportation by 2025.
Korea
         Among the IST-related developments expected by the “Vision 2025 Project” are:
         -   Electronic transactions on secure network systems protecting privacy (for the period
             between 2001 and 2010)
         -   Work, education and shopping with computers are commonplace (between 2011 and
             2020).
         The National Technology Roadmap includes a group “Innovation in Contents and
         Service”, which includes e-commerce as part of its Scenario “Building an Information-
         Knowledge- Intelligence Society”.
         E-commerce and the new economy receive surprisingly little attention in the Korean
         studies, although it appears generally that e-commerce is already quite popular in the
         country, and still growing
         (American University, http://www.american.edu/initeb/hp2566a/E-Commerce/index.htm).

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Japan
         The report on the Delphi survey for the Seventh Technology Foresight addresses the
         “internet bubble”, noting that it underlines the fragility of the network society, but also
         that it indicates the aspirations for a new society based on computers and networks
         harboured by the general public.
         In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the use of the internet and mobile
         phones for communication. At the time of the study, Japan had the highest rate of users
         connected to the internet only by mobile phone. The communication domain was ranked
         of high importance as was electronic commerce. Expectations in this field include
         providing safety, lower network costs and fast communication. This is interpreted as
         indicating enthusiasm for a safe, high-speed, country-wide broadband communication
         system. This was also reflected in expert assessments of contributions of developments in
         this field to socioeconomic development and peoples’ needs.
         It was expected that most book purchases would take place through on-line shopping
         rather than from bookstores. Most stores would be completely converted into showrooms
         with purchasing done through catalogues and on-line.
         The e-Japan strategy announced by the government in January 2001 focuses on building
         an ultra-high speed network infrastructure, establishes rules and an environment for e-
         commerce and provides for training to make Japan a leading e-government nation.
         Japanese industry is relying heavily on ICT to revitalise its management structures which
         were regarded as a major cause of the collapse of the “bubble economy” (p. 128). The
         internet bubble is further addressed directly, stating that the business models created in its
         process are likely to survive, creating a need for the further development of technology for
         this purpose.
         Supply chain management and electronic commerce will have major impact on modes of
         distribution. Among the technologies required are verification systems for e-commerce
         and mechanisms to ensure security and trust.
         With respect to ICT, the report by the sub-committee on information and communications
         includes a statement by a sub-.committee member addressing administration, industry,
         transportation and distribution. This states that “(t)he last five years have been
         characterized by the appearance of the full effects of the “lost decade” from the bursting of
         Japan’s economic bubble, a drop in company R&D spending, and a conspicuous loss of
         confidence by Japan as it fell well behind the U.S. in information-related technology”
         (NISTEP 2001, p.127).

4.5.2    Health, Aging

Greece
         The use of telemedicine and on-line health-monitoring systems will increase “the ability
         of people with serious chronic and age related diseases to maintain their independence”
         (Amanatidou et al. 2004, p. 16).
Israel
         IST could find use in improved medical management techniques, mentioned in the Israel
         Delphi study under the headings of life science and health care. A more long-term
         development anticipated in the first round of the survey was remote monitoring of health
         status. Other possible IST-related developments in this area were the development of
         methods for recombining disconnected nerve systems, artificial organs and medical
         micromachines for use within human bodies.


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Korea
        The Vision 2025 expects computer-designed medicines by 2010.
        Information technology is also required for the important field of life science and health
        and medical technologies, e.g. analysis technology, bioinformatics, measurements,
        minimally invasive surgery techniques, medical information systems, artificial intelligence
        technology, bio-chip technology and bio-mimetics.
        Brain research is described as being “at the fledgling stage” and as requiring contributions
        from the cognitive sciences and information technology. It is further described as an area
        “very appropriate for Korea”…(p. 81), due to the country’s highly educated workforce.
        The report recommends focusing “on the brain information processing area which uses
        information technology, one of Korea’s strengths” (p. 82).
        Due to aging of world-wide populations, a so-called “silver society industry” is expected
        to emerge as a new high value-added sector by 2010.
Japan
        The Seventh Technology Foresight includes surprisingly little material in the use of ICT in
        medicine and health care. It is to be expected that this will have changed in the Eight
        Foresight. The use of DNA sensors is discussed in the section on life sciences. Medical
        systems for an aged society include “information systems”.
Canada
        The report on the pilot area “Geo-Strategics” refers to health: New geospatial technologies
        were expected to play a role in enhancing the health status of Canadian citizens and their
        environment by 2025. An important application would be monitoring of the environment
        with particular attention to health risks.
USA
        According to the Rand report, computer simulation is expected to be used for the
        development of new drugs and has already found use in approval procedure by the US
        Food and Drug Administration (Antón et al., 2001, p. 11). In the area overlapping with
        biology, the following developments are identified
        -    Information technology and new manufacturing technologies are seen to be enabling
             the production of customised biomedical structures, e.g. replacement bones (op. cit.
             13).
        -    There is likely to be progress made in understanding certain phenomena taking place
             in the human brain. While this is not likely to result in intelligent systems, it should be
             possible by 2015 to produce systems capable of performing such tasks as home
             vacuum cleaning, mine detection or autonomous search.
        -    Telemedicine intended to extend the reach of specialised medical care to remote areas
             is mentioned as an application field. However, an important prerequisite is the creation
             of an adequate infrastructure to avoid the emergence of a divide in this area.
        -    Advances in telemedicine are expected to provide professionals and patients with a
             bewildering array of choices, creating a need for brokering services. While
             developments in this area are expected in general to increase or create a divide
             between rich and poor societies, there are general benefits, such as improved access to
             information and training (breakout group on services at a conference reported in
             (Anderson et al. 2000)).



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4.5.3    Industrial Applications

Israel
         Multipurpose intelligent robots could find use in agriculture.
         A major application area for information technologies will be production. This involves
         input devices, virtual manufacturing systems, teleconferencing, telecommuting and
         enterprise information systems. Health care is also mentioned under the “production”
         heading with the realisation of automatic home-based health diagnosis systems expected
         to be in use by around 2010. By this time, there are also expected to be massive systems
         based on networks of machines. Production systems providing comprehensive support for
         people with disabilities and applications of nanotechnology in production are given high
         priority by the Israeli experts.
Korea
         Among the IST-related developments expected according to the Vision 2025 report
         between 2001 and 2010 are robots for monitoring and maintenance of nuclear facilities
         (hazardous environments).
         In a chapter on strengthening industrial competitiveness and increasing national wealth,
         the Vision 2025 focuses on six promising future technologies. One of these is
         mechatronics, which is defined as the “realisation of a high performance system by
         combining mechanical device technology as tools and equipment with such electronic
         technologies as electronic circuits and control technologies” (p. 62). Modern mechatronics
         also include communication, networking and human intelligence. Essential technologies
         include “intelligent” robots, manufacturing systems and high-speed machining devices,
         next-generation vehicles and aircraft, vessel systems and wireless network sensors (p. 64
         f.).
         Another of the six promising future technology areas is materials processing technology.
         The technologies identified in this area include high-density storage materials “in which
         one atom becomes a memory unit” (p.66), and intelligent microsensors for artificial
         sensory systems (ibid.).
Japan
         Supply chain management and electronic commerce will have major impact on modes of
         distribution. Among the technologies required are verification systems for e-commerce
         and mechanisms to ensure security and trust.
USA
         The Rand report mentions Simulation techniques in connection with manufacturing:
         -   Application of sophisticated (e.g. massively parallel) simulation techniques based on
             IT is described as a further key application of IT. Rapid prototyping in manufacturing
             is expected to cut costs in part production. The ability to, for example, design a
             product in a firm and then to outsource production is described as a factor furthering
             globalisation, and “enabling organizations with less capital to have a significant
             technological impact” (Antón et al., p. 18)
         With respect to materials:
         -   Cutting edge materials technology enabled by some of the developments previously
             described would be smart (reactive materials combing sensors and actuators), multi-
             functional (e.g. MEMS, laboratories on a chip) and environmentally compatible or
             survivable (e.g. able to operate in extreme conditions).
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         A keyword describing the vision underlying many of the applications is “agile
         manufacturing”. In this, the customer could be connected to a product throughout its entire
         life cycle. “An order would be processed using computer-aided design, the manufacturing
         system would be configured in real time for the specific product (e.g. model, style, color,
         and options), raw materials and components would be acquired just in time, and the
         product would be delivered and tracked throughout its life cycle (including maintenance
         and recycling with identification of the customer). Components of the business enterprise
         could be dynamically based in the most cost-effective locations with all networked
         together globally” (op. cit. p.22).
         In business, there is a shift in emphasis from products to services: while products continue
         to be important they are increasingly being packaged as parts of services. The business
         model for such services relies heavily on information technology (Anderson et al. 2000,
         7).
         Much impetus in the area of services is expected to come from the field of entertainment,
         followed by business-to-business e-commerce. Particularly crucial services are those
         supporting lifelong learning and specialised training.
         “IT-enabled supply-chain management and the general control of production processes
         were considered as drastically reducing the advantages that accrue to cheap labor, possibly
         ending the flight of manufacturing to the developing world” (Anderson et al., 2000, p.
         xiv).

4.5.4    Government, Democracy

Sweden
         The pioneer role of the public sector is discussed in connection with IT innovations. While
         the synthesis report concedes that the national and municipal administrations are among
         the largest purchasers of IT solutions, it also doubts that “these organizations today have
         sufficient expertise, technological and otherwise, to acts as engines of technological
         development” (Swedish Foresight 2004a, p. 41).
Greece
         New technologies can be used by governments and other organisations to “engage in
         widespread social control” (Amanatidou et al. 2004, p. 16).
         Use of ICT in e-governance will enhance transparency between government and citizens.
Korea
         The Vision 2025 report contains a recommendation for the government to upgrade its use
         of IT, e.g. for electronic government including electronic voting and internet polling.
         Other application areas for government mentioned specifically are employment, welfare,
         health care (including clinical applications), education (including distance learning),
         national security and banking. The government is also urged to support the creation of a
         “new industrial base in cyberspace” (p. 43).
         The Vision 2025 sees a trend for increased convenience in the daily lives of people,
         creating a demand for “products that are convenient to use, stable and portable” (p.94).
         The government is seen as having a major role in the distribution of “intelligent electric
         household appliances” and in the construction of smart houses to encourage the
         development of telecommuting and remote communications” (cf. p. 99).
Japan
         Respondents to the Delphi survey for the Seventh Technology Foresight believed that the
         Japanese government should increase R&D Spending on hardware for communications
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         systems and transmission technology. In addition, there was a feeling that public money
         should be spent on upgrading human skills and knowledge in this field.
         In administration, the report notes that the government is marked by conservatism
         resulting in slower uptake of ICT than by the private sector. Even so, government has
         steadily developed an information infrastructure, revised legislation and started making
         active use of the Internet to provide access to information and services. There are already
         pioneering applications for “participatory communities”, providing administrative
         information and introducing electronic voting (cf. NISTEP 2001, p. 127).
         The e-Japan strategy announced by the government in January 2001 focuses on building
         an ultra-high speed network infrastructure, establishes rules and an environment for e-
         commerce and provides for training to make Japan a leading e-government nation.
         However, there seem to be problems for the participants in the Delphi survey to accept
         electronic courts or voting, so that realisation of such applications might take longer than
         originally anticipated. ICT has the potential to provide equal access for all citizens to
         information and services but requires considerable effort for education and training of
         sufficient staff.
USA
         There is likely to be pressure for e-voting and direct democracy enabled by IT. This was
         not viewed as entirely desirable since deliberation might dry up as a result of e-voting, and
         multiple votes on minor issues were regarded as being linked with increased likelihood of
         voter apathy (cf. Anderson et al. 2000).

4.5.5    Environment, Sustainable Development

Korea
         “Comfortable life” is regarded as a driver for technological change, both in Korea and
         globally. One outcome of this trend is a demand for environmental technologies. In this
         area, Korea is urged to develop the following IST related technologies:
         -   Technologies for the measurement and analysis of pollutants;
         -   Techniques to monitor and predict global environmental changes and to watch, predict
             and evaluate climate change.
         Korea is only able to fulfil about 30% of its own food requirements and is predicted to
         face a water shortage by 2006, which is expected to increase sharply after that date. The
         rate of fuel use is running faster than the rate of economic growth, and thus Korea is
         threatened by shortages of food, energy and water.
         The recommendations (set of tasks) contained in the report therefore include:
         -   R&D for mass production of food using bio-technology,
         -   Development of core technologies for alternative energy sources and energy
             efficiency.
Japan:
         A new item introduced in the seventh Technology Foresight for the first time concerned
         the re-use of computers and their components: a majority of respondents thought it likely
         that the “number of recycled parts in new personal computers, including displays, would
         exceed 90% of all component parts”.
         Several items were expected to take more than 15 years to achieve practical use:
         -   Weather forecasting for one week in advance with 95% accuracy


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        -    Building management and home security systems incorporating early warning systems
             for earthquakes.
        ICTs are discussed in the section on Marine Science and Earth Science in connection with
        monitoring (sensors, networks, weather forecasting).
Canada
        The second major topic in the Geostrategics report (Kallai 2003) was “Environment and
        Resources”. The participants in the foresight process developed a vision of Canada as a
        “northern and maritime nation that believes in taking care of “mother earth” (p.21).
        Improved management of the environment and resources requires better geo-information,
        e.g. sensors to provide reliable indicators for the health of geo-eco systems, satellite
        observation data, decision support technologies for urgent decisions based on incomplete
        information etc.
        The third topic covered in the report is “oceans and in-land water” which is of particular
        significance to Canada as one of the richest countries in in-land water. The aim is to
        continue providing high quality and safe water, building among other things on a real-time
        monitoring system. Among the measures envisioned is the development of mechanisms to
        transport water from regions with abundance to those with shortage. Sustainable ocean
        management would require full understanding of fish management variables and a
        complete mapping of the hydrological cycle. This area as a whole is seen as a potential
        field for Canadian global leadership.
        The topic “sustainable cities and settlements” built upon a set of “desirable states” (p. 33).
        Among the technology needs for such desirable states were those needed for monitoring
        air quality, transportation density, population density, water quality, waste management,
        energy use, social well being and crime. Also required were modelling techniques to help
        understand and model inter-relationships of such variables in static and dynamic
        situations.

4.5.6   Transport and Travel

Korea
        The IST-related developments expected between 2001 and 2010 include a road
        transportation control system monitoring the flow of transportation by detecting speed and
        model of vehicles, plus density of traffic. ICT also plays an important role in the creation
        of an “intelligent transportation system” (p. 100) and in unmanned train control using
        satellites (ibid).
Japan
        Wireless fare and toll collection systems will find increasing use in transport by railways
        and automobiles. Navigation systems as an applied information technology were
        developed originally in Japan and are now finding widespread use in other countries.
        Since cars are increasingly being equipped with information technology systems, this can
        be extended to include such things as anti-collision warning systems which themselves
        could provide a springboard for future automatic driving systems. Positioning technology
        can additionally be used to prevent vehicle theft, to locate helpless persons or to monitor
        the environment for such things as illicit waste disposal.
        In railways, ICT could find use to provide greater safety and comfort for passengers and to
        offer services for entertainment while travelling. Railway stations are being transformed
        through ICT use from mere gateways to transportation to advanced information centres.
        Finally, IT is also discussed in connection with space exploration.


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Canada
         The “Geo-Strategics” report makes a distinction between travel and transportation. The
         latter is not a value-added activity. The report argues that getting things done without
         moving people, such as enabling meetings in “virtual reality”, is a worthwhile objective.
         Among the required technologies mentioned in this context are directory technologies and
         addressing systems, holographic display and capture technologies and touch and feel
         simulation technologies.

4.5.7    Applications for Education and Training

Greece
         Lifelong learning will be widespread, i.e. on the one hand, transition to a knowledge
         society creates pressure on the work force to upgrade existing skills or to acquire new
         skills, on the other hand, it probably creates demand for e-learning technology, devices
         and applications.
Korea
         The Vision 2025 devotes considerable space to the upcoming information society, in
         particular to education, organisational and institutional aspects. Among the measures
         proposed for this area is a “nationwide comprehensive knowledge management system”,
         which also includes a technology information distribution site on the Internet. Due to the
         importance of acquired knowledge as an asset for the future, the report describes the
         protection of intellectual property rights as a key task, specifically mentioning the creation
         of laws.
Japan
         Distance learning and a kind of globalisation of learning credits are expected to be realised
         within the current decade. Demographic processes, such as aging, are creating a need for
         specific learning programs to counteract emergence of “digital divides”. Japanese
         companies are beginning to outsource their factory functions.

4.5.8    Machine translation

Canada
         Single chip real time translation is expected by the participants in the Biosystemics pilot
         study to have been realised by 2012.
USA
         According to an earlier Rand report (Anderson et al. 2000, 7) the general machine
         translation problem is not expected to be solved within the next twenty years, but it will be
         possible to produce machine translations sufficient for many purposes and limited
         domains.
Figure 2 shows the application areas for ISTs mentioned in the studies using the standard
FISTERA taxonomy derived from WP2.




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                         Figure 2: Priority Action areas for IST
                                                     Design of figure courtesy IPTS




                 Security

I               CZ, El, Se,
               US, Ca, Jp, Kr                                           Work
                                                                   AT, HU, SE, UK,Il,
n                                                                       Kr, US


d                                   Learning
i                                AT, DE, HU, SE,
                                  UK, Kr, El, Jp
                                                         Health
                                                     AT,CZ,FR,DE,HU

v                                  Entertainment
                                                      ,SE,UK, El, Kr,
                                                        Ca, Us, Il
                                                                                         eCommerce
i                                  CZ, DE, FR, HU,
                                       SE, UK
                                                                                        ES, SE, UK, Il,
                                                                                          Jp,Ca, Kr,

d
u                                                            Transport
                                                            AT,CZ,HU,SE,                             Agriculture
                                                            UK, Kr, Jp, Ca
a             Domotics
             :AT, US, Kr,
                                                                                                     CZ, HU, Ca

                 Jp
l                                 Government
s                                  SE, El, Kr


                                                     Public
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4.6 Non –technical Issues

Even in those countries whose foresight activities have traditionally focused largely on
technology, such as Japan, there is greater awareness of the social dimension of technology, for
example in the recommendation “that actors should be creating technology trends instead of
simply forecasting them”. Among the conclusions drawn from such findings are the stress on
interdisciplinarity in technological development and demand orientation. The Japanese foresight
study also draws attention to the need for standardisation and consequently for participation in
international standardisation efforts.
Another non-technical trend due to the information revolution and consequent globalisation is the
marginalisation of the traditional nation-state as we know it. However, the findings on security
reported previously suggest that there may also be a shift in the tasks such states are expected to
fulfil. The question is whether the state will find acceptance and acknowledgement in such roles
and thus be adequately funded.
Japan:
         In a globalised economy, standard processes and structures are required to facilitate supply
         and cooperation. This increases the importance of standardisation bodies and participation
         in them.
         The foresight final report also includes a selection of more general findings from the sub-
         committee on information and communication.
         -   The sub-committee stresses that actors should be creating technology trends instead of
             simply forecasting them. This requires interdisciplinary research, since technology
             alone cannot solve problems such as those facing e-commerce and e-government, to
             give examples.
         -   The report then goes on to argue for solution oriented technology which considers
             users’ demands, but also considers relationships between systems and organisations.
USA:
         Critical factors mentioned in connection with applications of the key technologies
         described in the Rand report (Antón et al. 2001) are acceptance, attitudes and privacy.
         A major source of problems regarding computer application will be the already existing
         difference of pace between the developed and the developing countries.
         Nanotechnology is described as the least concrete of the key areas discussed in the RAND
         report. It is nonetheless regarded as essential: “International competition for dominance or
         even capability in cutting edge nanotechnology may still remain strong, but current
         investments and direction indicate that the United States and Europe may retain leadership
         in most of this field” (op cit. 36).
         The final chapter of the Rand report is a discussion which devotes space to the synergies
         between nanotechnology, biotechnology and information technology. One benefit
         mentioned is that different fields tend to produce different views and approaches to the
         world. A combination of such views is seen as enabling the combination of “the best from
         each world and enabling applications that would not be possible otherwise” (op.cit, p. 38).
         In this place, there is no discussion of problems of working with alien disciplines, or of
         likely development, such as the emergence of new specialisations of sub-disciplines
         versus the re-unification of science (the “New Renaissance” discussed in connection with
         the NBIC initiative). However, later in the report, the possible need for multidisciplinary
         degrees is discussed.

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       In particular: “The overall workforce will likely have to contribute to and understand an
       increasingly interdisciplinary activity. Just as computer skills are becoming more
       important today, a basic capability to work with or use new materials and processes
       involving biology and micro/nanosystems will likely be required” (op. cit., p. 47). The
       report repeats the need for multidisciplinary education and foresees a special role for
       distance learning to “facilitate the rapid dissemination of knowledge from developing
       specialists” (op. cit, p. 47).
       Manual labour is increasingly being replaced by knowledge work; collaborative networks
       will be possible across time zones and space; “componentisation” and resulting
       outsourcing of knowledge based work means that corporations will have the task of
       assembling results from different contractors. Mass migration of knowledge workers was
       regarded as a possibility with unclear implications for the “steady state” of the world.
       It was regarded as fairly likely that there would be a steady marginalisation of nation
       states. The result would be a de facto sharing of power with large multinational
       corporations and non-governmental organisations. There was seen to be a distinct danger
       of the lack of ability of regulations to keep step with developments in IT. (cf. Anderson et
       al. 2000).
       There was seen to be the likelihood of extreme tensions between advocates of “open” and
       “closed” worlds of protocols and standards with no predictions on the possible outcome.
       Intellectual property rights were seen as threatened as was individual privacy. New
       artefacts and services were viewed as likely to benefit mainly those with the resources to
       obtain and exploit them, perpetuating or even increasing existing digital divides.
       Rand also organised a conference on political, economic and social consequences of the
       information revolution (Hundley et al. 2000). This conference expended considerable
       resources on exploring regional differences. One of the introductory sections explored the
       “technology underpinnings for the information revolution” (op. cit. p. 11). Here it was
       stated that the “really challenging questions (…) have to do with how businesses and
       societies will make use of these technological “raw material” to create applications,
       products and services that will change people’s lives” (ibid.).
       A major development in hardware was the “internetting” of millions of computers, “which
       makes the capacity of supercomputers available to anyone with a modem” (op.cit. p. 12).
       The miniaturisation of electronics and the availability of small and inexpensive sensors
       were expected to have profound impact, e.g. smart environments, body area networks for
       health applications. E-commerce and its impact on other areas, such as government, figure
       heavily in the report. While the expectations with regard to its immediately increasing
       importance might now seem exaggerated, the conclusions on its impact in general are still
       realistic:
       -     Demolishing barriers to market entry;
       -     Cost reduction potential within existing business models, e.g. through off-shoring;
       -     Development of new business models requiring skills in innovation and business
             change not likely to be found “off shore”;
       -     Increased efficiency of government, new communication potential, challenges to
             existing regulatory frameworks;
       -     Price reductions, new products and services, increasing choice, however, with the
             danger also of social exclusion.




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             -

5. IST Visions
The visions contained in the studies covered for this report range from the very bold vision of a
new renaissance of science and an ensuing “golden age” under the leadership of the USA to
alternative visions of individual countries depending on the decisions made for their futures today.
Both the Korean and the Canadian studies contain at least one vision very similar to the Lisbon
objectives. There is no discussion of alternatives to the Korean vision, which provides a basis for
very ambitious policies. Some studies contain fairly concrete plans for the short to medium term
on steps needed to achieve the longer-term societal goals. A major message of the Swedish
exercise is the need to enter a societal dialogue on desirable futures: it is not sufficient to
formulate an ambitious vision. There is also a need to engage social actors in a dialogue on the
measures needed to achieve such a vision.


Greece
         The foresight project has developed four possible visions for the future of Greece which
         are more general and do not specifically address IST:
         1. Garden: within a unified Europe, Greece develops according to its special features
            (environment, climate, natural resources, cultural ideals and values, economic
            situation, population) (cf:http://www.foresight-gsrt.gr, page on 2021 Scenarios for
            Greece). Greek research, development and investment focuses on the use of natural
            resources, informatics, health and the quality of life, and social sciences.
         2. Two speed scenario or niches of differentiation: policies are determined largely at
            the European level, but their implementation is the responsibility of the national
            governments. This leads to the creation of new institutions while those existing are
            protected, leading to a “dual reality” (ibid.). Some fields of business are successful in
            conquering niches while others lag behind. New technology is correspondingly used
            by part of industry with the result of a growing divide.
         3. Competitive-liberal model: in practice, policies are determined by the market.
            Authorities are in place to ensure smooth functioning of market mechanisms. “A
            consumer and investment society emerges” (ibid), social and economic inequality
            increases. Research is largely the affair of industry or driven by the needs of the
            market.
         4. Instability scenario: there is a crisis, such as danger of war with Turkey, a war in the
            Balkans, a natural catastrophe or disintegration of the EU, resulting in insecurity with
            subsequent centralization and concentration of power (authoritarianism). In this
            scenario, research and technology are focused largely on the military sector and
            security (here related to natural disasters).
Sweden
         The synthesis report, rather than providing a vision for the development of Sweden itself,
         discusses the need for vision building. The report identifies globalization as the
         predominant driving force and within this describes information technology as vital. The
         report also states that the conditions for societal development are only partly created
         within Sweden, with Europe and the world in general as other important determinants. To
         a degree, the synthesis report admits uncertainty on the appropriate name for the
         oncoming age, explicitly naming the knowledge society, information society, the digital
         economy and the new economy as commonly employed concepts in addition to the market
         society, an alternative term very much focused on the advancing importance of services.

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        The synthesis report recommends using the term “postindustrial” vision for the time being,
        since this best describes what is needed: identifying the necessary changes to leave behind
        the structures that belonged to the industrial society. Another point raised by the report is
        the question whether the task ahead is to administer and restore, or to continue building.
        The report closes with the question “We have not finished building Sweden, or have we?”
        (Swedish Foresight 2004a, p. 54).
Korea
        Vision 2025
        The top-level vision guiding Korean S&T development is the “Vision 2025”, an
        abbreviation standing for the “Long-term Vision for Science and Technology
        Development toward 2025”. This was launched in September 1999. Vision 2025
        “envisages an advanced and prosperous economy through the development of science and
        technology, by creating, utilizing, and disseminating knowledge; heightening scientific
        literacy; and establishing a national management system through the advancement of
        science and technology” (Ministry of Science and Technology, n.d., p.1). The twenty five
        year period covered by the Vision is split into three phases, each defined by a unifying
        theme that characterizes the primary focus of activity for that period.
        -    First Step (by 2005): Bring the Korean scientific and technological capabilities to
             competitive levels with those of the world leading countries by mobilizing resources,
             expanding infrastructure, and improving relevant laws and regulations.
        -    Second Step (by 2015): Establishing Korea as a major R&D promoting country in the
             Asia-Pacific region, actively engaging in scientific studies and creating a new
             atmosphere conducive to the promotion of R&D.
        -    Third Step (by 2025): Securing scientific and technological competitiveness
             comparable to those of G-7 countries in selected areas.
        One of the major objectives of the vision is to meet the challenges of the information
        technology and biotechnology revolution.
        To achieve these goals, the Korean government launched the 21st Century Frontier
        Science Program in 1999 and enacted the Science and Technology Framework Law.
        Under this law, the first five-year Science and Technology Principal Plan was drawn up.
        NTRM – The National Technology Road Map
        The National Technology Road Map is built on a top-down, vision-driven approach to the
        identification of key technologies ((Choi 2003, 3). The time frame for the visions
        employed for this purpose is the period until 2012. The visions are:
        Building an Information-Knowledge-Intelligence Society: the aim is to build a wealthy
        society fulfilling human needs in all areas of life through more intelligent, mobile and
        user-friendly IT services;
             1. Aiming at Bio-Healthpia: the aim is to employ new technology to improve the
                quality of health services with use of IT for applications in diagnosis, prevention
                and therapy;
             2. Advancing the E2 (Environment and Energy) Frontier: since this is based
                largely on energy technology, IT will presumably play a subsidiary role in
                modelling, control. optimisation etc. ;
             3. Upgrading the Value of Major Industries of Korea Today: the aim is “to
                pursue sustainable economic growth” through reinforcing the competitiveness of
                the current key industries and industries supplying infrastructure;


