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The iKNOW Team

iKNOW’s international and multi-disciplinary team has been led by Dr Rafael Popper of The University of Manchester and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.


The current iKNOW Foresight and Innovation Ecosystem platform is hosted and managed by Futures Diamond Ltd (UK), however the initial iKnow project team (2008-2011) consisted of eight partners with high-level expertise in foresight, technology transfer and STI policy support and significant IT experience:


  1. PREST Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, The University of Manchester
  2. Finland Futures Research Centre
  3. Z_punkt
  4. RTC North
  5. Technology Centre of the Academy of Sciences
  6. Interdisciplinary Centre for Technology Analysis and Forecasting
  7. Mindcom Ltd
  8. CyberFox


PREST Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (United Kingdom) of the Manchester Business School, University of Manchester - Founded in 1977 and building upon a programme of work established in Manchester during the 1960s, PREST carries out research on the economic, political, social and managerial problems that affect or result from the development of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). With some 50 strong staff, PREST is one of the largest concentrations of researchers working in these areas in Europe. Manchester is a leading international centre of excellence in: theoretical and empirical studies of innovation (with special strengths in innovation in services); the study of STI policy in a multi-level, multi-actor world; and evaluation and foresight (prospective studies) in support of policy - we are a world-leading centre for the development and application of key tools and techniques of strategic policy intelligence – not only covering the development of methods and approaches to evaluation and impact assessment of innovation policy, but also covering the development and application of Foresight and Technology Assessment tools. As a leading international centre in its field, PREST’s staff are frequently invited to give papers and lectures around the world, and the Institute hosts a steady stream of academic, governmental and industrial visitors. The staff of the institute has conducted a wide range of studies especially on internationalisation and innovation dynamics.

  • Deborah COX

  • Ian MILES

  • Rafael POPPER (Project Director)

  • Joe RAVETZ

  • Thomas TEICHLER


FFRC - Finland Futures Research Centre (Finland) is a research and expert organization for futures research, education and development. It is an auxiliary unit of Turku School of Economics and Business Administration (TSEBA) having 3 offices in Turku, Tampere and Helsinki. The amount of FFRC staff is about 45-50 persons depending on current project cycles. There are 3 research professors in the FFRC. The FFRC produces visionary foresight information and knowledge on the futures trends and issues of society and the environment. The FFRC is the leading research institution of futures knowledge in Finland and Nordic countries and has also gained international recognition as a professional research institution. Our clients include businesses, corporations and public bodies. In Finland we work in regional and national projects together with different ministries, the Finnish National Fund for Research and Development (SITRA), the National Technology Agency of Finland (Tekes), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Academy of Finland, the largest Finnish trade unions, municipalities, organizations and numerous businesses and corporations. The FFRC´s mission is to act as a leading regional, national and international R&D, training and consulting organization in the field of futures and foresight studies. International customers of the FFRC have been the European Commission, European Parliament, the European Foundation, Eurostat and many large corporations. The FFRC has been working for the Nordic Innovations Centre (NIC) in the project “Nordic Technology Options and Radial Innovations”, which final report “Foresight in the Nordic Innovations” was published in 2007. This project focuses on the dynamic development of Nordic innovations networks. In 2007 the FFRC was doing 47 R&D projects in various fields of foresights. Special services of the FFRC are Future Focus (educational and coaching services) and Radical Futures Forum (technology and corporate executive expert forum).

  • Jari KAIVO-OJA

  • Tuomo KUOSA

  • Maurizio SAJEVA


    Z_punkt (Germany) is an independent think tank and consultancy, founded in 1997. With its four managing partners and about 15 researchers and consultants, Z_punkt is conducting mainly commissioned studies for large companies from different industries (telecommunications, automotive, chemicals, among others) and for the public sector. Clients include major German corporations like Deutsche Telekom, BASF AG, Volkswagen AG, BMW or RWE and the European Commission (Platform Foresight) or the National Research Funds of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Z_punkt’s expertise includes as well the content level (e. g. large trend database, industry specific research) as the process level. Z_punkt is organizing and performing different kinds of scenario processes, vision creation workshops, and innovation workshops. Within projects, but also through its scientific advisory board, Z_punkt maintains close links to academic expertise in areas such as foresight in general, innovation management, technology development and regional foresight. Z_punkt is spreading its expertise through publications series (dossiers, books) and through seminars and workshops. In addition, Z_punkt is well networked on an international and especially on the European level, e. g. through the chair of the German Node of The Millennium Project, American Council for the United Nations University, the chair of the International Advisory Board of the Finland Futures Academy, membership in the Collège Européen de Prospective Territoriale and the European Energy Technology Foresight Network EFOnet and through the working relationships established via European research projects. To additionally secure a global perspective for the realization of international foresight projects Z_punkt initiated an "International Foresight Group" in 2005, consisting of the Finland Futures Academy (Finland), the Arlington Institute (USA), the Chinese Academy of Science, the Nucleos de Estudos de Futuro (Brazil) and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (South Africa).

