Technology foresight in asset intensive industries: The case of Russian shipbuilding
Developing competitive national shipbuilding industries is a strategic priority for many countries. Shipbuilding has evolved into a high tech industry over the last few decades that is strongly driven by customer needs and wishes. Consequently economic development of the industry is now far more complex than previously. International competition in the shipbuilding industry is very strong in all segments of the industry. The article assesses the future development of the shipbuilding industry globally and evaluates the position and opportunities for Russian shipbuilding. International experience of estimating industries' future development shows that a necessary condition of success is building a vision of the industry's long-term future in the context of social and economic development. One way to create such a long-term vision is through developing scenarios based on factors including wild card events, global challenges, trends, threats, drivers, barriers, and limitations. One of the most effective approaches to enhance competitiveness of the industry is Technology Foresight. The paper presents results of Foresight for civil shipbuilding in Russia on the basis of benchmarking, expert procedures and scenario analysis. It demonstrates how Technology Foresight was adjusted to the special conditions of Russia as an emerging country and how the special features of strategic industries which are in the national interest of countries can be included in Technology Foresight studies. Finally the article derives strategies for policy making to set priorities for revitalizing the industry.