External Technology Searching Methods - A Literature Review

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Kujawa, Kate Alexandra; Paetzold, Kristin
Series: ICED
Institution: Bundeswehr University Munich
Section: Innovation engineering
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.1017/dsi.2019.232
ISSN: 2220-4342


This paper provides a preliminary assessment of the literature available in the field of External Technology Searching. Many methods exist to enable companies to take advantage of new technologies and apply them to achieve a competitive advantage. This literature review focuses on reducing complexity and providing clarity related to the numerous different terms and methodologies used throughout the literature. The main methods found in the literature include: Technology Foresight, Technology Forecasting, Technology Intelligence, and Technology Scouting. However, many additional terms have also been used to describe similar strategies, leading to inconsistency in the use of the terms, resulting in confusion and missed opportunities to innovate for those trying to navigate the field. Synthesis of the results assists in clarifying the differences and conflicts in the literature between the numerous terms. The results serve to display the state of the art on the field and present a basis for further research.

Keywords: Innovation, Open innovation, Technology Scouting, Research methodologies and methods, Technology Foresight


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