16 - A new benchmark method for the identification and assessment of alternative technologies

Fourth Scientific Meeting EuNetAir
2015-06-03 - 2015-06-05
Linkoping University, Linkoping, Sweden
Fourth Scientific Meeting EuNetAir
D. Russo, S. Duci - University of Bergamo, Dalmine, Italy, T. Montecchi - Bigflo srl, Dalmine - Italy
59 - 62


Every time we need to develop a new technical system or improve an existing one, the evaluation and the identification of potential alternative technologies assume a central role. In conventional decision making strategies, the decision to invest in one or more alternative technologies is performed by weighting benefits and risks of each alternative. Both the identification and weighting of alternative technologies are usually performed without a systematic methodology, relying on the experts’ knowledge and somehow on the unquestionable judgment of leaders. The main risks of these approaches are the strong subjectivity of the evaluation and the strong dependence of alternative technologies from experts’ knowledge. In the worst case scenario, this situation may lead to an ineffective investment. The proposed methodology, called “KOMpetitive intelligence”, is based on a systematic approach, combining Knowledge Search and Evolutionary Problem Solving developed through several years of experimentation and specifically built to overcome the aforementioned problems. First, knowledge of experts is integrated with knowledge extracted from patents, market analysis, scientific literature and commercial literature. Second, the generation of new alternative technologies is supported with a systematic theory of problem solving and knowledge transfer. Third, decision making and the definition of an innovation strategy are supported with a concise diagram that summarizes the gathered knowledge and facilitates the assessment of the alternative technologies. As a result, gathered knowledge and problem solving foster the ability of experts to identify and assess alternative technologies. In some cases, completely new technologies are identified to be suitable with the considered application. The graphical summary allows experts and leaders to have a comprehensive and fast overview on the situation, increasing awareness and consistency of decision making.