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Law and Finance
Case Study: Europe in 2020
Scenarios for Europe in 2020 were developed in 2004 to inform the discussions of the HLEG Advisory Group to the EC on the New Technology Wave. The task was to provide advice on research agendas and policy options related to converging technologies. These are often defined as nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive sciences (NBIC).
The outlines of the scenarios were developed in a workshop involving 11 members of the HLEG, two outsiders and two members of the EC Foresight Unit. The Workshop was led by Gill Ringland and Michael Owen of SAMI Consulting and Gill Ringland produced the Final Report.
We found that Europe in 2020 will be affected by a number of factors, including demographic change and technology advances, but the major effect of NBIC technologies in particular on the economy and society will be later than 2020. However there would be many specific industries and processes affected by NBIC technologies in the 2020 timescale, and important research agendas well before then.
We considered that three main forces would determine Europe's participation in NBIC research and adoption of the results:
By considering different combinations of the forces, we developed a number of scenarios and chose to explore four. The approach to science and technology research in general and NBIC in particular under each could be described as follows:
The HLEG decided that their recommendations would be aligned to the Competitive Europe scenario, but that the implications of the other scenarios would be pointed out where these were different, as in the case for much of the cognitive sciences research.
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