CUED Publications database

Technology Roadmapping for mission-led agile hardware development: a case study of a commercial fusion energy start-up

Pearson, RJ and Costley, AE and Phaal, R and Nuttall, WJ (2020) Technology Roadmapping for mission-led agile hardware development: a case study of a commercial fusion energy start-up. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 158. ISSN 0040-1625

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Abstract

Despite several decades of dedicated R&D, fusion, a potentially world-changing energy source, remains decades away from commercialisation. The majority of development thus far has been via publicly-funded programmes led by government laboratories focused on scientific research and in which commercialisation strategy and innovation play a minor role. Generally, such programmes follow a linear model of innovation in which commercial aspects are not considered until later in development. In consequence and without intention, devices not well-suited for commercial application are being pursued. In recent years, however, privately funded fusion start-ups have emerged with the goal of accelerating the commercialisation of fusion. Fusion start-ups are, by necessity, operating on a fundamentally different model of innovation: agile innovation, whereby technology is developed flexibly and iteratively towards an explicit commercial goal. Technology Roadmapping is a method that has been effective for supporting agile innovation but thus far has had limited application to mission-led hardware development. We characterise the key features of the fusion innovation approach and create a novel Technology Roadmapping process for fusion start-ups, which is developed via a case study with Tokamak Energy Ltd. The main elements of the developed process, the resulting Technology Roadmap, and its impact are presented.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Divisions: Div E > Strategy and Policy
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2020 21:20
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2021 06:32
DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2020.120064