Title: Technical intelligence in business: understanding technology threats and opportunities

Authors: W. Bradford Ashton, Gary S. Stacey

Addresses: Senior Program Manager, Battelle, Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Washington, DC 20024-2115, USA. ' Senior Economist, Battelle Geneva Laboratories, CH-1227 Carouge- Geneve, Switzerland

Abstract: In this age of rapid technological innovation, firms that do not stay abreast of the latest advancements in science and technology (S&T) stand a greater chance of missing opportunities than firms that maintain vigilance over the ever-changing technical environment. As a result, a resurgence of interest in technical intelligence for business is occurring in companies around the globe. Many firms now have formal technical intelligence programs to gather, analyze and use S&T information to watch their competitors, to track emerging trends in technological development and to anticipate significant technology-based changes in key markets. Careful management of technical information that affects a business can have a vital influence on corporate profitability and long-term health. This paper describes the main features of technical intelligence operations in business, drawing on the experience of several companies that develop and use intelligence information. The steps of gathering, analysing, evaluating and using information for business decisions are described and examples are given to illustrate how intelligence concepts are implemented in firms from several different industries. Practical issues such as understanding user needs, data collection, effective analysis methods and using intelligence results are covered in the paper.

Keywords: technology intelligence; technology management; technology strategy; innovation; product development; R&D investment; investment planning; technology monitoring; competitive analysis; technology transfer; research and development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.1995.025615

International Journal of Technology Management, 1995 Vol.10 No.1, pp.79 - 104

Published online: 23 May 2009 *

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