­­­­Technology Foresight helps corporations, ministries and other public sector clients to identify future developments in technology, to analyze their significance, and to transpose results into strategic planning. To this end, the Fraunhofer Institute for Technological Trend Analysis INT has set up a unique 360° Technology Scanning and Monitoring service. This science observatory is a window for the continuous watching of all relevant areas of science and technology. As part of a research project, INT is currently developing KATI, an IT and data-based system which aims to make the science observatory more efficient and to furnish it with new analysis options.

KATI stands for Knowledge Analytics for Technology & Innovation. The project builds on both the content and methodology expertise of the scientists working in technology foresight and analysis – combining years of experience in data-driven foresight at Fraunhofer INT.

KATI pursues several goals:

The system is designed to unlock the vast amount of information available, including scientific publications, patents and internet sources for technology foresight, and to generate new knowledge from it

The concept is to support scientists in their technology foresight work. As well as efficient literature research, this includes further analyses useful for the content-related development of a subject, plus its evaluation

On top of these analytical functions, future investigation will be looking at the extent to which cognitive computing and machine learning methods can be applied to technology foresight

To achieve these goals, KATI uses a modern database architecture and high-performance searchware, both of which have been built into Fraunhofer INT’s powerful computer infrastructure. At present, KATI is tapping into and analyzing the bibliographic data of more than 53,000,000 scientific publications. Access is via a modern web-based user interface for literature research, and via the interactive visualization of analysis results. These answer typical technology foresight questions and relate to various concrete applications, such as identifying key publications, actor analysis or technology analysis.

Fraunhofer INT is constantly working to expand and improve the system in cooperation with the SVA. This ensures that analyzed publication data is always up to date. In the course of time, more and more sources, such as blogs, news sites and patents, are being tapped for analysis. In addition, INT is further developing the analysis and visualization options already implemented, and new options are being added.

The Actor Landscape

Apart from content-related aspects of a technology field, client interest often focuses on the question of exactly who is concerned with which sub-aspects. By analyzing the actor landscape at country, institution or author level, many questions can be answered. From the activities of individual players and their temporal dynamics it is possible to deduce where research priorities are being set and how these will shift over time.

Analyzing Cooperation Networks

Scientists rarely work alone; they are usually part of a team. This gives rise to cooperation networks, and their analysis is an integral part of analyzing the actor landscape – a task for KATI. Such analyses are useful where potential cooperation partners need to be identified, for example. In this context, interactive visualizations are a prerequisite for generating profitable insights from analysis work.

Key Publications

One challenge for technology analyses is identifying key publications – publications that are particularly well suited to familiarization with a subject and recognizing current developments. KATI offers various possibilities for this. It applies metrics developed at Fraunhofer INT on the basis of INT staff expertise. The interactive visualizations allow the user to view research results from different perspectives.


Press Release