As a methodology for predicting the most likely technological developments in the mid-term future, technology foresight analysis can support different kinds of subjects in planning a technological strategy and controlling its evolution in time.
Among the subjects interested in assessing what the future of technology holds, Public Administrations can take advantage of a foresight analysis in order to evaluate the technological effectiveness of the local entrepreneurial system in comparison with the global trends. Therefore, the public decision makers can design the best path of development by providing ad hoc incentives and implementing proper industrial policies.
An example of this kind of approach is the foresight analysis performed by Erre Quadro srl for Autonomous Province of Trento (Italy) in the technological field of mechatronics. The Province hosts a cluster of companies with strong competencies in application of mechatronics mainly in mechanical power transmission, machining systems and automotive. Hence, a benchmarking analysis has been conducted, in order to understand which way clusters that have similar entrepreneurial environments and that are strong in the same technological fields are walking.
The analysis, mainly based on patents as data source, have aided to understand in which technologies the public decision maker should invest and which kind of entrepreneurial system should establish, in order to maintain the current competitiveness be able to compete also with the future competitive international framework.