Technology scouting

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Technology scouting can be regarded as a method of Technology forecasting[1] or in the broader context also an element of corporate foresight.[2] At the same time Technology Scouting also contributes to Technology Management by (1) identifying emerging technologies, (2) channel technology related information into an organization, and (3) in a corporate context supports the acquisition of technologies.[3][4]


Technology scout[edit]

The technology scout is either an employee of the company or an external consultant. He or she may be assigned part-time or full-time to the scouting task. The desired characteristics of a technology scout are similar to the characteristics associated with the technological gatekeeper.

These characteristics include being a lateral thinker, knowledgeable in science and technology, respected inside the company, cross-disciplinary orientated, and imaginative personality.[3]

Technology scouting[edit]

Technology scouting is a systematic approach by companies whereby they assign part of their staff or employ external consultants to gather information in the field of science and technology and through which they facilitate or execute technology sourcing. Technology scouting is either directed at a specific technological area or undirected, identifying relevant developments in technological white spaces. Technology scouting relies on formal and informal information sources, including the personal networks of the scouts.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bodelle, J.; Jablon, C. (1993). "Science and technology scouting at Elf Aquitaine". Research Technology Management 36: 24–28. 
  2. ^ Rohrbeck, Rene (2010) Corporate Foresight: Towards a Maturity Model for the Future Orientation of a Firm, Physica-Verlag, Heidelberg and New York, ISBN 978-3-7908-2625-8
  3. ^ a b c Rohrbeck, R. (2010). "Harnessing a Network of Experts for Competitive Advantage: Technology Scouting in the ICT Industry". R&D Management 40 (2): 169–180. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9310.2010.00601.x. SSRN 1532985. 
  4. ^ Wolff, M. F. (1992). "Scouting for Technology". Research Technology Management 35: 10–12.