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Future oriented Reconversion: The Use of Foresight as a driver for industrial diversification

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Making Moldova better

Hardships have plagued Moldova ever since it separated from the USSR and it is now trying to reform its economy. Now, one EU-sponsored initiative may help lead the country on the road to recovery.

Climate Change and Environment

Lying at the edge of the European Union and aspiring to become a member one day, the country of Moldova is in the process of reinventing itself. It is reforming its economy and rebuilding its society based on civil liberty and democracy. The transition is proving to be very challenging as poverty, unemployment and economic setbacks have crept up, with one of the sharpest gross domestic product (GDP) declines in recent history. This is exacerbated by the absence of links between academia and industry, as well as the lack of modern industry. The EU-funded 'Future oriented reconversion: the use of foresight as a driver for industrial diversification' (Future-for-MD) project has breathed life into the transformation process by proposing new structural changes. It aimed to alleviate poverty and encourage sustainable economic growth by focussing especially on the agro-industry and information and communication technology (ICT) sector. The project team analysed socioeconomic challenges in these sectors through SWOT analyses and workshops, proposing actions and recommendations to help the situation. It investigated transfer of methodology and know-how between Germany, Moldova and Romania, supported by training for key actors on foresight activities. The team also established a foresight blueprint to communicate the project methodology and results to all Moldavian stakeholders so they could undertake their own foresight process. In addition, the workshops focused on introducing research and development (R&D) policy recommendations for the country, increasing its participation in projects that fall under the European Research Area (ERA). Much progress was made in achieving these goals, particularly in reference to knowledge transfer and introduction of foresight philosophy. The project successfully outlined the pertinent sectors and economic challenges. It brought relevant stakeholders together and helped articulate their future needs. Future-for-MD also published a guide in Romanian (almost identical to the Moldovan language) on conducting foresight activities. It familiarised Moldovan stakeholders with modernisation techniques and taught them how to access ERA funds. A rapprochement of the Moldovan and neighbouring Romanian ICT sectors was also accomplished by the project, setting the stage for Moldova to progress in unprecedented ways.

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