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             4. Improving national safety and prestige: in view of Korea’s geopolitical
                situation, it is perhaps surprising that presentations on the technology road map
                highlight the aim of building the world’s tenth technological capability for
                aerospace and establishing national self-sufficiency in food supply under this
                heading rather than military applications.
        The Master Plan for KBE (Knowledge-Based Economy)
        The “Broadband IT Korea Vision 2007” is the third master plan for the promotion of
        informatization in Korea. The visions underlying these master plans are rather more short-
        term than the Vision 2025. The two predecessors to the Broadband IT Vision were:
             1. The first Master Plan for Informatization Promotion, established in June 1996 as a
                result of the implementation of a framework act on Informatization Promotion of
                August 1995. The plan contained 10 key projects for the realisation of an
                advanced information society by 2010.
             2. “Cyber Korea 21”, a blueprint for the information society of the 21st century was
                established by government in March 1999. Its aim was to overcome the Asian
                economic crises and to achieve the transformation of Korea into a knowledge-
                based economy. Since the program developed as a result of this vision achieved
                early success, there was a new vision, “e-Korea Vision 2006” comprising plans to
                constantly upgrade the information infrastructure and to strengthen the
                information processing capabilities of government, institutions and individuals.
                The underlying vision was for Korea to “emerge as the global leader in this area”
                (Broadband IT, p. 3).
        The objectives of the latest master plan, the Broadband IT Vision, include creating the
        world’s best open e-government, strengthening competitiveness throughout Korean
        industry through IT applications, the creation of a “digital welfare society where every
        citizen can become the leader of the knowledge information society”, and leading global
        information society through strengthening international cooperation (cf. p. 17). The third
        point refers to the fact that citizens will be able to both use and produce information which
        could contribute to progress within society. An important factor in this respect is
        “ensuring online life-long education” (p.17).
Japan
        The Japanese government in 2000 formulated an “IT Nation Basic Strategy”, with the
        objective of making Japan a world leader in information technology within five years.
        There are four key points to this strategy:
        -    Development of an ultra high-speed network infrastructure
        -    Promotion of electronic commerce
        -    Realisation of electronic government
        -    Actively nurturing high-quality human resources
        The report on the seventh foresight points out that this strategy does not provide any
        solution to a need for the revitalisation of the country’s manufacture-centred industry
        (NISTEP 2001, p. 121).
Canada
        A major activity in the study was a workshop on scenarios “Looking Ahead to 2025”
        (Masum, Smith 2003). In this workshop, the participants were divided into ten groups,
        each of which was presented with a stimulus scenario to explore. The aim was to develop
        policy recommendations for each of these scenarios in the shape of a memorandum to the
        Cabinet. The reports were to outline a pathway to the scenario presented, including major

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       decisions. For the negative scenarios, the emphasis was on decisions to be avoided. Each
       scenario was rated by three categories:
       -     Material well-being;
       -     Impact on the natural environment and energy resources;
       -     “Social capital” and cohesion.
   The scenarios represented a broad range of possible futures, ranging from “Agility Canada”,
   which has a large degree of similarity with the “Lisbon vision” of an e-Society with positive
   impact on all three relevant categories, to rather bleak scenarios such as “Apocalypse Redux
   (Gaia Strikes Back)” in which most institutions have broken down, the environment and the
   health of the population have deteriorated severely and the world ecosystem seems headed for
   a global crash (Masum, Smith 2003, p. 24) or “Techno Ban”, which is characterised by a
   worldwide lack of confidence in scientists and a ban of certain technology due to a chain of
   major accidents (nuclear power meltdown in Korea, bio-terrorist attacks and a Nanotech
   catastrophe, in which 65% of plant biomass are converted into sensors) (p. 54)
   In between are scenarios such as a comfortable Canada (“Muddling Along”), in which most of
   the population has retired, “Insecure Tycoon”, in which most power has passed from
   governments to the corporations, “O Say Can You C”, in which Canada has virtually become
   a poorer province of the US, although formally still independent, or “Techno Ethics”, in
   which technology is balanced with ethics in a quest to avoid any negative impact of
   technology through rigorous application of the precautionary principle. There are also
   strongly technology driven scenarios like “Techno-Mania” in which technology largely
   determines government agendas and private good is ranked higher than public good, and
   “Virtual Avatar”, in which agents perform most actions on behalf of humans. The final
   scenario, “You Are What You Invent”, differs from the others in that it describes potential
   technology and then examines how Canada will change as a result. Visions developed as a
   result describe Canada as a global leader in providing better health care at affordable cost
   through a personalised, automated, total health management system (p. 81), the country as the
   creator of the world’s first societal learning system using broadband, groupware and other
   facilitative tools and personal learning environments and support systems, and finally, Canada
   as the creator and donator to the United Nations of a wireless and space solar power system
   (p. 86).
   The Geo-Strategics Report (Kallai 2003) summarises its findings across all six topics in the
   shape of descriptions of kinds of science and knowledge technologies:
       -     Ubiquitous Peer-to-Peer Sensor webs: these will monitor various aspects of the
             world, including the environment, people and moving targets. Inexpensive sensors
             will perform a set of analytical tasks in real time.
       -     Real-time data, information and knowledge: this should be achieved by new micro
             and, later nano satellites, employing advanced photonics for data transmission.
       -     Wireless Internet: people and sensors are expected to be equipped with universal
             software-defined radios able to communicate in any form (voice, image or text) with
             any peer or infrastructure around it. This necessitates high capacity space and land
             based communications backbones, supported by the nano-photonic communication
             devices and components mentioned in connection with real time transmission.
       -     New geo-location based services: these are based on the combination of “providing
             the geolocation of something or someone and a status in one or more variables” (p.
             12). A potential application area is health care, where there could be wireless health
             monitors for people suffering from ailments such as chronic heart disease by 2025.
             Another example is tracking of unmanned vehicles used for goods transport.


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       -     Integrated, shared geo-strategic infrastructure: This refers to infrastructure
             belonging to various departments or sectors, such as schools, research institutes,
             equipped with sensors of various kinds which can be used either for the purposes of
             the department or sector in question or for purposes of others sharing the
             infrastructure.
       -     Intelligent knowledge systems for common good applications: these systems would
             be capable of synthesising data and information into knowledge to effectively support
             decisions. New knowledge would be produced through the analysis of actual decisions
             and their measured impacts. Eventually, such systems would be able to make simple
             decisions without major human intervention. The decisions could be implemented by
             robots, e.g. in the sensing and elimination of attacking missiles or vehicles.
       -     Virtual reality worlds: applications include the modelling of local environments to
             simulate the impact of specific decisions. Examples include modelling of the oceans,
             the environment, urban transport systems, national security or the spread of species
             originally alien to a specific environment.
       -     Increased complexity of knowledge and decision-making: since models of complex
             systems consider multiple variables, data collection of all variables is frequently not
             possible so that decisions have to be based on decision-support technologies, such as
             soft computing, chaos and complexity theories.
       -     Convergence and complexity of systems: in this case, convergence involves various
             technologies and science areas according to the application areas of the systems.
       -     More disruptive and enabling technologies are in the pipeline: these include
             nanotechnology, new designer materials engineered for their desired properties, ever
             increasing power of microcircuits (in line with Moore’s law), the semantic Internet,
             smart systems and agents able to understand the meaning of words to permit
             meaningful database queries and to synthesise data into information, automatic
             software capable of self-repair and automatic code generation, revolutionised social
             organisation and interaction through wireless communication, fuel cells capable of
             powering remote sensors for extended periods, robotics and nano robotics enabling the
             implementation of decisions in new and profound ways, organic sensors enabling the
             use of plants and other life forms as alert mechanisms, virtual reality based visioning
             tools to enable citizen-participation in consultations and decision-making, and new
             human-machine interfaces allowing more efficient interaction, e.g. direct brain-
             systems interfaces, telepresence in such applications as remote surgery and diagnosis.
USA
       Individually and collectively, the NBIC technologies are major technologies of the
       information society. The NBIC report paints a very optimistic picture of the world in the
       aftermath of NBIC convergence.
       In all, these visions are perhaps the major message of the report which serves mainly to
       underscore the importance of the three widely acknowledged “big Os” – info, nano and
       bio – adding to them the previously underexposed cogno. Their convergence is expected
       to lead to a renaissance of science of perhaps revolutionary significance. It is not really
       clear if this is a revolution unto itself or the element needed to complete the transition to
       information or knowledge society.
       Future visions in the RAND report on the conference on technological trends (Anderson et
       al. 2000, p. 7ff) were restricted to individual technologies, artefacts and services (see
       preceding section). The trends for communications technology and software have already
       been discussed previously, e.g. optical communications systems as a disrupter, common-
       sense knowledge and machine translation. The section on bio-, nano and materials
       technologies underlines that the information revolution “is taking place in a wider

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       technology revolution where information technology is a key component but where other
       technologies such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, and materials technology
       synergistically enable new paradigms and effects” (Anderson et al., p. 13).
       Almost two pages of the report are devoted to “e-commerce and beyond”. This might be
       due to “the new economy”, which had not been discredited at the time of the conference.
       Among the predictions related to the field were intense price competition, and “billions
       of…customers” (op. cit. 15). The report suggests that the physical world is likely to be
       forced to align with the virtual world that coordinates it with a dominance of the virtual
       sector. The development of “trust” is viewed as a crucial factor in this domain.




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6. Other Important Results
The Greek and Swedish foresight studies have a stronger European orientation than the majority
of studies covered in the first FISTERA synthesis report, with the Greek study expressing the fear
that Europe as a whole or individual countries could be left behind in the race towards the
knowledge society. The Swedish study is less optimistic than the first Swedish Foresight study,
underlining the need to think constructively about the desired role for Sweden in Europe and the
world outside. While Korea has performed very impressively over the last decades, the Korean
studies recognise a strong need to reinforce, or even build, a knowledge base to retain or improve
the position that Korea has achieved as a global player. The studies see a need to attract scientific
and technical talent from outside of Korea. Another important factor is the reunification of the
country, which is definitely on the political agenda of South Korea, but would face the country
with massive problems of integration and cohesion.
Canada is potentially faced with an aging problem and thus immigration policy is high on the
country’s agenda, including policies to attract researchers and technical experts to the country.
Another important aspect is the lack of coordination across departments responsible for research
and technology transfer into industry. As in Sweden, the Canadian report urges for a continuous
societal debate on the future including scenario-building and continuation of foresight activities.
In the shape of the “21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act” (108th
Congress, 1st Session, S.189, signed by the President on December 3, 2003), the United States has
already taken certain steps toward creating conditions needed to fulfil the ambitious goals of
NBIC convergence.
The NBIC report itself (Roco, Bainbridge 2002) begins to explore the application of the concept
of convergence to such scientifically remote areas as the social sciences, which the report claims
could be revolutionised in the course of the “new renaissance”.
The Rand report and other work for the National Intelligence Council is oriented to the shorter
term, among other things addressing the impacts of globalisation: globalisation is expected to
contribute to increased political stability although not universally. Over all, a report for NIC paints
an optimistic picture with high levels of growth, stating that a sustained financial crisis or
prolonged disruption of energy supplies could put brakes on growth. The nations falling behind in
this development will create problems for the rest of the world.
While states will continue to be dominant players on the stage of politics, non-state actors, such as
business or NGOs, are expected to play more important roles, both at the national and
international levels. The quality of governance will determine how well states and societies cope
with the forces of globalisation. The US is expected to continue its dominance over world affairs,
including a role as the main force in technological development. The European Union is but one
important actor on the world stage, challenging, checking or reinforcing US leadership. China,
Russia, India, Mexico and Brazil are of similar or greater stature. The risk of war among
developed countries is regarded as low, with the greatest potential for conflict arising from
rivalries in Asia. Sophisticated weaponry is likely to fall into the hands of belligerent states or
terrorists.
Quantum leaps in information technology are still expected until at least 2015. IT is described as a
major building block for international commerce. The IT revolution is regarded as the most
significant global transformation since the Industrial revolution. Special impetus for innovation in
the more advanced countries is expected from the integration, fusion or convergence (this term is
not explicitly used in the NIC report) of information technology, biotechnology, materials science
and nanotechnology.



