Identification of emerging technologies with security implications: Experience and results from WP4 of the ETCETERA project
The EU FP7 project ETCETERA aims at identifying Critical and Emerging Technologies relevant to security in the European context. The results will lead to recommendations for a European Security Research Agenda that deals with upcoming technological opportunities and threats. In work package WP4 "Scanning for Emerging Technologies with Security Implications" emerging technologies were scanned for their security implications in 10 to 20 year time. These implications can have the form of future high risk/high pay-off opportunities (main focus), but also of future threats (secondary focus). The main source of information for the implementation of this task is technical and methodological expertise within the ETCETERA consortium. Three different methods to identify emerging technologies were performed in a parallel fashion by three research institutions Isdefe (Spain), AIT (Austria) and Fraunhofer INT (Germany). The AIT method is based on bibliometry, whereas Isdefe and Fraunhofer INT use proprietary developed desk research methods. At Isdefe this method comprises a core team inhouse amended by a group of external experts. The Fraunhofer INT desk research is based on an inhouse team. The individual results from the three scanning methods were harmonised and combined in a proprietary list containing 127 technologies. For each technology a technology card was composed that contains a description of the technology, an explanation on the relevance for security issues and a statement on the expected future development. In the following out of this list 70 prioritised technologies were defined in a decentralised approach utilizing the Weighted Bit Assessment Method. Moreover a comparative analysis of the results of the three methods was performed to identify strengths and weaknesses of the individual scanning methods. Based on this comparative analysis, ideas were explored to derive a novel method for this kind of technology scanning, using the best properties of the different methods. In the talk the process and methods of WP4 will be shortly explained and an overview on the identified emerging technologies will be given. The conclusions on weaknesses and strengths of the applied methods will be presented as well as some thoughts on possible improvements of the methodology.