This report is an investigation into the scope for development and optimisation of policy interventions centred around the Horizon 2020 Programme (hereafter H2020), along ten thematic lines suggested by a recent crowdsourcing exercise. The study was conducted between June and September 2014. It was undertaken from a foresight perspective and seeks to explore links between long-term, forward-looking approaches and funding priorities. Chapter 1 presents the objectives and summarises the methods of the report; Chapter 2 describes the themes and analyses the nature and implications of their trend development; Chapter 3 presents a SWOT analysis oriented to clustering the themes and designed to expose what might usefully be done to improve knowledge and its application based on the current situation; Chapter 4 tackles the uncertainties of the environment in which thematic development and policy intervention will work by means of scenario analysis to identify critical dependencies; Chapter 5 concludes by integrating the results from the Report as a whole and making suggestions as to how the framework constructed in this report can be consistently reused. This report is based on: a trend analysis of significant current and emergent developments along these themes; a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis from the perspective of European innovation system stakeholders in the context of societal grand challenges; and scenario development taking into account the critical uncertainties and policy implications associated with these themes leading to 'meta-scenarios' showing how the themes will interact into the future.

Please note: This report is not available on the RAND website but can be downloaded from the European Union website.

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was prepared for the European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology (DG CONNECT) and conducted by RAND Europe.

This report is part of the RAND research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.