Keywords: technology foresight, Austria, small countries, Delphi method, innovations, decision Delphi, social foresight
The decision Delphi as a tool of technology policy - the Austrian experience
Foresight studies have come to be an important instrument of technology policy. No standard form, however, exists; custom-tailoring to the specific needs of the specific country is afforded. The Austrian foresight exercise had to investigate the market niches with a potential for Austrian dominance within the next 15 years. As a tool for this task, the instrument of the Decision Delphi was chosen and has been further developed. A Decision Delphi is a bottom-up approach, building on the participation of those persons involved in developing the relevant technologies. It is, therefore, a tool for foresight as well as for coordinating the expectations and decentralised actions. Panels of experts developed the questions in seven fields, selected by a set of preceding studies. The Delphi investigation had two rounds with a response rate of 46% and 71% and a total of 1127 responses at the end. Several interesting results emerged as to the most promising fields and the design of technology policy.