  • Cornelia DAHEIM

  • Ines LIETZKE 

  • Sivert von SALDERN  

  • Karlheinz STEINMÜLLER

  • Vanessa WATKINS


    RTC North (United Kingdom) is a substantial company which has built its reputation over the past 17 years on managing large public sector contracts as well as delivering discreet consultancy projects to industry.   Core expertise lies in the management of change and the delivery of a broad range of services related to the innovation life cycle. The company also regularly provides consultancy services to funding bodies such as the European Commission, DTI, North West Development Agency, One North East and Government Office.  Established in 1989, it is a totally self-financing operation with a turnover in 2006/2007 of £4.2 million and 54 full time personnel.  A company limited by guarantee, the board comprises senior representatives from major research organisations and industry across the North of England.  RTC North will be involved in the delivery of all workpackages but will have a key role particularly in WP3 (Characterisation of ERA dimensions) and WP6 (Case Studies).  This will involve choosing themes from FP7 and identifying wild cards and wild signals that could affect the dimensions of the ERA and vice versa. RTC North will also be responsible for the production of bulletins describing how the wild cards and signals relate to the FP7 themes and the ERA.  It will also be responsible for the production of case studies relating to the above. RTC North will also provide input to the development and roll out of the dissemination programme and the organisation of awareness raising events.

  • Terry McSTEA

  • Gordon OLLIVERE

  • Anthony WALKER


    Technology Centre AS CR (Czech Republic), established in 1993, is involved in analytical and strategic studies for the Czech state administration, particularly in the area of R&D, science, technology and innovation. One of the departments plays the role of the National Information Centre for European Research, second department is engaged in technology transfer services and the third one works on strategic studies and projects aimed at development of innovation policies and identification of national R&D priorities. In the Czech Republic, TC cooperates with the Council for Research and Development and several ministries (especially with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and with the Ministry of Industry and Trade). It is also involved in many projects contracted by the European Commission (e.g. Czech Innovation Relay Centre, European TrendChart on Innovation and Foresight and Society) and cooperates with UNIDO. TC conducted three national foresight exercises aimed at the proposal of thematic orientation of R&D in the Czech Republic – National Research Programme I (2004 – 2009), National Research Programme II (2006 – 2011) and National Research Programme III (2009 - 2014). TC arranges an annual course named "Technology Foresight for Practitioners - A Specialized Course on Scenarios" in cooperation with UNIDO. TC has been also involved in the COST project focused on the foresight methodology development.

  • Martin FATUN

  • Karel KLUSACEK

  • Ondrej POKORNY

  • Ondrej VALENTA


    ICTAF - Interdisciplinary Centre for Technological Analysis & Forecasting (Israel) - Founded in 1971 at Tel-Aviv University, the major university in Israel, ICTAF is a leading institute in technology foresight, technology assessment and policy-support research. Its main mission is to help policy-makers reach informed decisions based on technology's role in economy and society and to serve as a think-tank for future policy planning. The multidisciplinary center taps the expertise of world-class scientists at Tel-Aviv University and other research institutions to create a core body of researchers with deep knowledge in a diverse range of fields.  Its clients include governmental departments, hi-tech industries and international organisations. ICTAF researchers are involved in a wide range of subjects with special attention to issues related to emerging technologies and their impact. ICTAF has led the Israeli Foresight Study towards the 21st century, covering all leading science and technology fields in Israel. Other studies dealt with Nanotechnology, Quantum technologies, security-related technology assessments, and emerging trends in e-Government, Knowledge Management, education, employment and leisure. ICTAF is very active in the international community and has participated in several EC-funded projects, as a coordinator or as a workpackage leader. Recent examples are a Foresight study in the EU network of excellence “Nano-to-Life” (future developments in Nanobiotechnology), coordination of the FP6 project ELOST (which includes foresight on the future of e-Government), major workpackages in the FP5 project KINX (Knowledge Management solutions for SMEs), a leading role in the FP5 project e-Living (“Life in a Digital Europe”), and the EU project “Platform Foresight” (public research policies and priorities in Europe).

  • Aharon HAUPTMAN

  • Yoel RABAN

  • Yair SHARAN


    Mindcom Ltd (Finland) is a company in software and content production industry, specialized in network applications for education technology. Mindcom works with customers as a strategic partner to provide innovative, customized, blended learning solutions, creating innovative tools for processes, just the right mix on content, delivery and technology to solve the specific business needs.

  • Damien DECANTER

  • Juha LÅNG


    Cyber Fox, s.r.o. (Czech Republic) was established in Prague in 1998, where it still resides. Webdesign and creative services were the most important assets of the company from early on. They were soon complemented by rather technology-oriented services. Some of the top solutions include information systems, e-shops, content management systems (CMS) and customer relationship management (CRM). We have also developed specialized applications – internet auction hall, incident report system or questionnaire system. The company has participated in many non-commercial activities, such as TV magazine Zavinac, and sponsors several journalist websites. After seven years in the business, we have completed more than 150 IT projects. Our clients are both large corporations and small businesses. Vodafone, Fiat, LogicaCMG or Marks and Spencer are all amongst our clients.. We have a strong background in cooperation with international research and development sphere. Many of our projects have been aimed at providing assisstance to companies such as Technology Centre AS CR, who play a crucial role in carrying out the Framework Programmes introduced by the European Comission. Since 2005, Cyber Fox is listed as an official UN supplier, making us a part of UN Global Marketplace.


  • Josef VACATKO