Radical changes in the global economy expose business sectors to major threats as well as to various new opportunities. Policy makers are required to target subsequent opportunities by enabling or promoting the business sector to take advantage of them. However, existing horizontal R&D policies focused on promoting R&D activity in individual firms are often lacking in this respect. Current and future scenarios require not only the design of new policies but also the adoption of a whole new type of policy process, namely the formulation of 'Targeted R&D' policies. Such policies go beyond market failure approach to identify strategic priorities as well as analysing system failures and imperfections impeding their successful implementation.. The aim of the TARGET project is to design and develop a structured and valorized set of guidelines & recommendations, cumulating into a toolkit, for formulating and implementing targeted R&D policies, with a focus on the life science/biomed sector. The toolkit will address issues such as: the ability to define strategic priorities, to evaluate technological gaps, to identify the elements within the national/regional innovation system responsible of achieving the selected priorities (including the missing elements), to identify potential system failures, to formulate effective policies and to reach coordination among the relevant policy makers/ministries. A consortium consisting of 8 partners from 6 different countries is assembled to implement the project. The consortium brings together public bodies, and research institutes, whose research will provide a sound base for decision-making in science and policy. The TARGET project will stimulate a mutual learning process among the consortium partners for the identification of the proper mix between horizontal R&D policies and targeted ones.
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