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Technology roadmaps

Archived - Technology Roadmapping: A Guide for Government Employees — Guiding Principles of Technology Roadmapping

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Industry ownership

Although the government may solicit industry to produce a roadmap, industry participants must lead and "own" the process. The government confines its role to support and facilitation.

Market pull

A technology roadmap identifies critical technologies to best meet future market demands (market pull), rather than being restricted to the possibilities provided by the existing stock of technologies (technology push). Usually, a leap in technology evolution is implied.


The objective of technology roadmapping is to determine future technology needs and establish a plan for developing the required technologies. The roadmap must address specific technology development objectives and lead to concrete results such as collaborative R&D projects. Networking and collaboration, although beneficial, cannot be the sole outcomes of the roadmapping process.

Shared expertise

The sharing of knowledge, expertise and skills can benefit all parties involved. Companies might be hesitant about sharing their expertise with competitors. It is hoped they will come to realize they can further their companies' strategic objectives by making the entire Canadian sector more successful globally — by collaborating in roadmapping and then pooling R&D resources.


Because most technology roadmaps focus on the development of enabling technologies at the pre-competitive stage, revealing proprietary information is not a significant concern. However, if proprietary information is shared, confidentiality must be guaranteed. The participants determine the provisions for confidentiality, typically, in a confidentiality agreement.


While there is an underlying logic and methodology in producing a technology roadmap, the process can be tailored to the circumstances or interests of a particular industry, sector, association, or company.

Iterative, evergreen process

During the production of the document and afterwards, technology roadmapping remains an iterative process. Ideally, a company or industry adopts technology roadmapping as part of its long-term planning cycle. On an ongoing basis, it reviews and fine-tunes its market and technology forecasts, and its R&D commitments and deliverables. A technology roadmap cannot be frozen in time.

Integral solutions

Technology roadmapping focuses not only on new enabling technologies but also on the elements required to generate and support them. A technology roadmap might address technology transfer, marketing, finances, intellectual-property production, standards, and other issues. In addition, a roadmap could identify issues and make recommendations pertaining to human-resource skills and training. It could address potential barriers to the emergence of desired new technologies, and government policy and regulations.