Foresight and applied research for SMEs - the case of a german foundation
The paper describes the foresight approach performed for a German Foundation to identify the topics that are relevant for small- and medium-sized companies during the next 10?15 years to come. The process was clearly structured and was performed in a very short time (about ten months). It included two surveys (similar to the Delphi but with different 'questions'), clustering, interviews and workshops. The result of the process was a list and descriptions of topics for which a call for tender was formulated. Research institutions can react to this call and apply, but they are only financed if a company is also involved and spends some money on the research project. The first study was a test for the concept, the second study had more impact. Some recommendations are given for a better impact.