Step4EU aims to foster the systematic observation of science and technology, higher education and public policy in Europe based on in-depth research. The results will be publicly disseminated and made available to policy-makers, scientists and, in general, to citizens, as well as actively communicated to them through “informed participatory debates”. In addition, the engagement of scientists in policy action will be attempted throughout Europe.
The ultimate goal is to create and promote an independent and credible international network to help improving science, technology and higher education policies and budgets across Europe through the systematic report, publicly and periodically, of relevant information and early warnings on the state of policies and budgets in each country and at EU level. It is aimed to complement and extend current EC activities on the observation of technological innovation by fostering new research and understanding of the impact of the current economic situation in Europe on the “states of knowledge”, including science, technology and higher education capacity. In addition, it is aimed to foster informed participatory debates based on international perspectives, to help increasing public awareness of the strategic importance of science, technology and higher education policy decisions, as well as to strengthen the motivation of scientists and the academy to engage themselves in policy action as informed and responsible citizens.
This is important because the conditions for the social construction of technological systems in both central and peripheral EU regions and societies have been serious affected in recent years by the emergence of new social realities in those societies, as well as by other new factors of economic and social nature, most of the time of a global scope. To address these issues, science and technological innovation development case studies will be developed across EU member states.
The program is centred on the interaction of science, technological innovation and higher education, regarding the learning capacity of people, institutions and their regions to adapt to new socio-economic and technological realities. The emphasis is on issues in which the interaction of technology, humans and institutions are of central importance.