Foresight and innovation policy

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Foresight research helps organisations tap into sustainable future opportunities and prepare for changes. VTT’s customers benefit from our extensive research and understanding of trending technologies.

Key facts

Foresight is about preparing for the future, moulding the future and understanding it better.

Our foresight benefits businesses, public bodies, town councils and a host of other organisations.

VTT’s foresight stems from scientific facts and our technological expertise.

An open-minded view of what the future might hold is often the key to success. What will our customers and the market need in the future? What kinds of social phenomena will challenge us in the future? What kinds of technologies will we have available and what will we be able to do with them? How can we build a sustainable future?

An open-minded view of what the future might hold is often the key to success. 

Anticipating the future enables us to prepare for changes and take advantage of new opportunities. Our foresight benefits businesses and associations, local authorities and town planners, regional councils, government agencies and departments, and non-governmental organisations. VTT’s foresight research helps organisations to plan their strategy, politicians to decide between different options, town planners to anticipate future demand and businesses and the general public to take on new challenges presented by emerging technologies. In the best-case scenario, we identify a challenge or a gap in the market in advance and develop the technology needed to bridge the gap. We have, for example, helped our customers find efficient solutions in the field of 3D printing and synthetic biology.

Our expertise helps organisations analyse change drivers, including weak signals, and the versions of the future that they could create. Our analyses tell organisations how they are likely to fare in the face of different future threats and opportunities. Our analyses also often involve anticipating the impacts of one decision versus another.

Foresight is not about prophesying the future but about preparing for it, moulding it and giving us a better understanding of what is to come.

  • Preparing for the future means identifying emerging trends and signals and planning future operations so as to benefit from those trends. For example, our chances of slowing down climate change hinge on our ability to abandon fossil fuels and replace them with renewable alternatives. The growing numbers of climate refugees clearly signal a trend that will only grow in the future.
  • Moulding the future refers to identifying the opportunities that the development of trends and signals is likely to create. For example, climate change is creating potential for new business in the spheres of renewable materials and energy as well as smart systems.
  • Understanding the future is about recognising major shifts, envisioning alternative futures and having the courage to voice ideas regardless of how ridiculous or impossible they might seem. After all, it could be those ideas that lead to revolutionary discoveries, change the future, and go down in history. What ways are there to tackle the issue of climate change that we have not thought of yet?

VTT’s foresight is built on science and data

VTT’s analyses of new strategies and future scenarios are systematic and firmly based on scientific facts and a wide range of sources of data. We listen to experts and stakeholders and involve them in the process. 

We work together with our customers. Our tools include workshops, interviews, literature reviews and data analyses as well as trend analyses, scenarios, roadmaps and visions. VTT’s technological know-how makes us especially proficient in anticipating technological development.

Our foresight is founded on our broad and profound understanding of future threats and opportunities. We factor in political, economic, social, technological and environmental viewpoints and look for sustainable solutions.

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