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Biotechnology is expected to drive medical breakthroughs to enable the world’s wealthiest people
to improve their health and to increase their longevity. Materials technology will lead to products
that are multi-functional, environmentally safe, long-lasting and easily adaptable to consumer
requirements. Technology potentially puts powerful weapons into the hands of rogue states,
terrorists or criminals.
Greece
         The Greek foresight programme is oriented strongly towards the European dimension,
         arguing for an analysis of particular weaknesses both at the European and individual
         member-state levels. In the next 10 to 20 years, the programme anticipates that Europe
         will face faster and more spectacular changes than it has ever witnessed before in peace
         time. Drivers for these changes are globalisation, scientific and technological progress, EU
         enlargement, the common currency and the single market, and demographic development,
         notably aging and migration.
         It is argued that Europe needs to improve its position in the global “knowledge society”,
         especially with respect to globalisation, competitiveness and know-how. There are
         existing disparities between rich and poor regions and between those located near the
         centre of the Union and those on the fringes. There is additional danger of new divides
         between the information haves and the information have-nots, and between those with
         full-time employment and those holding part-time jobs (cf. http://www.foresight-gsrt.gr,
         page on Europe: Risks and Challenges).
         Greece is seen as having severe structural weaknesses, although it has the potential to play
         a leading role in the Balkans and the Middle East. It is regarded as essential for the
         country to close the gap to other EU economies and improve the quality of life for average
         Greek citizens. Movement to a knowledge society bears the risk of social exclusion of a
         significant proportion of the population not ready for the changes.
         Among the challenges facing Greece are achieving growth rates for the economy without
         community funding, structural change in the economy and the development of research
         and technology. There is apparently an obsolete social infrastructure which is being
         rapidly, and at times randomly, modernised, causing confusion and hindering creativity. In
         the cultural sense, Greece is in a particularly paradox situation, since foreign expectations
         are high due to Greek history and traditions, while Greeks are described as being “content
         to have already ‘given too much to the world’” ( cf. http://www.foresight-gsrt.gr, page on
         Greece in the Modern World). This leads to uncertainty on how Greece can be culturally
         “reactivated”.
         In view of the role of tourism and the country’s cultural heritage, the environment is
         mentioned as an important national priority (ibid.). This heading includes sustainable
         development, awareness of environmental issues and cultural heritage, promotion of
         environment and culture as comparative advantages.
Sweden
      The synthesis report laments the overall tenor of discussions about the future in Sweden. It
      claims that there are optimistic societies vigorously debating the future, while Sweden’s
      discussions are dominated by threats and problems (Swedish Foresight 2004a, p. 52).
         As befitting the country whose Foresight project first pointed out the importance of
         “Zeitgeist” in foresight, the new Swedish project addresses the factor of security. In a
         section entitled “The spirit of our age and our vision of the future”, the synthesis report
         examines changes to views on the present and the future since 2000. Among the major
         events having an impact on visions are:
         -   The September 11 2004 terrorist actions in the US and the March 11 2004 attacks in
             Madrid;


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       -     The SARS and AIDS epidemics;
       -     The assassination of Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh;
       -     Swedish statistics on sick leave and early retirement indicating “collective
             exhaustion”;
       -     Evidence of climate change through extreme weather;
       -     Large-scale electricity black-outs in the US and Europe, including Sweden;
       -     Recession and a stock-market slide, problems for Swedish corporations;
       -     A crisis of confidence in institutions as evidenced by, among other things, the negative
             result of the Swedish referendum on joining the Euro zone and the low turn-out in the
             European elections.
       On the positive side, there are:
       -     The expansion of the EU to include former communist countries, providing
             opportunities for cooperation and democracy;
       -     Opportunities for trade and mobility, increasing cultural diversity;
       -     Advances in medical technology;
       -     The opportunities provided by IT and new communications technology, new
             production technology and automation;
       -     Greater opportunities for consumption and choice of lifestyle.
       Among the major aims of Swedish Technology Foresight 2004 is to develop proposals for
       a future Swedish strategy for innovation. It points out that Sweden is a small country
       which must be selective in its investments and that Sweden could learn from success
       stories elsewhere, such as Finland, Ireland, South Korea and New Zealand.
       It concludes that all products and services that can be moved will eventually become
       global products so that Sweden “will only be able to manufacture a given product during a
       certain period of its life cycle” (Swedish Foresight 2004a, p. 30), creating a need to
       continuously introduce new products and retain a lead in the market” (ibid). To be able to
       achieve this, there is a need to invest in research and technological development.
       Apparently, one possible development being discussed in Sweden at present is that there is
       a risk that a growing number of highly educated people could leave Sweden and be
       succeeded by a growing number of poorly educated people. The outcome could be that
       Sweden is a future sub-contractor to China. This is obviously not an automatic
       development and the report underlines the need for a discourse on desirable futures.
       While the report of the 2000 was largely optimistic, underlining for example Sweden’s “e-
       readiness” compared with other countries in Europe, the current report states the “(i)t is
       high time to take a major and far-reaching initiative to modernize Sweden” (2004a, p. 39).
       The report also addresses the European dimension, stating that the preconditions that
       determine Sweden’s future development are only partly created within the country itself,
       but “otherwise mainly in the European and global arena” (Swedish Foresight 2004a, p.
       53). The report thus argues that Sweden should take an active role in developing the
       infrastructure of Europe as a whole (ibid.). In general, the report urges for greater
       international commitment, including the European level, particularly in the newly
       expanded Baltic Sea regional context.
       The report recognises an opportunity to market Sweden as “an innovative, knowledge-
       intensive country in order to create markets and to attract investment and expertise”



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         (2004a, p. 31). The report also points out a need to initiate a debate on the areas from
         which Sweden should withdraw (2004a, p.37).
         Overall, the report from the first project had been flavoured by a sense of optimism due to
         an assessment that Sweden was well-equipped to face the challenges that lie ahead. The
         report from the second project is generally less optimistic, stating that major effort was
         required to copy success stories from other countries. However, even more than the first
         study, the second focuses on the European aspect: not only is the market for Sweden no
         longer limited to the country itself, but initiatives at the European level are needed to
         ensure that Sweden can flourish. It draws the conclusion “that we must ally ourselves with
         other European nations in order to retain and improve our competitiveness” (Swedish
         Foresight 2004a, p. 30).
Israel
         In addition to reporting the results of the Delphi survey, ICTAF recommended the
         continuation of the foresight process as an input for shaping national science and
         technology policy. In particular, it recommended forming expert panels in selected
         “attractive areas” (ICTAF 2001, p. IX) to identify national priority issues. Particular
         attention was to be given to “cross-field” interdisciplinary areas, such as robotics,
         genetics, nanotechnologies, recycling and applications of information and communication
         technologies. These fields were to be covered in a special new questionnaire to be
         distributed to 100 leading experts and policy makers.
Korea
         Much space in the Korean reports is devoted to the creation of the knowledge-base needed
         to achieve Korea’s ambitious goals and visions. Due to the successes of its industry, the
         country appears to have sufficient financial resources to invest in measures intended to
         shore up its S&T efforts. The impressive progress made in creating a broadband
         infrastructure and achieving possibly the world’s greatest “internet connectivity” for its
         population would certainly not have been possible without this success.
         The major aim is to phase out reliance on foreign technology and to base Korean
         economic growth on knowledge and core technology (Vision 2025, p. 34). The aim is to
         join the top twelve counties in S&T by 2005 (op. cit., p. 36), “keeping well ahead of the
         other Asian countries” (ibid.). A need is seen to strengthen international cooperation in
         S&T with Korea becoming the “hub” of scientific research in the Asia-Pacific region by
         2015. To achieve this aim, Korea is seen as needing to achieve recognition as an
         information “mecca” (ibid). An important condition is to create a “social atmosphere”
         favourable for creativity (ibid). The need to address public awareness and recognition of
         science and technology is mentioned again as an urgent measure to achieve the 2025 goal
         of being among the seven top countries in terms of science and technology
         competitiveness.
         Since the unification of the two Koreas is high on the political agenda, the Vision 2025
         report recommends setting up a plan for the integrate of the two scientific systems.
         Priority is given to the efficient utilisation of resources and to creating an S&T initiated
         national management system (op. cit., p. 40).
         In view of the structure of the labour force, which was discussed in section 4.2 (above),
         Vision 2025 outlines a specific task of cultivating high-calibre S&T personnel (op. cit., p.
         70). Korea suffers from a severe shortage of skilled technicians, with an annual shortage
         in the region of 44.000 people in technology-related areas, in particular information
         technology and electronics. In other areas, there will be a surplus. Among the measures
         suggested to correct the imbalance are devising “a rational workforce supply plan” and
         setting up a database on technicians (op. cit. p. 72). There is also a call for greater
         cooperation between the education and industrial sectors with joint programs by colleges
         and firms. Special efforts are recommended for the Korea Advanced Institute of Science

