IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/hig/fsight/v4y2010i1p20-36.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Nanotechnology Foresight: How Can We Explore Employment and Skills Implications?

Author

Listed:
  • Ian Miles

    () (Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge, National Research University Higher School of Economics; University of Manchester (UK))

Abstract

Policymakers responsible for improving the skill base needed for future economic development must assess the implications of radical technological change in the future. The example selected here is in nanoscience and nanotechnology. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate the importance of using more than one scenario of long term development when assessing such a complex issue as technology development and the demand for skills. Scenario forecasting is appropriately based on assessing plausible alternatives combined with horizon-scanning and determination of “weak signals”. This procedure will provide early warning about how far the key elements of various scenarios become manifest and those with maximum influence on emerging trends. This procedural approach for forecasting future skills needs in a particular technology is to estimate short-term and medium-term prospects for its development from concrete scenarios. Nanotechnology, the paper shows, due to its relative infancy, its composition of numerous lines of knowledge development, and the many contested claims about the scope and speed of its evolution, poses particular challenges. The paper assesses how confident we can be about skill and employment projections related to nanoindustries – and industrial applications of nanotechnology, i.e. in medicine; chemistry and the environment; energy; information and communication; heavy industry; and consumer goods. It proposes ways in which to provide more policy-relevant intelligence. Future skills forecasts, it argues, can be shaped using familiar ideas from innovation research - about technological paradigms and trajectories, and about diffusion and industry life-cycles. Requirements for skills will vary depending on how revolutionary nanotechnologies will be. Will innovation essentially extend existing nanoengineering techniques or embody more radical visions of molecular engineering and “bottom up” nanotechnologies? Responses to these questions can be derived from expert-based alternative scenarios. Note: Downloadable document is in Russian.

Suggested Citation

  • Ian Miles, 2010. "Nanotechnology Foresight: How Can We Explore Employment and Skills Implications?," Foresight and STI Governance (Foresight-Russia till No. 3/2015), National Research University Higher School of Economics, vol. 4(1), pages 20-36.
  • Handle: RePEc:hig:fsight:v:4:y:2010:i:1:p:20-36
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://foresight-journal.hse.ru/data/2011/07/26/1214933453/20-36.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Attila Havas, 2003. "Evolving foresight in a small transition economy," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2-3), pages 179-201.
    2. Kerstin Cuhls, 2003. "From forecasting to foresight processes-new participative foresight activities in Germany," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2-3), pages 93-111.
    3. Ahti Salo & Osmo Kuusi, 2001. "Developments in parliamentary technology assessment in Finland," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(6), pages 453-464, December.
    4. Michael Keenan, 2003. "Identifying emerging generic technologies at the national level: the UK experience," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2-3), pages 129-160.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Konstantin Fursov & Ian Miles, 2013. "Framing Emerging Nanotechnologies: Steps Towards A Forward-Looking Analysis Of Skills," HSE Working papers WP BRP 15/STI/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    2. Natalia Shmatko, 2013. "Graduates’ Competencies For The Innovation Labour Market," HSE Working papers WP BRP 13/STI/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    foresight; industry life cycle; product life cycle; typology of innovation; nanotechnology applications;

    JEL classification:

    • O21 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Planning Models; Planning Policy
    • O29 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Other
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hig:fsight:v:4:y:2010:i:1:p:20-36. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nataliya Gavrilicheva) or (Mikhail Salazkin). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/hsecoru.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.