The PYTHIA project aims to devise an innovative methodology for strategic technology foresight, able to deliver frequent “predictions” on technology-related matters, including the discovery of major trends in a particular area of research and development. The PYTHIA consortium’s work will be based on the following activities: 1. Review of the current methodologies for technology forecasting (e.g. Horizon Scanning and Technology Watch), including performance comparison and their overall measure of success; 2.evelopment of a new methodology, based on big data analytics techniques such as data and text mining, for automatically analysing large volumes of technology-related data in order to detect key technology trends. The methodology will rely on information automatically collected from a variety of public sources (e.g. technology patents, scientific publications, prototype descriptions, marketing communications and press releases, industry production & sales reports, social media, etc.); 3. Study of the cognitive factors that might affect analysts’ ability to perform technology forecasts. Recommendations will be developed on how to make more accurate predictions (e.g. mitigating cognitive biases, avoiding overreliance on linear thinking, encouraging more creativity and collaborative work processes). The study will benefit from the findings of similar international projects; 4. Assessment of the impact of future technology trends on national/EU defence planning through an analysis of its key elements (i.e. defence strategy, threats and risks and EU/national interests), aimed at identifying future disruptive technologies and related themes for future defence research; 5. Organisation of workshops involving representatives of different sectors of the EU and extra-EU civil and defence technology industry, experts on technological forecasting as well as members of the scientific community, in order to validate the PYTHIA methodology in different domains.
Project Duration: 18 months
Period: Feb 2018 – Jun 2019
Type of Funding: European Union’s Preparatory Action for Defence Research – PADR programme – PADR-STF-2017 – Project ID: 800893