Exploring future technology development


  • Göran Kindvall
  • Anna Lindberg
  • Camilla Trane
  • Jonatan Westman

Publish date: 2017-06-22

Report number: FOI-R--4196--SE

Pages: 72

Written in: English


  • horizon scanning
  • technology watch
  • future studies
  • disruptive technologies
  • emerging technologies
  • assessment


The ambition of this report is primarily to describe methodologies that are or could be used to identify research breakthroughs and explore future technology development, especially technology development that may be of significant importance for the Swedish Armed Forces. For that purpose we have performed a literature survey. The literature survey has investigated what is being done by other nations/actors, and has focused on methodologies to explore future technology development rather than future technologies. When examining different existing or proposed frameworks in the literature there are some common features: - Most frameworks combine methods that focus on scanning or exploring technology development with methods focusing on assessing the consequences of technology development - Most frameworks use multi-method approaches, i.e. use several different methods for scanning and/or assessment - Several of the methods have been developed or adapted to identify and assess emerging or disruptive technologies. In the report a tentative process is outlined and it is proposed that this is further developed and tested during the next few years. Continued work should also include trying to achieve answers to the questions posed concerning scope and needs, and to collect findings about possible emerging or disruptive issues from literature.