The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI organised the 2nd biennial conference of the European Forum for Studies of Policies for Research and Innovation (Eu-SPRI Forum).
The conference was a major part of Fraunhofer ISI's 40th anniversary in 2012.
Discussions and an intensive exchange of expertise: more than 200 renowned scientists and promising young researchers came together to discuss issues of current and future innovation research and policy at the Eu-SPRI conference, which was organized by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI. The conference is part of the celebrations to mark the 40 years since Fraunhofer ISI was founded.
More than 200 participants from across Europe and the world came to the Karlsruhe Convention Center on 12 and 13 June 2012 to attend the conference with the motto "Towards Transformative Governance? Responses to mission-oriented policy paradigms". Discussions took place in 30 thematic sessions with more than 100 presentations of very different innovation topics. These were held under the aspect of the mission orientation following the Lund declaration, as a consequence of which research and innovation policies are increasingly targeting priorities which address the major societal challenges of our times.
The conference was opened by Dr. Harald Hiessl, the Deputy Director of Fraunhofer ISI, who briefly introduced the “Grand Challenges” of our time. He compared today’s challenges including climate change, demographic change, food and water shortages with those society and the Fraunhofer ISI had to face 40 years ago.
Hiessl is optimistic about the results of the conference: "We are confident that the large number of presentations and discussions at this conference will be an inspiration for science and policy and show us how to tackle present and future demands." The relevance of the results of the Eu-SPRI conference for politics was emphasized by the ministerial representative Engelbert Beyer in his speech: "The results of this conference with their different perspectives are of great interest to the German government."
Beyer emphasized the significance of innovation research for innovation policy in the context of key societal challenges and focused on the mission orientation of the German government’s High-Tech Strategy: "The High-Tech Strategy puts Germany in a pioneering position and has attracted a lot of interest internationally. An important effect of its mission orientation is the impetus given in the direction of the continued expansion of cooperation among the main innovation actors.
"Theresia Bauer, the Minister of Science, Research and the Arts in Baden-Württemberg, spoke at the beginning of the second day of the conference: "Baden-Württemberg is a strong location for science and innovative industries. For this to continue into the future and for us to be successful in international competition, we need a continuous discussion about the effects of government measures and innovation policy instruments. The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI has compiled valuable analyses over the past 40 years and supported policymakers with sound scientific advice."
Alongside other speeches by Margaret Mergen, the First Mayor of Karlsruhe and Professor Stefan Kuhlmann, President of the Eu-SPRI Forum, two keynote speeches enriched the conference: The sociologist and economist Professor Pierre‐Benoît Joly, Head of the National Institute of Agronomic Research in Paris, posed the question "Looking for 'Responsible Innovation' – towards a new research agenda for studies of innovation?" and Fred Steward, Professor of Innovation and Sustainability at the Policy Studies Institute in the University of Westminster, spoke on the topic "Europe's 'challenge‐led & broad‐based' innovation policy revolution ‐ a convoluted and contested transition."
"We are very satisfied with how the conference went", says Professor Knut Koschatzky, who organized the conference and heads the Competence Center Policy and Regions at Fraunhofer ISI. "We were able to bring together an impressive number of leading European innovation researchers here in Karlsruhe as well as promising young scientists for stimulating discussions. We are keen to see which fruits the conference will bear."
Next year's Eu-SPRI Conference took place in Madrid 10-12 April 2013. Further information can be found here: http://www.euspri-madrid2013.org.
The local organizing committee.