Inderscience Publishers

Understanding technology foresight: the relevance of its S&T policy context [1]

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Recently Technology Foresight (TF) exercises promoted by governments are spreading all over Europe However the forms that TF takes within each country are very diverse. First, in order to understand the importance of the policy context, as an example, we will explain the "fate and fortune" of foresight in Spain in relation to the attempts to bring it into the science and technology (S&T) policy agenda and will analyse the institutional constraints over the development of TF. The second part of this paper is related to the extent in which TF is a useful tool for policy making. We will enlighten the analysis with the use of the theory of decision making, especially by reflecting on the role of the information emerging from TF as legitimation for policy makers, but more importantly on the promising use of TF for coordination within national innovation systems.

Keywords: technology foresight, science and technology policy, Spain, policy legitimation, information and decision making

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