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Identifying emerging generic technologies at the national level: the UK experience

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  • Michael Keenan

    (PREST, University of Manchester, UK)

Abstract

A main reason for the popularity of national technology foresight exercises over the last decade has been their promise of allowing emerging generic technology areas to be identified and prioritized for resource-allocation purposes. Yet descriptions of the conduct of such exercises tend to be superficial, providing few clues to those wanting to undertake similar exercises. Taking the UK Technology Foresight Programme as an example, this paper sets out to describe the processes used to obtain a list of prioritized generic 'themes'. We show that several difficult choices have to be made, often requiring an assessment of opposing and synergistic tendencies. In the case of the UK Programme, a number of decisions seemed to be taken without adequate regard to some of the consequences. This resulted in the identification of generic themes that were, for the most part, subsequently ignored. This paper sets out to explain how this state of affairs came about, and points to possible lessons for those intending to embark upon similar exercises. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Keenan, 2003. "Identifying emerging generic technologies at the national level: the UK experience," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2-3), pages 129-160.
  • Handle: RePEc:jof:jforec:v:22:y:2003:i:2-3:p:129-160
    DOI: 10.1002/for.849
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    Cited by:

    1. Ville Brummer & Totti Konnola & Ahti Salo, 2009. "FinnSight 2015 – A Foresight Exercise for the Shaping of National Strategies," Foresight and STI Governance (Foresight-Russia till No. 3/2015), National Research University Higher School of Economics, vol. 3(4), pages 56-65.
    2. Kokshagina, Olga & Gillier, Thomas & Cogez, Patrick & Le Masson, Pascal & Weil, Benoit, 2017. "Using innovation contests to promote the development of generic technologies," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 152-164.
    3. Maine, Elicia & Garnsey, Elizabeth, 2006. "Commercializing generic technology: The case of advanced materials ventures," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 375-393, April.
    4. Dirk Meissner & Alexander Sokolov, 2013. "Foresight and science, technology and innovation indicators," Chapters,in: Handbook of Innovation Indicators and Measurement, chapter 16, pages 381-402 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Konnola, Totti & Unruh, Gregory C. & Carrillo-Hermosilla, Javier, 2006. "Prospective voluntary agreements for escaping techno-institutional lock-in," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 239-252, May.
    6. Fiedler, Marina & Welpe, Isabell M., 2010. "Antecedents of cooperative commercialisation strategies of nanotechnology firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 400-410, April.
    7. Olga Kokshagina & Pascal Le Masson & Benoit Weil, 2015. "Portfolio management in double unknown situations: technological platformsand the role of cross-application managers," Post-Print hal-01199929, HAL.
    8. Sophie Hooge & Olga Kokshagina & Pascal Le Masson & Kevin Levillain & Benoit Weil & Vincent Fabreguettes & Nathalie Popiolek, 2014. "Designing generic technologies in Energy Research: learning from two CEA technologies for double unknown management," Post-Print hal-00987214, HAL.
    9. Chih-Jou Chen & Chia-Chin Chang & Shiu-Wan Hung, 2011. "Influences of Technological Attributes and Environmental Factors on Technology Commercialization," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 104(4), pages 525-535, December.
    10. Tommi Gustafsson & Ahti Salo & Ramakrishnan Ramanathan, 2003. "Multicriteria methods for technology foresight," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2-3), pages 235-255.
    11. repec:jso:coejbm:v:1:y:2013:i:1:p:28-49 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:spr:grdene:v:23:y:2014:i:1:d:10.1007_s10726-012-9328-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Shin, Juneseuk & Park, Yongtae, 2007. "Building the national ICT frontier: The case of Korea," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 249-277, June.
    14. Totti Könnölä & Gregory C. Unruh & Javier Carrillo- Hermosilla, 2005. "IE WP 23/04 Prospective Voluntary Agreements to Escape Carbon Lock-in," Others 0509005, EconWPA.
    15. Featherston, Charles R. & Ho, Jae-Yun & Brévignon-Dodin, Laure & O'Sullivan, Eoin, 2016. "Mediating and catalysing innovation: A framework for anticipating the standardisation needs of emerging technologies," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 48, pages 25-40.

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