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       and Technology (KAIST) and the Kwangju Institute of Science and Technology (K-JIST)
       to achieve world-class status (p. 72).
       The basic S&T education system is regarded as requiring reforms to “cultivate creative
       minds” and there is also a recommendation to particularly encourage female scientists and
       engineers. The Vision 2025 further recommends setting up a national knowledge
       inventory management system to systematically monitor and manage ongoing efforts by
       2005 with the aim of spreading knowledge across society (cf. p. 128).
       Among the measures recommended to promote public awareness of science and
       technology policy is a Technology Assessment Program designed to achieve a national
       consensus “in advance when pursuing high-risk projects such as nuclear power, and those
       projects related to the environment or bio-engineering, which could affect people’s safety
       or involve national ethics” (op. cit., p. 138).
       Korea’s current R&D system is described as “domestically completed” (e.g. p. 150, but in
       several places throughout the Vision 2025 report). Korea’s participation in international
       joint S & T was below both its Asian competitors and other advanced countries. The
       vision was for Korea’s S&T system to become “globally networked”. One factor in this
       endeavour is a recommendation for Korea and its institutes to attract the research institutes
       of foreign enterprises (p. 151).
       The option of setting up a research centre exclusively for foreign scientists conveniently
       located on Young Jong Island near the new airport is discussed in this connection. This
       centre would be favoured with infrastructure, banking and tax services conducive for
       innovation, accommodation for the scientists and their families and a multi-purpose centre
       for education of children, shopping, sporting, leisure and cultural activities.
       Support for the training of Korean PhDs and graduates overseas is another measure
       intended to increase the international dimension of Korean science and technology.
       Providing attractive conditions for science and technology and the enhancement of the
       reputation of Korean S&T are seen as dual tasks to attract foreign workers to Korea. Other
       options include reserving a certain percentage of S&T jobs for foreigners, the creation of
       posts as chief scientists and researchers for excellent foreign researchers and opening
       Korean R&D projects to some degree to foreign institutions and scientists.
       Global orientation also means that attention must be paid by Korea to the framework for
       science and technology, including standards and such legal issues as intellectual property
       rights. A final recommendation in this area concerns the establishment of an institute
       “specialized in international collaboration” (p. 157). This has the tasks of attracting
       foreign scientists and research institutes, supporting international information and
       technology exchange, facilitating exchanges of scientists and participation in international
       research.
Canada
     The final report on the Pilot Foresight project (Smith et al. 2003) contains a section on
     “Generic Findings”, which are grouped under five main headings:
       -     Under the heading “Technology Dynamics” the report identifies a number of “forces
             within the innovation process (..) , accelerating the pace of discovery”, which could
             also be called “drivers”. Among these are “convergence” and “military and security
             transformation”. The report also specifically mentions a number of potentially
             disruptive technologies, such as “neural scanning, genetic therapies for regeneration
             and enhancement, quantum computing, nanotechnology, household robots, space-
             based power, and long-life portable and fixed fuel cells” (p. 13).




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       -     The report comes to the conclusion that there are new and significant technologies
             which are advancing more rapidly than anticipated, due to new instrumentation and
             bio-informatics.
       -     The report concludes that the Canadian S&T community is currently not well-
             positioned to exploit the benefits of technology, due to a lack of horizontal
             coordination between the various departments responsible for science and technology.
       -     Scenarios are regarded as an important tool to enable a discussion of alternative
             pathways in an uncertain future.
       -     The foresight project was regarded as an important first step towards combining
             efforts at the horizontal level to create a possible shared R&D agenda.
   USA
       The NBIC report (Roco & Bainbridge 2002) includes recommendations for major
       initiatives:
       -     a national research and development priority area on converging technologies focused
             on enhancing human performance;
       -     the “human cognome” project
       -     the NBIC system “the Communicator”;
       -     a radical transformation of the system of scientific education from elementary schools
             through post-graduate training.
       While not included in the summary or the main recommendations, the report includes a
       paper on a proposal for a new science or discipline called memetics (Strong & Bainbridge
       2002). This is related to the “human cognome project”, starting from the assessment that
       the most valuable resource in the upcoming information society will be culture.
       The authors then argue that “the sciences of human culture have lacked a formal paradigm
       and a rigorous methodology. A fresh approach to culture, based on biological metaphors
       and information science methodologies, could vastly enhance the human and economic
       value of our cultural heritage and provide cognitive science with a host of new research
       tools. The fundamental concept is the meme, analogous to the gene in biological genetics,
       an element of culture that can be the basis of cultural variation, selection, and evolution”
       (Strong, Bainbridge 2002, p. 318).
       The rationale for suggesting a new discipline is the assessment that social sciences are
       stagnant and that (m)emetic science could provide just the intellectual boost and potent
       research methodology needed by such diverse fields as Anthropology, Political Science,
       and Sociology” (p. 322).
       Although the authors admit to limited knowledge on the subject, they venture: “Perhaps
       there are a number of common features of natural codes, including both cultural and
       biological codes” (ibid.). The expectations for memetics are high, since the authors claim
       that results from research in the field would help in better understanding events like the
       September 11 terrorist attacks, the dot.com crash or the failure of nations as diverse as
       Argentina, Indonesia, and Japan to sustain their economic development” (p. 323).
       “Memetic science could help us deal with challenges to American cultural supremacy,
       discover the products and services that will really make the information economy
       profitable, and identify the forms of social institutions most conducive to social and
       economic progress” (ibid).
       The authors propose a top-down approach to the establishment of memetics, since they
       recognise the lack of a unified science community to allow it to emerge of its own accord:


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       1. “Professional conferences, scientific journals, and a formal organization devoted to
          memetics.
       2. Data infrastructure, in the form of multiuse, multiuser digital libraries incorporating
          systematic data about cultural variation, along with software tools for conducting
          scientific research on it.
       3. Specific major research projects assembling multidisciplinary teams to study distinct
          cultural phenomena that are most likely to advance fundamental memetic science and
          to have substantial benefits for human beings” (p. 324).
       A landmark event which took place after the conference, although it was probably based
       on activities reaching several years into the past, was the passage of the “21st Century
       Nanotechnology Research and Development Act” (108th Congress, 1st Session, S.189,
       signed by the President on December 3, 2003).
       This act does not address NBIC convergence directly, but a few references do point in that
       direction:
       -     It mentions nanotechnology and related sciences as the subject of research programs;
       -     It refers to “interdisciplinary nanotechnology research centers”;
       -     Among the goals of these centers is to ensure “that ethical, legal, environmental and
             other appropriate societal concerns, including the potential use of nanotechnology in
             enhancing human intelligence and in developing artificial intelligence which exceeds
             human capacity, are considered during the development of nanotechnology…”(section
             2, (b), (4), (10)).
       -     Among the tasks detailed in the section on triennial external review of the National
             Nanotechnology Program is a “Study on the Responsible Development of
             Nanotechnology”, which includes among its subjects “self-replicating nanoscale
             machines or devices” and “the release of such machines in natural environments”, and
             again “the use of nanotechnology in the enhancement of human intelligence” and “the
             use of nanotechnology in developing artificial intelligence”.
       Among the other tasks of the interdisciplinary centers is “providing effective education
       and training for researchers and professionals skilled in the interdisciplinary perspectives
       necessary for nanotechnology so that a true interdisciplinary culture…can emerge”
       (Section 2, (b), (4), (9)).
       The results of the three Rand reports fed into a report by the National Intelligence Council,
       which itself drew on an even broader range of inputs. This report identifies seven major
       drivers and trends which will shape the world in 2015.
       1. Demographics – The growth of the world populations from 6.1 billion in 2000 to 7.2
          billion in 2015. Advanced economies are confronted with problems arising from aging
          of the population while developing countries will be able to combine growing working
          populations with the reduction of the “youth bulge”.
       2. Natural resources and the environment: food and energy should be adequate to feed
          the population and fulfil energy needs. Problems such as malnutrition are due to poor
          infrastructure and distribution, political instability and chronic poverty. However,
          water supplies and allocation are a major problem and will lead to heightened regional
          tensions.
       3. Technology: quantum leaps in information technology are still expected until at least
          2015. IT is described as a major building block for international commerce. The IT
          revolution is regarded as the most significant global transformation since the Industrial
          revolution. Special impetus for innovation in the more advanced countries is expected
          from the integration, fusion or convergence (this term is not explicitly used in the NIC
          report) of information technology, biotechnology, materials science and
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             nanotechnology. Biotechnology is expected to drive medical breakthroughs to enable
             the world’s wealthiest people to improve their health and to increase their longevity.
             Materials technology will lead to products that are multi-functional, environmentally
             safe, long-lasting and easily adaptable to consumer requirements. Technology
             potentially puts powerful weapons into the hands of rogue states, terrorists or
             criminals.
       4. The global economy and globalisation: globalisation is expected to contribute to
          increased political stability although not universally. Over all, the report paints an
          optimistic picture with high levels of growth, stating that a sustained financial crisis or
          prolonged disruption of energy supplies could put brakes on growth. The nations
          falling behind in this development will create problems for the rest of the world.
       5. National and international governance: while states will continue to be dominant
          players on the stage of politics, non-state actors, such as business or NGOs, are
          expected to play more important roles, both at the national and international levels.
          The quality of governance will determine how well states and societies cope with the
          forces of globalisation.
       6. Future conflict: The US is expected to maintain a strong technological edge in IT-
          driven weaponry and “battlefield awareness”. Even so, it could be attacked by a
          number of states using weapons of mass destruction in unanticipated ways. The risk of
          war among developed countries is regarded as low, with the greatest potential for
          conflict arising from rivalries in Asia. Sophisticated weaponry is likely to fall into the
          hands of belligerent states or terrorists.
       7. The role of the United States: the US is expected to continue its dominance over world
          affairs, including a role as the main force in technological development. The European
          Union is but one important actor on the world stage, challenging, checking or
          reinforcing US leadership. China, Russia, India, Mexico and Brazil are of similar or
          greater stature.
       Although benefits are expected from science and technology, there are also great
       uncertainties:
       It is not yet known if technology will benefit or further disadvantage “disaffected national
       populations, alienated ethnics and religious groups or the less developed countries”
       (Global Trends 2015, p.14). The report is uncertain about the threat of cyber warfare.
       While acknowledging the vulnerability of critical infrastructure in the US, it questions
       whether cyber warfare will ever evolve into a decisive combat arm. Biological warfare
       and bio-terrorism are, however, perceived as real threats.




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Literature
Anderson et al. (2000): Robert H. Anderson, Philip S. Anton, Steven C. Bankes, Tora Kay Bikson,
   Jonathan Caulkins, Peter Denning, James A. Dewar, Richard O. Hundley, C. Richard Neu: The
   Global Course of the Information Revolution: Technological Trends: Proceedings of an
   International Conference. Santa Monica: Rand
Antón et al.(2001): Philip S. Antón • Richard Silberglitt • James Schneider: The global technology
   revolution : bio/nano/materials trends and their synergies with information technology by 2015.
   Santa Monica: Rand
Broadband IT Korea Vision 2007 (2004): The Third Master Plan for Informatization Promotion.
   Ministry     of        Information      and       Communication,        30       April     2004.
   http://www.nca.or.kr/data_pdf/vision2007/vision2007_english.htm (visited on 20 January 2005).
Coates, J. F. (1985): “Foresight in Federal government policy making,” Futures Research Quarterly,
   Vol. 1, 1985, pp. 29–53.
Coenen, Ch, Rader, M., Fleischer, T. (2004): Of Visions, Dreams and Nightmares: The Debate on
   Converging Technologies - Report on the Conference „Converging Technologies for a Diverse
   Europe“, Brussels September 14 - 15, 2004. TECHNIKFOLGENABSCHÄTZUNG-Theorie und
   Praxis Nr. 3, 13. Jahrgang - Dezember 2004, S. 118-125
Greenspan,         R.      (2003):       Europe        Poised     for       High-Speed      Surge.
   http://www.clickz.com/stats/sectors/broadband/article.php/2211141 (visited 4 March 2005)
Horn, R.E. (2002): Beginning to Conceptualize the Human Cognome Project A paper prepared for
   the National Science Foundation Conference on Converging Technologies (Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno)
   http://www.stanford.edu/~rhorn/a/recent/ArtclCognome.html (visited 27 July 2005)
Hundley et al. (2000): Richard O. Hundley, Robert H. Anderson, Tora K. Bikson, James A. Dewar,
   Jerrold Green, Martin Libicki, and C. Richard Neu: The Global Course of the Information
   Revolution: Political, Economic, and Social Consequences Proceedings of an International
   Conference. Santa Monica: Rand
ICTAF (2001): The Israeli Science and Technology Foresight Study Towards the 21st Century.
   Executive         Summary,      Tel    Aviv,     March        2001,    Report       No.      H/237.
   http://www.ictaf.org.il/scitech_foresight.pdf (visited 3 February 2005)
Larson, Eric V. (1999): “From forecast to foresight: lessons learned from a recent U.S. technology
   foresight activity,” Keynote session, Foresight at Crossroads Conference, November 29–30
Martin, Ben R., and John Irvine (1989): Research Foresight: Priority-Setting in Science, London:
   Pinter
Ministry of Information and Communication (2002): e-Korea Vision 2006. Third Master Plan for
   Informatization      of      Korea    from     2002      to    2006.     Seoul,      April    2002.
   http://www.mic.go.kr/eng/res/res_pub_sep_ekv_2002.jsp (visited 21 January 2005).
NISTEP (2001) (National Institute of Science and Technology Policy Ministry of Education, Culture,
   Sports, Science and Technology JAPAN): The Seventh Technology Foresight -                    Future
   Technology in Japan toward the Year 2030. NISTEP Report No. 71.
Rader et al. (2003): Rader, M. Böhle, K., Hoffmann, B. Orwat, C. Riehm, U.: First Report on Review
   and Analysis of National Foresight. Report on Findings from Eight Selected National Foresight
   Exercises. http://www.itas.fzk.de/eng/projects/fistera/deliverables.htm
Rader, M. (2004): First Findings from Three Recent Foresight Studies on the Subjects of Security,
   Convergence    and        the            "New         Economy.         http://fistera.jrc.es/docs/CD-
   ROM%20oct2004/DeltaPapier.pdf



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Roco, M.C.; Bainbridge, W.S. (eds.) (2002): Converging Technologies for Improving Human
   Performance, http://www.wtec.org/ConvergingTechnologies
Swedish Technology Foresight (2004a): Choosing Strategies for Sweden. A synthesis report from
   Swedish Technology Foresight. Stockholm, May 2004.
Swedish Technology Foresight (2004b): Inspiration for Innovation – Swedish Technology
   Foresight 2004. Stockholm, 2004
Tuomi, I. (2004): The Korean Broadband Miracle. BroadBand Europe Conference Brugge, 9
   December 2004. www.jrc.es/~tuomiil/articles/KoreaMiracle.pdf (link visited 21 January
   2005).
UK           Foresight           (2004):Summary            on         Cognitive         Systems.
   http://www.foresight.gov.uk/Cognitive_Systems/Defining_the_Project/Cognitive_Systems__A_Sum
   mary.html
Vision 2025 (2000): VISION 2025 – Korea’s Long-term Plan for Science and technology
   Development. Ministry of Science and Technology, June 2000. http://www.most.go.kr/ (link visited
   on 20 January 2005)
Weisman, J. (2005): Aging Population Poses Global Challenges. Washington Post, 2 February.




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Annex: Tabular Overview of Studies

            Foresight effort: Science and Technology Foresight Pilot Project, Canada
     Categories, Criteria & Questions                                   Answers
                                               Deputy ministers with responsibility for science; Science
Project promoter / initiator                   Based Departments and Agencies of Canadian Federal
                                               Government
Agency or organization responsible for the     Interdepartmental Working Group of Science Based
foresight activity                             Departments and Agencies
                                               Foresight as a method, “geo-strategics” and
Scope / areas covered                          “biosystemics” (basically NBIC convergence plus
                                               environment.
Time horizon                                   10 to 25 years.
                                               Canada as multi-cultural society, aging, dependence on
Societal dimension
                                               US as special factor.
European dimension                             Europe considered as partner and/or model.
                                               Understanding drivers; stimulating anticipatory
                                               capacities; identifying institutional deficiencies, threats,
Major explicit objectives                      vulnerabilities, opportunities; construction of multiple
                                               scenarios; strengthen horizontal alignments; identifying
                                               specific candidates for S&T.
Second order objectives and indirect effects   Networking throughout departments, agencies.
                                               Uncertain, but technology foresight project has
Impact
                                               continued.
                                               Governmental departments and agencies with
Target groups
                                               responsibility for S &T
                                               Mainly staff members of departments and agencies,
Participation
                                               some industry, academia.
                                               Pilot exercise in two selected fields. Mainly government
Major Characteristics
                                               expert working groups..
                                               Working groups, Scenario Workshop, Online Discussion
Methodology
                                               Forum
In which way have IST been included and        Major component of biosystemics, key technology for
treated in the FS exercise?                    geo-strategics
Strengths / opportunities weaknesses /         Lack of uniform education system, failure to transform
threats identified in IST                      S&T excellence into successful products.
                                               Reports, distributed in hard copy and online,
Dissemination
                                               presentations




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                               Foresight effort Greek National Foresight
      Categories, Criteria & Questions                                Answers
                                                Ministry of Development, General Secretariat for
Project promoter / initiator
                                                Research and Technology
                                                National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), The
Agency or organization responsible for the      National School of Public Health (NSPH), Economics
foresight activity                              University of Athens (EUA) , LOGOTECH SA & K-
                                                NET SA
Scope / areas covered                           All technology.
Time horizon                                    2015/2021
                                                Strong - focus is on transition to the knowledge
Societal dimension
                                                society“
                                                Strong. Greek development always discussed in EU
European dimension
                                                context.
                                                Investigate how science, research and technology are
Major explicit objectives                       expected to contribute in shaping the Greek
                                                “knowledge society”
Second order objectives and indirect effects
                                                Unclear, but recommendation to institutionalise
Impact
                                                foresight.
Target groups                                   Mainly ministries, political decision-makers, business
                                                Experts from business, academia, research,
Participation                                   professional institutions, the government, chambers
                                                and NGOs
                                                10 thematic work groups (10 to 15 members each), 4-
Major Characteristics
                                                5 horizontal actions. Support groups plus “reviewers”
                                                Combined “top-down”, “bottom up” approach:
Methodology
                                                development of scenarios
                                                Separate panel on information technology,
In which way have IST been included and         communications and e-business, but also important
treated in the FS exercise?                     topic in most panels, e.g. e-government, health.
                                                Upcoming society is “knowledge society”
Strengths / opportunities weaknesses / threats Greece has poor starting position, problem are
identified in IST                              outdated structures, decision-making procedures etc.
Dissemination                                   Unknown, no information available.




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                               Foresight effort: Israel National Foresight
         Categories, Criteria & Questions                                 Answers
Project promoter / initiator                        Ministry of Science, Israel
Agency or organization responsible for the          Interdisciplinary Centre for Technological Analysis
foresight activity                                  and Forecasting (ICTAF), Tel Aviv University
Scope / areas covered                               All technology in 12 areas
Time horizon                                        2025 - 2030 (maximum)
Societal dimension                                  Not really covered
European dimension                                  Not mentioned explicitly
Major explicit objectives                           Identification of important fields for S&T activities
Second order objectives and indirect effects
                                                    Impact on S&T policy unclear, however foresight is
Impact
                                                    being continued in Israel.
Target groups                                       Ministry of Science, others not clear.
                                                    350 – 380 scientists in each of 2 rounds. Mainly
Participation                                       academia, but also industry and business. Experts
                                                    only.
                                                    2-round classical Delphi, modelled on Japanese
Major Characteristics
                                                    Delphi
                                                    2 rounds survey, questionnaire-based. Interim
Methodology
                                                    report as input for second round.
                                                    Information and communication were 2 of 12 fields
In which way have IST been included and
                                                    covered. Also some ICT applications explicitly
treated in the FS exercise?
                                                    covered in other fields.
                                                    None specific to IST, but in general scientific
Strengths / opportunities weaknesses / threats      competence and quality of human power (the
identified in IST                                   workforce). Shortcomings in the technical and
                                                    financial areas
                                                    Unclear. Some participation in international
Dissemination                                       activities. Executive summary available from web in
                                                    English.




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                               Foresight effort Japan: Seventh Technology Foresight

           Categories, Criteria & Questions                                        Answers

                                                            Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and
Project promoter / initiator
                                                            Technology (MEXT)
Agency or organization responsible for the foresight        National Institute of Science and Technology
activity                                                    (NISTEP)
                                                            -    Information and communication
                                                            -    Electronics
                                                            -    Life science
                                                            -    Health and medical care
                                                            -    Agriculture, forestry, fisheries and food,
                                                            -    Marine science, Earth science and space
                                                            -    Resources, energy and environment
Scope / areas covered
                                                            -    Materials and processes
                                                            -    Manufacturing
                                                            -    Distribution
                                                            -    Business and management
                                                            -    Urbanisation and construction
                                                            -    Transportation
                                                            -    Services
Time horizon                                                30 years (2030)
                                                            Needs field sub-committees addressed “new
Societal dimension                                          socioeconomic systems”, the aging society and safety
                                                            and security
                                                            Europe is one region benchmarked against Japan (US
European dimension
                                                            is other)


                                                            Japanese government commissions a regular
                                                            “technology forecast survey” to contribute to the
Major explicit objectives                                   formulation of science and technology policy and to
                                                            provide a reference point for technology strategies in
                                                            the private sector.


Second order objectives and indirect effects
                                                            Presumably used regularly to help formulate science
Impact                                                      and technology policy. Foresight is institutionalised in
                                                            Japan and is thus obviously acknowledged as useful.
Target groups                                               Government, private sector (industry)
                                                            Experts only. These can give opinions on subject
                                                            areas other than their own specialisation. A total of
Participation
                                                            4448 experts participated in the Delphi survey, of
                                                            whom 3016 returned the second-round questionnaire.
                                                            Is the seventh regular survey of its kind. The eighth is
Major Characteristics                                       almost complete. Own organisation in Japan for
                                                            foresight.
Methodology                                                 Classical 2 round Delphi with 1065 topics.
In which way have IST been included and treated in the      IST is one of 14 major topics, but is also covered by
FS exercise?                                                applications in other areas.
                                                            Japan is benchmarked against (mainly) the US and is
Strengths / opportunities weaknesses / threats identified
                                                            leading in few areas, but trailing in many. The decade
in IST
                                                            of the internet bubble is described as “lost”.
Dissemination                                               Reports published. Web site. Other information n.a..


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                                           Foresight in Korea (several reports)
Categories, Criteria & Questions                       Answers

                                                       Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Ministry of
Project promoter / initiator                           Information and Communication (MIC); Ministry of
                                                       Finance and Economy (MOFE)
                                                       Science and Technology Institute (STEPI) within the Korean
Agency or organization responsible for the foresight   Institute of Science and Technology Evaluation and
activity                                               Planning (KIST); Institute of Information Technology
                                                       Assessment; Korea Development Institute (KDI)
                                                       Vision 2025 and NTRM cover all areas of technology plus the
Scope / areas covered
                                                       Korean innovation system; the master plans cover IT.
Time horizon                                           2025 (Vision 2025), 2012 (NTRM), five years (master plans)
                                                       Covered quite comprehensively in the reports. However, there is a
Societal dimension                                     tendency to assume that some problems only need technological
                                                       solutions (e.g. connectivity).
                                                       Europe and individual countries are discussed explicitly in
European dimension
                                                       connection with competitiveness.
                                                       Develop an S&T strategy to ensure the long-term competitiveness
Major explicit objectives                              of (South) Korea, identify potentially crucial technologies; prepare
                                                       Korea for e-Society.
                                                       Preparing for Korean unification, forging alliances for international
Second order objectives and indirect effects
                                                       research.
                                                       Probably large on technology policy. Master plan obviously has
Impact                                                 heavy impact (IT infrastructure): so much progress was made with
                                                       broadband that 2006 Vision was revised for 2007.
Target groups                                          Public S&T policy makers, but also industry, academia.
                                                       Ministries, agencies, academic institutions, industry, not general
Participation
                                                       public or NGOs.
                                                       Expert panels, some background research (e.g. to prepare master
Major Characteristics
                                                       plans).
Methodology                                            Unclear, probably mainly brainstorming
In which way have IST been included and treated in     Key technology in “Vision” 2025, one area of NTRM, major focus
the FS exercise?                                       of master plans.
                                                       Good basic skills and education, S&T system inward looking,
Strengths / opportunities weaknesses / threats         detached from international communities; dependence on S&T
identified in IST                                      from overseas; excellent IT infrastructure for both industry and
                                                       population at large; problems of cooperation.
                                                       Not clear, but major reports are available in Korean, and usually in
Dissemination                                          English, on the Internet. Much Korean presence at international
                                                       conferences etc.




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Foresight effort Choosing Strategies for Sweden/Sweden (2003/2004)
                                               Answers
Categories, Criteria & Questions

                                               The Swedish Industrial Development Fund
                                               The Royal Swedish Academy of the Engineering
                                               Sciences (IVA)
                                               The Knowledge Foundation
                                               The Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO)
Project promoter / initiator                   The Swedish Business Development Agency
                                               (NUTEK)
                                               The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise
                                               The Swedish Research Council
                                               The Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems.


Agency or organization responsible for the Teknisk framsyn – separate organisation set up for
foresight activity                         purpose with own manager, staff from initiators.
                                               Panels on IT, production system, materials,
                                               infrastructure, biological natural resources, health
Scope / areas covered
                                               care, education and learning, innovation systems,
                                               context of technology
Time horizon                                   15 to 20 years
                                               Strong (education, infrastructure, health service,
Societal dimension
                                               sustainable development etc.)
                                               Europe is seen as important context for Swedish
European dimension                             activities at global level. Many recommendations also
                                               address European dimension.
                                               Promoting the interplay between technological,
                                               institutional and social processes. Creating insights
Major explicit objectives
                                               and visions about long-term technological
                                               development
                                               Seeks to encourage participation in development of
Second order objectives and indirect effects
                                               visions for Sweden.
Impact                                         Not known (no info on web!)
                                               Ministries (education and science, industry,
                                               employment and communications), education,
Target groups
                                               industry, science. “In a sense we are all part of the
                                               target group”.
Participation                                  Up to now mainly experts as panel members.
                                               Second round of foresight in Sweden. Update of first
Major Characteristics
                                               foresight, additional
Methodology                                    Expert panels supported by project managers.
                                                         st
                                        Panel updating 1 foresight on security etc., cross-
In which way have IST been included and
                                        cutting theme in many technologies. IT described as
treated in the FS exercise?
                                        “vital”
                                               Report identifies 100 areas of technology and
Strengths / opportunities weaknesses / threats knowledge in 11 groups, in which opportunities are
identified in IST                              seen as existing for Sweden. Many in IT or involving
                                               application of IT.




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Foresight Effort: Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance
Categories, Criteria & Questions                       Answers
                                                          National Science Foundation, US Department of
Project promoter / initiator
                                                          Commerce
Agency or organization responsible for the foresight
                                                          National Science Foundation
activity
                                                          Convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology,
Scope / areas covered
                                                          information technology, cognitive science
                                                          Not stated, some short-term, some very long term
Time horizon
                                                          orientation
                                                          Social impacts (mainly benefits), some ethical
Societal dimension
                                                          considerations
European dimension                                        Not at centre of considerations
                                                          To identify the technological benefits of convergence
Major explicit objectives                                 that could be of greatest value to human performance
                                                          and to consider how to achieve them.
Second order objectives and indirect effects
                                                          Has served to maintain interest in nanotechnology.
Impact                                                    Much interest abroad, e.g. Canadian “Biosystemics”
                                                          foresight and EU HLEG recommending CTEKS.
Target groups                                             Funding agencies in US.
                                                          Scientific experts, policy makers, industry across
Participation
                                                          broad range of interests and expertise.
                                                          Basically only workshop. No citizen, interest group or
Major Characteristics
                                                          NGO participation.
Methodology                                               Workshop with papers, breakout groups, summaries
In which way have IST been included and treated in
                                                          All components could be considered ISTs.
the FS exercise?
Strengths / opportunities weaknesses / threats
                                                          Weakness of US in education.
identified in IST
Dissemination                                             Web site. Interviews, presentations.




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of National Foresight


Foresight Effort: Studies by the Rand Corporation for the National Intelligence Council (NIC)
Categories, Criteria & Questions                 Answers
Project promoter / initiator                        National Intelligence Council, USA
Agency or organization responsible for the          Rand Corporation, National Defense Research Institute,
foresight activity                                  Santa Monica, CA, USA
                                                    All of technology, with special emphasis on IT and its
Scope / areas covered
                                                    synergies with bio, materials, nano
Time horizon                                        15 years (2015)
                                                    International comparison with emphasis on sources of
Societal dimension
                                                    possible conflict, digital divides
European dimension                                  Europe was one region considered.
                                                    Input to “Global Trends” report for National Intelligence
Major explicit objectives                           council. Identification of key factors shaping the world
                                                    (drivers).
Second order objectives and indirect effects        Quick foresight into global technology trends.
                                                    Informed   finding    by      NIC    on     technological
Impact
                                                    developments/drivers.
                                                    Aimed at policymakers, intelligence community and
Target groups
                                                    “public at large”.
                                                    Two expert workshops, mainly with US participation. No
Participation
                                                    explicit feedback.
Major Characteristics
Methodology                                         Desk research, expert workshops
                                                    IST is treated as key technology in the “information
In which way have IST been included and             revolution”. Final report discusses synergies with bio,
treated in the FS exercise?                         nano, materials technology, i.e. NBIC convergence
                                                    without explicitly calling it by this name.
                                                    Partly still under influence of “internet bubble”, but
Strengths / opportunities weaknesses / threats
                                                    already focussed on convergence. EU usually ranked
identified in IST
                                                    highly. Danger of increasing or new digital divides.,
Dissemination                                       Book publication, web site.




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