In today’s hyper-competitive global market, manufacturers must adopt new technologies to survive and thrive, whether it’s to enable new products or to improve current processes. Technology Scouting is used when a company needs a technology but doesn’t quite know where to look to find it.
Technology often exists to solve manufacturers’ most difficult new product challenges or manufacturing problems. The problem is finding optimal solutions without trained professionals on staff to perform the search.
Unlike traditional, “push-” based technology transfer, “pull-” based Technology Scouting goes beyond normal channels to provide a far-reaching perspective of existing solutions to solve technology problems. Using a proven methodology that includes expert interviews and desk research, Technology Scouting:
- Searches proactively for solutions using specific criteria that are tailored to your company’s unique needs
- Focuses on the ability to find non-obvious solutions to difficult technology problems facing small and mid-sized manufacturers
- Brings new insight and awareness from outside core industries and experts in related fields
- Explores areas not easily accessed directly, including government laboratories, universities and private sector sources
With this rigorous, systematic approach, Technology Scouting taps into existing, but unknown, sources of information to find solutions that can save your company time, money, and frustration.
The DVIRC Difference
Our Technology Scouting service, conducted by experienced scouts with technical and business expertise from RTI International’s Innovation Advisors, starts by meeting with you to understand your challenge from technical business standpoints, and gathering key technical and business criteria. Our scouts then conduct divergent thinking to identify fundamental physical approaches to solving the problem as well as analogous problems in other sectors where relevant solutions may have been developed. The scouts then identify and assess potential solutions against your key criteria, checking in with you along the way to consider your feedback. At the end of the project, we deliver the best solutions ranked against those criteria, along with recommendations for pursuing solutions with select providers. Our partners at RTI International work with companies around the country through the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).
Technology Scouting can help manufacturers:
- Identify enabling technologies for new products
- Solve difficult process issues affecting productivity, quality, and cost
The NIST MEP National Network has offered Technology Scouting services since 2008. A recent NIST analysis found that clients who engaged MEP Centers to conduct a Technology Scouting or Technology-Driven Market Intelligence (TDMI) project reported an average total impact of:
- $848,572 in new or retained sales
- $75,108 in total cost savings
- $382,586 in new investment
- 5.3 added or retained jobs