Our methodological approach is based on the perception that the successful realization of technical innovations in the future requires substantial preparatory work in research laboratories today. Consequently, our desk research includes not only applied scientific research, but extends even to primary literature and published results of basic research. The goal of our research is to identify particularly dynamic, technological "core themes" and to forecast their expected future development and potential defense applications. For each identified technological core theme, we extract statements on trends, technology readiness, prerequisites and application potential, technological context and relevant actors in research.
On the methodological side, systematic technology scanning and monitoring are of paramount importance, i.e. the directed and undirected search for suitable themes and statements in the literature concerned. The central element is the continuous screening of key sources such as scientific journals.
We use other supporting methods, such as bibliometric analyses respectively scientometrics (i.e. the statistical analysis of publications and quotations), keyword analysis, data and text mining, expert survey methods (e.g. the Delphi method), and various participatory approaches, i.e. a structured dialogue with experts and users. Especially for undertaking bibliometric analyses we have developed our own software toolbox that allows us to analyze specific characteristics of research topics, thus gaining information on expectable future developments in these topics ("Trend Archeology").