The European Defence Agency will organise next week (17-25 May) the first virtual event of the Technology Foresight Exercise in which will participate more than 160 experts from EDA Member States (and the countries associated with the Agency) as well as from governmental and international organisations, research centres, academia, and industry. The event is part of a wider defence technology foresight exercise which was launched by the Agency in January and will run until the end of this year. The results and findings will inform the future revision of the European research and capability development priorities as well as the work on the EU’s Strategic Compass.
The discussions and activities of next week’s exercise will build on ‘Futures Narratives’, produced by EDA with a core team of experts, so-called ‘Future Tellers’, and on a new emerging technologies report EDA has produced in collaboration with the Joint Research Centre (JRC). The event will include online meetings, discussions, speeches and brainstorming sessions.
The exercise is innovative in that it will combine different methodologies and processes, along with best practices and lessons learned gather from the wider EDA community of foresight practitioners. In addition, the ‘Future Tellers’ have been appointed to facilitate the outside-the-box thinking this exercise will need to be successful. The Future Tellers are experts from a diverse set of technological and non-technological domains, with civil and military background.
Expected exercise outcome
The expected outcome of the 2021 Technology Foresight Exercise is to provide a high-level, long-term vision on all possible future technologies which could have an impact or become relevant for defence by 2040+. This, in turn, will then help inform the next revision of EDA’s Capability Development Plan (CDP), which defines the European capability development priorities, as well as the Overall Strategic Research Agenda (OSRA) which contains EDA Member States’ jointly agreed defence research priorities. In addition to that, the outcome of the Agency’s technology foresight activities this year will also flow into the ongoing preparations for the EU’s Strategic Compass, supporting resilience-building and strategic autonomy.
Workshop held in April
As part of the Agency’s initiatives on this domain, the 8th Annual Workshop on Technology Watch and Foresight took place remotely on 29 April, bringing together 56 experts and professionals from 16 participating Member States’ Ministries of Defence, the European Commission and its Joint Research Centre, EISMEA, Frontex, NATO ACT and STO, as well as public and private entities. An intense exchange and discussion on new methodologies, best practices and lessons learned took place within the community of practitioners.
New website page
Meanwhile, a new section on Technology Watch and Foresight activities has been published on EDA website. It offers plenty of information about EDA’s activities in this domain, as part of the Agency’s R&T planning process, the Overarching Strategic Research Agenda (OSRA) tool chain, and in support of the CapTechs.