Designing Taiwanese Technology Foresight Operation Process based on the Technology Foresight Experience of China, Japan, and Korea
Benjamin J.C. Yuan
Recently due to all sorts of changes and challenges of rapid technology development and globalization, more and more countries have adopted technology foresight as a tool for policy planning to expect to identify the emerging technology fields maximizing the societal benefits and to invest resources to help it grow up. According to the research, there are at least 54 countries promoting technology foresight activities internationally so far, such as United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, France, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Italy, …etc, in which there are at least 78 technology foresight projects (included national level and industrial level) and 13 kinds of foresight tools applied. The successful technology foresight experience is worth learning, but a country needs to modify the foresight approach according to its national conditions, such as the culture, innovation system, and the technology policy. Considering the factors as neighboring geographical place and language similarity, the research chose China, Japan and South Korea as cases to analyze and compare their technology foresight experiences by 6 dimensions, and then to develop the Taiwanese technology foresight process through the investigation of expert opinions. Based on our investigation results, at the aspect of motivation, experts thought the traditional competitive advantage was no longer effective, and Taiwan must find the innovation-based competitive advantage. Meanwhile, the national innovation system also needed a effectively operation model；about the objective, experts thought it’s more appropriate for Taiwan to set its goals toward the needs for the economic and society development and critical techniques selection； for the way to select fields, experts thought Taiwan could refer to the Korean and Japanese methods which requested the information from experts through open questionnaires, and developed the way suitable for Taiwan; at the aspect of time horizon, more experts agreed to set it as 15 years and 20 years; as for the units launching foresight projects, experts suggested the project should be launched by Executive Yuan, in which National Science Council was thought to be the most appropriate. Finally at the aspect of foresight process, experts suggested that at the pre-foresight phase, Taiwan should set definite goals and directions for foresight, build up foresight organizations, draw up the foresight process and methodology, confirm the techniques list by information gathering and analyzing, construct possible scenarios, and design the Delphi questionnaire; at the main foresight phase, firstly both Delphi and the scenarios analysis was initiated, which results could produce the strategic options, and then the best strategy and corresponding measures could be decided. At the post-foresight phase, the technology foresight committee would build up future scenarios based on the results of the pre-foresight and main foresight phases, write the technology foresight report, provide suggestions for technology policy, and suggest the government to coordinate industries, officials, schools and research institutes to proceed to promote the technology foresight project.
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