Technology Road Mapping (TRM) is a framework and technique to scope out future landscapes in science and technology, given objectives such as product or service development, strategic R&D management, and social or industrial policy development. TRM emerged as a set of diverse industry practices, which academics gathered, collated and systematized in the early 2000s, and continue to do so. Our programme aims to enhance the capacity in Scotland for undertaking TRM, in: academic research and knowledge exchange; business practice (with a particular focus on SMEs); and policy, both as a user and diffuser of TRM.
Our programme’s objectives include, to:
• Capture state of the art knowledge about TRM among internationally recognised researchers in science, technology and innovation studies, and in strategy practices.
• Capture and contrast expert practices in TRM among large companies and SMEs, compared with other analytical practices in support of decision-making, and across different industry sectors important to the Scottish economy, assessing the extent to which practices can be made generic.
• Appraising the uses of TRM in policy, as practiced in decisions making, as libraries, and as practices to be diffused.
Our programme is timely. TRM has recently become a common term, yet its practices vary widely, which is important as companies need to coordinate their activities and investments with one another and/or with governments locally and internationally. The programme's greatest scope for impact in Scotland is in diffusing technology strategy practices among companies, and influencing policy-makers in their uses of TRM, to publish roadmaps, and establishing training.
We will address the following questions:
• What counts as best practice in TRM, and how does TRM compare with other frameworks, tools and techniques in supporting strategic decisions?
• How do practices in TRM vary with respect to: company size, industry sectors (including proximate ones connected in supply, or as customers), and exporting intensity?
• In policy terms, how can TRM as a social-technical-economic process establish consensus, and what are the qualities of such consensus in scope and durability?