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Estonian Pilot Action on Technology Assessment Rene Tõnnisson Institute of Baltic Studies.

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Presentation on theme: "Estonian Pilot Action on Technology Assessment Rene Tõnnisson Institute of Baltic Studies."— Presentation transcript:

1 Estonian Pilot Action on Technology Assessment Rene Tõnnisson Institute of Baltic Studies

2 Tartu. Estonia in short Population 1.35 million Area45,000 km2 LanguageEstonian GDP Euro GDP growth11.8 % (2006) Export 63 % of GDP

3 Estonian Policy Context and Framework Conditions Succesful transition economy with dominating neo-liberal policy approach Long time no policy policy in innovation, industrial and technology policy areas Increased understanding that unbalanced and unsustainable development model can not be followed in long run Necessity to look on alternatives to the previous policy approach

4 Main Challenges of Estonian Economy Low share of high tech employment in industry Lower productivity compared to EU average Low investment into innovation and new product development Exports based on sub-contracting Weak position in international markets Low knowledge of technical norms and regulations applicable to various products and markets in Europe

5 Previous Experience with SPI tools Althought there has been several foresight type of activities undertaken in Estonia their impact however on policy making has been minimal Classical strategic planning approached are mostly dominating the Estonian policy landscape

6 Rationale for the Technology Assessment Pilot Action in Estonia While the foresight activities in Estonia have clearly identified the challenges mentioned previously there is still lack of specific programmes to address those challenges and the findings of the foresight have not yet been fully put into actions Increased competences and skills are needed in SPI to develop suitable instruments – TA could be one of the most appropriate tools to take the development further

7 Possible Technology Assessment in Estonian Policy Context Full scale Technology Assessment exercise could help to better understand the existing technological potential and perspective developments in Estonia in certain priority areas and more importantly provide a strategy how its potential and perspectives can be utilised in a most effective way for the benefit of society and economy at large

8 Scope of the Pilot Action within REGSTRAT Project As it is not possible to undertake the full fledged TA exercise within Regstrat project then we have proposed a pilot action to prepare the ground for the full scale TA and act as a catalyst We propose to focus on 2 type of activities within the pilot action – awareness raising and pre- scoping (including elements of training) In order to be more focused we have proposed to carry out the pilot action within the biotechnology area because we can build on previous foresight results and building momentum is easier as the key stakeholders have high interest in new policy tools in this area

9 Preparatory Steps Meetings to explore the necessity and viability of TA with relevant stakeholders – Ministries of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, Estonian Academy of Science, Estonian Biotech Association, Science and Technology Parks Distributing the background materials on TA to relevant stakeholders

10 Awareness Raising The aim would be to increase the understanding for relevant stakeholders how TA can be used for better policy making and implementation and what are the possible benefits and what results can be expected based on the case studies from other European regions As preparation of Estonian Biotechnology strategy is currently underway the awareness raising activity can create added value to the existing policy process in terms of introducing new tools how this process can be made more effective

11 Pre-scoping Pre-scoping activity would help to outline the necessary criteria which would allow to decide the possible scope of a TA exercise in Estonia As we have propose to focus the pilot on on biotechnology area then the pre-scoping activity should determine what areas of biotechnology (red, green, white) will be covered and how much aspects above tehnological (such as economic, social, ethical, legal, etc) will be studied.

12 Problems Encountered so far Lack of understanding of the potential use and benefits of Technology Assessment methodology Short term agendas versus long term planning Lack of shared vision on policy planning amongst key stakeholders

13 Expected Outcomes Increased awareness on TA amongst key stakeholders Defined scope of the possible TA exercise Increased skill level for undertaking the TA Launching of full scale TA exercise

14 Envisaged Impacts New methods of policy planning introduced and used in Estonian policy development context Specific strategy devised and launched in field of biotechnology and later possibly also in other technology areas

15 Issues for discussion How to get commitment from key stakeholders if they do not have an initial ownership of the idea? What is the best approach to provide relevant training on TA skills during the pilot or is the learning by doing the best option? What is the best balance between technological and process oriented expertise within a core TA team?

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