Tools for efficient, future-oriented analysis of technology

Katarzyna Halicka

Abstract


Purpose. The aim of this document is to present the tools useful for the future-oriented analysis and assessment of the technology. The article presents the methods supporting observation and prediction of development of key technologies. An attempt to organise the terminology connected to the far-sighted technology analysis was made. Assumptions, the idea, and the concept of such tools as: technology forecasting (TF), technology assessment (TA) with technology foresight, were presented. The possibilities of their use for effective technologies’ management, along with the special emphasis on renewable energy technologies, was indicated.

Methodology. The prospective analysis of technology is particularly useful when technologies are expensive and essential for the development of a country, region or company. This approach combines  technology forecasting, technology assessment and technology foresight. During the literature review it was noted that these terms are often used interchangeably. Thorough literature studies allowed the author to clearly state that these concepts should not be equated. Technology assessment, forecasting of its development, and foresight studies form the basis for Future-oriented Technology Analysis. Hence, in terms of methodology, these approaches demonstrate great compatibility. However, these notions are not identical. Each of these projects play separate roles and often complement the other.

Results. Due to the action plans in respect of energy formulated by the European Commission, assuming the security, competitiveness, efficiency, the use of renewable resources, and carbon efficiency of the energy sector, undertaking the issues related to the prospective analysis of technologies influencing the streamlining of the process of energy production from renewable energy sources meeting the market and legislative requirements is justified. Therefore, further studies will focus on this area; the author proposes to incorporate this process into the analysis of renewable energy sources in Poland.

The theoretical contribution. As part of the article, inter alia, the assumptions for the methodology for the prospective analysis of technology will be developed. The developed theoretical rules, general principles, and the development of instrumentation of the prospective analysis of technology will contribute to the development of management science, in particular in the field of technology management. The theory is specified in relation to renewable energy sources.

Practical implications. The lack of clear guidelines, visible in the literature, restricted the completely correct and effective use of the prospective analysis of technology for the study of technology development. Inability to develop a single, universally accepted definition of this process may make the idea of the prospective analysis of technology to be misunderstood or distorted. The article is a kind of a guide to the prospective analysis of technology. Taking into account the potential for the prospective analysis of technology, the author proposes to use this process for the analysis of renewable energy technologies.

Keywords: the prospective analysis of technology, foresight, forecasting, technology management.

Paper type: Theoretical paper.

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