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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 98
Edited by: J. Pombo
Paper 167

Technology Assessment in the High-Speed Train Manufacturing Industry: Evidence from a Case Study

S. Martins Moretto1, A. Pastrana Palma2 and A. Brandão Moniz3

1Research Centre on Enterprise and Work Innovation - IET, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, New University of Lisbon, Portugal
2Laboratory for Technology Management, Faculty of Accounting and Administration, Autonomous University of Queretaro, Mexico
3Karlsruhe Institute of Technology ITAS, Germany

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
, "Technology Assessment in the High-Speed Train Manufacturing Industry: Evidence from a Case Study", in J. Pombo, (Editor), "Proceedings of the First International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 167, 2012. doi:10.4203/ccp.98.167
Keywords: technology assessment, strategic intelligence, high-speed train manufacturing industry, corporations, technology pattern, railways.

This paper proposes the analysis of the high-speed train manufacturing industry technology pattern, knowledge exchange, technology trajectories and strategic intelligence organization as a means to identify the technology assessment type of activities practiced by the industry.

The results of the research show that technology assessment type of activities is in fact found as part of the high-speed train manufacturing industry. Technology assessment as part of strategic intelligence, is an instrument to involve the end-user and customer in defining the technology options for the high-speed train development, in view of a specific tender or technical project.

This way, the industry top-management expects to increase acceptance of their technology decisions from public, clients and governments as means to mitigate market failure and have a return on their investment.

The first evidence was found at a technology systemic level. The industry contracts universities and knowledge centres, as advanced knowledge suppliers, as a means to access or to develop know-how based on direct consultations with the customer and end-users, or to any other relevant agent.

The second evidence is found at the product level, in the development of non-core technologies. The industry promotes collaborative research, which includes a user group formed by end-users, customers, certification bodies and other relevant entities.

The third evidence is found at the level of the technology commercial trajectory. When preparing for an offer, the industry's subsidiary company interacts with local informers and promotes local participatory activities to collect end-user and client information on the technical and socio-economic elements of procurement.

The forth and final evidence is at the organizational level, with some of the industry strategic intelligent organizational structures practicing technology assessment. The identified structures are: scanning structures, external experts networks, lead users and lead suppliers, home-based international technology intelligence and technology envoys.

The research also contributes to the identification of the subjects covered by the technology assessment such as detecting future policy trends, anticipating specific European or national policy action plans or regulatory acts, predicting end-users specific needs, decoding market structure and foreseeing customer technical specifications.

Technology assessment activities assume the format of a dialogue based on scientific papers, conferences, workshops, trade shows, training sessions and most recently consultations in social networks, in partnership with local railway associations, universities and clients.

Technology assessment is however missing within the industry an identity. It is practiced on an informal basis by the existing strategic intelligence structures. Therefore the authors intend to share the preliminary findings of the study with the railway community, to open ways to jointly define a shared the concept and model of technology assessment for the rail sector.

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