Technology foresight for growth and productivity: the design and implementation of a new foresight approach for UK SMEs

Lead Participant: Kingston University


"Foresight is a convenient and evocative label for a very real trend in strategy and policy planning (Vecchiato, 2015). Its rise to prominence was driven by the increasing uncertainty of the business environment and the associated difficulty of firms to sustain their performance in the long run.Despite the growing popularity of technology foresight among large corporations in the last 20 years, little evidence has been found on the use of technology foresight in SMEs. This limited adoption is attributed to their focus on day-by-day operations, short-term horizon in strategic decision making, reactive approach to environmental changes, constrained resources for monitoring and assessing new technologies, and -- most important -- a lack of methodological skills and competences related to technology foresight. However, foresight can very beneficial to SMEs, especially those who have low-productivity, by enabling the prompt selection of new technologies and thus fostering long-term productivity and international competitiveness. Overall, foresight will enable SMEs to set priorities and joint strategic actions, in a systematic way, leading to the optimal allocation of resources to product and process innovation.

This project will consist of three main phases. The first phase will focus on the identification of suitable SMEs and technology experts to involve in the project. The second phase will consist of a Delphi process enabling the identification of the most relevant technologies. The third phase will consist of two workshops through which entrepreneurs and technology experts will meet to assess the evolution, impact (e.g., new products and process), and the response options available for adopting/developing new critical technologies."

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Kingston University, United Kingdom £47,740 £ 47,740


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