A Toolkit for Integrated Roadmaps: Employing Nanotechnologies in Water and Wastewater Treatment
Integrated roadmaps can be effective instruments for forecasting and planning in the sphere of emerging technologies, as long as certain requirements are fulfilled. These requirements include: (1) the creation of a group of experts who can provide the necessary level of expertise concerning key issues related to the development of the subject area; (2) accumulation of a sufficient background information; (3) establishing an adequate sequence of Foresight methods, integrating those that are more of creative, interactive, expert- and evidence-based methods; (4) Integrating consideration of both market- pull and technology-push approaches, and (5) recognising the different kinds of effects that may be associated with implementing various new technologies. We illustrate this with the case of wastewater treatment. Roadmapping allows for the elaboration of comprehensive innovation strategies, both for short-run time frames (focusing on the commercialization of products with high market readiness), and for longer-term strategies for water sector development. The methodology allows for examining both the direct and indirect effects of the implementation of emerging technologies in the area studied, and makes it possible to outline possible future developments of the technologies considered in related sectors. The main limitation of the method as currently used may be that it is difficult to give sufficient consideration to the indirect effects of using innovative technologies, when we are dealing with fields that feature many interfaces across the economy.