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This document presents the findings from an evaluation of the Technology Roadmap for Intelligent Building Technologies that began in the fall of 1999. The Technology Roadmap Report was released in December 2002.
A Technology Roadmap (TRM) is a process tool to help Canadian industries, or sectors within an industry, identify and address the technology challenges that are critical to their future.
The TRM for Intelligent Building Technologies (the "IBT TRM") was a collaborative research project between industry and five Canadian federal government organizations. The TRM project was managed by the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA).
The purpose of the TRM was to clarify the challenges and opportunities in the general area of "intelligent building technologies" (IBT). The lack of understanding of IBTs by the construction industry was identified by TRM participants as a significant national issue because it was the major obstacle to the adoption of those emerging technologies.
The evaluation revealed that the IBT TRM has produced results that are important to industry. First the IBT TRM Report was considered to be useful and was used by industry members. Also several new initiatives were launched as a direct result of the IBT TRM, and others were indirectly attributed to the TRM initiative. These initiatives include:
One of the most significant results achieved from the IBT TRM has been the creation of networks of contacts that have continued to pursue the objectives of the TRM. Also, CABA used the release of the IBT TRM Report as an opportunity to promote its own role to its membership and to other stakeholder groups.
The evaluation findings indicated that, even after Industry Canada was no longer involved, follow-on impacts from the IBT TRM continued to occur and new projects were launched. In essence, the TRM process appears to have become self-sustaining.
The evaluation of the IBT TRM revealed that, although the process started slowly, the timing of the TRM was right, the right participants were selected, the level of interest and participation were strong and the right areas of study were selected:
Once the IBT TRM Report was issued, Industry Canada and the other federal organizations discontinued their involvement in the TRM process, even though there may still have been opportunities for Industry Canada to add value. Given the findings from the IBT TRM and Industry Sector's mandate, the Sector's officers could likely play a facilitation role vis-à-vis several drivers of the technologies' development, although the feasibility of each of these potential roles would need to be explored. It would seem to be in Industry Sector's interest to invest in a more sustained way in technology roadmaps that support the sector's more strategic objectives, and IBTs seem to be good examples of such technologies.