We have developed technology roadmaps for a variety of Canadian companies and organizations. As the recognized Canadian leader in roadmapping work, we have augmented existing technology roadmapping (TRM) models with our own approaches and methodologies.
We have developed several technology and skills-based roadmaps for Sector Councils. We have also developed discussion papers for the federal government on how to implement roadmapping programs in Canada, based in part on our research of United States roadmapping activities and in part on our Canadian roadmapping experience. We have developed our own discussion papers highlighting the fact that technology-based growth represents the primary contribution to GDP growth over time, thereby indicating the need to do more roadmapping. We have also developed a TRM Primer that helps organizations understand the roadmapping process and what their role and responsibilities should be if implementation is to be successful.
Doyletech has been doing technology roadmapping work with industry for years, as we assist entrepreneurs with business planning and product migration strategies. Canadian public sector organizations have now discovered the value of roadmapping work as a practical policy planning instrument. Predicting where technology is going (and what products and services are likely to originate from it) helps public policy makers get a much clearer picture of what skills will be needed in the future and what plans and policies will be needed. There are many other public planning benefits from roadmapping in addition to human resources planning; in Canada, the Sector Councils have been early adopters of roadmapping.
We have been strong supporters of Regional TRMs for Canada. Our research on U.S. roadmaps has indicated that many are regional in nature in that they explore how a given technology (or range of technologies) might be exploited to stimulate economic development in a given region. We feel that they are very applicable to the Canadian environment because economic diversification is so high on our list of federal and provincial priorities.
Our view of a Regional TRM is different than that of a typical TRM (e.g. different players) and very different than a regional economic development strategy. The focus here is on a technology (or a range of technologies) which should be leveraged by a particular geographic region.
Sample of Past Projects
The Wireless Technology Roadmap for Canada (WTRM)
This project involved an assessment of Canada’s strengths and weaknesses in wireless technology and the identification of major projects that could be undertaken by the industry to capture a larger share of the world market for wireless products and services. This national technology roadmap for the wireless industry involved extensive market research on developing technology trends, as well as on Canada’s positioning with respect to its international competitors and a comprehensive gap analysis. A significant number of interviews with technical experts were conducted to evaluate the best technology options potentially available to deliver products envisioned for the future. There has also been an assessment of the impact of market forces on the demand for the envisioned products. Industry executives, university professors, researchers, government officials, and technical experts were interviewed to arrive at conclusions and recommendations for the WTRM.
A Skills and Technology Roadmap (STRM) for the Printing Industries in Canada
This national roadmapping project was conducted for the Canadian Printing Industries Sector Council. It was both a technology roadmap and a skills roadmap (STM) wherein the technology and skills needed for Canada to compete internationally in the printing industry were identified
A Technology Roadmap for Sustainable Housing in Canada
A national sustainable housing roadmap was prepared. It involved the facilitation of the year-long roadmapping process, the development, recruitment, and facilitation of workshops across Canada, and the development of draft and final TRM reports.
Implementation Assistance with the Skills and Technology Roadmap (STRM) for the Printing Industries in Canada
We assisted CPISC as they sought to implement their STRM program. Our assistance was focused on facilitating and preparing materials for industry validation sessions held in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. The goal was to validate the STRM study results with industry and establish further go-forward activities. We recruited more than 60 key printing industry participants for these sessions.
The Canadian Electric Vehicle Technology Roadmap (EVTRM)
We provided facilitation services in support of the year-long development of a Canadian technology roadmap for electric vehicles. In addition to the support and guidance provided to the clients, we worked closely with the Electric Vehicle Steering Committee. We facilitated and prepared materials for workshops held across Canada (including recruitment assistance) and were responsible for the development of the final EVTRM report.
A Review of U.S. Technology Roadmap Activity
In the U.S., technology roadmaps are now widely used in business, government, and academia, not just for technology direction, but for marshalling the necessary resources to capitalize on perceived opportunities or to correct perceived problems. The National Institute for Standards Technology (NIST) tracks such activity on an ongoing basis. It has published a list of about 300 roadmaps that have been prepared in the U.S. since 1996. By analyzing that list and by interviewing a few people who are familiar with the U.S. technology roadmap program, we learned the following: (1) the U.S. government is very supportive of technology roadmaps and funds about 50% of their cost; much of this funding is through the “Industries of the Future Partnership” program administered by the Department of Energy, (2) trade associations also play a major role and this has helped them strengthen their channels of communications with all levels of government and with the industries they serve, (3) the more successful roadmaps have had sound implementation plans built into them, and (4) many of the U.S. roadmaps are regional in nature in that they explore how a given technology (or range of technologies) might be exploited to stimulate economic development in a given region.
Technology Roadmap Implementation in Canada – A Proposed Model
Canada’s involvement in the preparation of technology roadmaps (TRMs) is strongly supported by all of its participants, and while there are plenty of tools available for their development, there is a shortage of tools for measuring their effectiveness, particularly in contributing to Canada’s overall Science & Technology (S&T) strategy. This study proposed a tool that embraces the following guiding principles: (1) the success of a given TRM is determined by how well it produces a set of benefits that are spelled out in advance, (2) the TRM should make a measurable contribution to Canada’s S&T strategy, which is to use technology to achieve an entrepreneurial advantage, a knowledge advantage, and a people advantage, (3) an implementation plan should be an integral component of the TRM, and (4) the various players should have a clear understanding of their roles in the implementation plan.
Toward a Sustainable Housing Technology Roadmap – Workshop Assistance
We provided workshop development and facilitation services in preparation of a technology roadmap for sustainable housing. These services included development and review of workshop objectives, materials, and participants. A workshop agenda, a TRM scoping document, a pre-workshop survey, and a TRM ‘primer’ were all developed in close consultation with the client. A final report documenting the activities and results arising from the workshop was also developed. Specifically, this report addressed the vision and scope for a proposed technology roadmap for sustainable housing, how the vision and scope would be addressed by a TRM, further research that would be required, and how to develop the steering committee and working groups.