This theme explores the evolving contributions of innovation system functions to the process of new technology emergence; and the implications of these dynamics for S&T foresight tools, and public R&D agency and institutional strategies for emerging technologies and industries.


This theme aims to advance understanding of the evolving contributions of different science, technology and industrial policy actions to the emergence of new technologies and industries. Research efforts focus on public sector support for key innovation activities, in particular: technology-development; innovation institutions (e.g. regulations, standards); and  structured approaches to gathering strategic intelligence and  R&D strategy development. 


A key goal of this research is operationlize academic insights related to ‘innovation system functions’ into practical frameworks and processes for STI foresight analysis and policy development. In particular, we hope to integrate these with established innovation management and strategy development techniques, such as technology roadmapping, to create  tools for science and technology funding agencies and research organisations.


Project areas


Emerging technology ‘journeys’: Role of the public R&D base and innovation institutions

Longitudinal case study analysis of the evolving contribution and downstream impacts of the national research base and innovation institutions to the emergence of new technologies and the process of industrial change.


Strategy development for R&D Organisations

Exploration of structured approaches to strategy development and programme management within R&D consortia and university-industry research centres, including issues related to matching R&D priorities with the innovation needs of emerging industrial value chains.


Strategy development for R&D agencies

Exploration of structured approaches to strategy development and investment prioritisation within technology innovation agencies, including issues related to interagency coordination and alignment.



Pathways to manufacture

Identifying the risks involved in scaling-up a technology for application in industry with the goal of creating a framework that can be used to identify and assess the major obstacles to a technology’s development.





Cross-theme Integrated Project


Industrial Landscape Analysis: Inside the ‘Black Box’ of Modern Manufacturing Systems

Trends and drivers influencing manufacturing systems; challenges to competitiveness; production competencies and technological capabilities; value chain configurations and linkages; research & innovation needs.