Technology roadmapping for competitive technical intelligence

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2016, 110 pp. 175 - 186
Issue Date:
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© 2015 Elsevier Inc. Understanding the evolution and emergence of technology domains remains a challenge, particularly so for potentially breakthrough technologies. Though it is well recognized that emergence of new fields is complex and uncertain, to make decisions amidst such uncertainty, one needs to mobilize various sources of intelligence to identify known–knowns and known–unknowns to be able to choose appropriate strategies and policies. This competitive technical intelligence cannot rely on simple trend analyses because breakthrough technologies have little past to inform such trends, and positing the directions of evolution is challenging. Neither do qualitative tools, embracing the complexities, provide all the solutions, since transparent and repeatable techniques need to be employed to create best practices and evaluate the intelligence that comes from such exercises. In this paper, we present a hybrid roadmapping technique that draws on a number of approaches and integrates them into a multi-level approach (individual activities, industry evolutions and broader global changes) that can be applied to breakthrough technologies. We describe this approach in deeper detail through a case study on dye-sensitized solar cells. Our contribution to this special issue is to showcase the technique as part of a family of approaches that are emerging around the world to inform strategy and policy.
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