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