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Technologies provide a major basis for the development of innovative products in small and medium enterprises (SME) and at the same time they enable the expansion of new application fields. If the potentials of new technologies are recognized in time and deployed in a strategically convenient way, a company can cope with the continuously growing requirements of the markets and participate in the global economic growth. Unfortunately, the majority of the SMEs do not or not enough, deal with strategic issues. Often the SMEs are not sensitized or rather scared of the laborious process behind the formulation of such a strategy. In many cases companies do not have either a clearly enunciated corporate strategy nor a vision of the future on which the technology strategy can be elaborated. This paper introduces a methodology for the formulation of the technology strategy based on competence management through a technology-function matrix which especially meets SME-specific conditions (undefined corporate strategy, unclear picture of the future, limited resources, etc.). Three types of benefits (“wins”) for the SMEs will be discussed within a use case. The first win results from the recognized as relevant future fields, the second win emerges from the elaborated application ideas within these fields and the 3rd win represent the technology strategy, derivated from the actual product-portfolio within the most promising future-applications.
Date of Conference: 18-22 July 2010