CUED Publications database

Enabling technologies, lifecycle transitions, and industrial systems in technology foresight: Insights from advanced materials FTA

Featherston, CR and O'Sullivan, E (2017) Enabling technologies, lifecycle transitions, and industrial systems in technology foresight: Insights from advanced materials FTA. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 115. pp. 261-277. ISSN 0040-1625

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Abstract

© 2016 Elsevier Inc. This paper investigates opportunities to enhance Future-oriented Technology Analysis (FTA) of emerging technologies within innovation systems. We address key challenges faced by policymakers developing innovation strategies for emerging technologies. In particular, we explore ways that FTA might be structured to investigate the complex innovation system journeys of novel technologies as they are developed, diffused, and deployed. In doing this, we draw on concepts from technology and operations management and related literatures to more carefully characterise the: (1) ‘technical infrastrucutre’ required to develop emerging technologies; (2) key technology transitions involved in diffusion; and (3) complex industrial value networks into which they may eventually get deployed. We investigate the extent to which these categories are already used within national technology foresight exercises. In particular, we review over 240 international FTA-related policy, strategy, and analysis documents for ‘advanced materials’. We find that – although generally used inconsistently and unsystematically within FTA – these categories repeatedly emerge as important elements in many policies, strategies, and underpinning foresight exercises. We conclude by arguing that these categories should be carefully considered in initial FTA design. And that, by doing so, FTA exercises may better reveal potential ‘innovation system failures’ and help policymakers coordinate policy actions in response.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Divisions: Div E > Strategy and Policy
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:10
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2017 01:38
DOI: