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Forecasting and Management of Technology, Second Edition by Frederick A. Rossini, Scott W. Cunningham, Jerry Banks, Alan L. Porter, Alan Thomas Roper, Thomas W. Mason

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A.2 Methods

A series of analyses extending some 18 months suggest that the following methods warrant attention here:

  • Expert opinion (interactive; not formalized)
  • Multipath mapping (related to roadmapping)
  • TDS depiction (with stakeholder analyses)
  • Tech mining (empirical monitoring)
  • Science overlay mapping
  • Trend analyses
  • Cross-charting
  • Social network analyses

A.2.1 Engaging Experts and Multipath Mapping

Engaging experts (Step F, Table A.1) is very important throughout a technology forecast when in-depth knowledge is not prevalent in the forecast team. While Chapter 5 treated expert opinion largely in terms of systematic approaches to compiling the views of multiple experts, this academic study informally engaged a few local experts. To gain an understanding of nano-enhanced solar cells, the forecasters were greatly aided by Prof. Jud Ready, PhD student Chen Xu, and other Georgia Tech colleagues. These experts identified seminal literature and relevant articles and reviewed draft reports on the technology and its prospective development. Such technical expertise also strongly contributed to Step G.

A group workshop (Chapter 4) was held late in the study. Participants included several faculty members and graduate students engaged in solar cell R&D and several involved with technology and policy analyses. The focus was on exploring possible innovation pathways by which advanced solar cell technologies might contribute to commercially successful products. Concerns included the following: ...

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