Chapter 4. Technology Intelligence

Thomas Durand

Ecole Centrale Paris

Scope of technology intelligence1


Technology intelligence (TI) is a broad term that includes the gathering and compiling of technical information, developing technology foresight, monitoring the advancement of science and its anticipated consequences for subsequent technology development. It includes

  1. Scanning of technological options potentially important for the future, technology assessment, technology mapping, and roadmaps.

  2. Competitive intelligence gathering to follow or even anticipate technological choices made by competitors and to assess the volume and focus of their R&D investments in new technologies while monitoring their overall portfolio of technologies.

  3. Exploitation of databases of patents and other IPR (intellectual property rights).

  4. Survey of technology markets where technologies are transferred between organizations, monitoring of Technology-based strategic moves (partnerships and alliances, mergers and acquisitions), etc. Although TI activities may apply at several levels (e.g., the firm and business unit level, the industry level, or even at the national policy level for the national system of innovation—Durand, 1996), the case of TI at the firm level is primarily considered here. Technology intelligence is thus the technical side of business intelligence. TI feeds into the strategy development process, identifying what is/could become possible (as far as technological feasibility is concerned) and ...

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