Glossary

Backcasting Explores a future scenario for potential paths that could lead from the present to the forecast future.

Breakthrough Discovery or technology that changes a fundamental understanding of nature or makes possible something that previously seemed impossible (or improbable).

Catalyst Technology that alters the rate of change of a technical development or alters the rate of improvement of one or more technologies.

Chaos theory Characterizes deterministic randomness, which indeed exists in the initial stages of technology phase transition.

Delphi method Structured approach to eliciting forecasts from groups of experts, with an emphasis on producing an informed consensus view of the most probable future.

Disruption Event that significantly changes or interrupts movement or a process, trend, market, or social direction (Source: Dictionary.com).

Disruptive technology Innovative technology that triggers sudden and unexpected effects. The term was first coined by Bower and Christensen in 1995 to refer to a type of technology that brings about a sudden change to established technologies and markets (Bower and Christensen, 1995). Because these technologies are characteristically hard to predict and occur infrequently, they are difficult to identify or foresee.

Enhancer Technology that modifies existing technologies, allowing a measure of interest in the technologies to cross a critical threshold or tipping point.

Enabler Technology that makes possible one or more new technologies, processes, or applications.

Extrapolation Use of techniques such as trend analyses and learning curves to generate forecasts.

Forecasting bias Incompleteness in the data sets or methodologies used in a forecasting system (meaning in this report).

Genius forecast Forecast by a single expert who is asked to generate a prediction based on his or her intuition.



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