The Future of The Research Industry: From Competing for Budgets to Finding Partners




foresight, future of research market, research ecosystem, automation, artificial intelligence


The rapid changes in the research industry driven by digital transformation and social change  attract more and more attention from  academic researchers and research market participants. An increasingly urgent task is to determine the consequences of  introducing digital technologies into research processes, including the use of artificial intelligence systems.

This article aims to analyze technological, economic, socio-political, and cultural factors of change in the research industry and the characteristics of the emerging ecosystem of the applied research market.  We base our analysis on the results of the foresight session “Research Industry: Trends and Windows of Opportunity”, organized by  the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) on September 11, 2020.

We  examined the changes in the applied sociological research market that are expected in the next 3-10 years,  and the windows of opportunities  opening for the development of participants in the emerging research ecosystem.  We conclude that in the coming years, the growing number of research companies would switch to such business models that are based on providing customers with quick access to a unique user experience,  and on embedding research processes in the interaction of consumers with customers' products  using the Internet of Things. The accelerated  introduction of artificial intelligence systems will increase the demand for conceptualization and qualitative research. An increasingly important factor for market success will be  creating unique value for customers by coordinating the exchange of resources between different participants in the emerging ecosystem of the research market.

Author Biographies

Timofei A. Nestik, Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences

  • Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
    • Dr. Sci. (Social Psychol.), Head of the Laboratory of Social and Economic Psychology

Natalia N. Sedova, nstitute of Sociology of the FCTAS RAS

  • Institute of Sociology of the FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia
    • Senior Research Fellow, Center for Complex Social Studies
  • Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM), Moscow, Russia
    • CEO's councelor

Evgeniya G. Klimanova, Marketing Agency ‘Delfi’

  • Marketing Agency ‘Delfi’, Omsk, Russia
    • General Director