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(2) technology related information is channeled into an organization, and
(3) supports the acquisition of technologies.
It is a starting point of a long term and interactive matching process between external technologies and internal requirements of an existing organization for strategic purposes. This matching may also be aided by technology roadmapping. Technology scouting is also known to be part of competitive intelligence, which firms apply as a tool of competitive strategy. It can also be regarded as a method of technology forecasting or in the broader context also an element of corporate foresight. Technology scouting may also be applied as an element of an open innovation approach. Technology scouting is seen as an essential element of a modern technology management system.
The technology scout is either an employee of the company or an external consultant who engages in boundary spanning processes to tap into novel knowledge and span internal boundaries. He or she may be assigned part-time or full-time to the scouting task. The desired characteristics of a technology scout are similar to the characteristics associated with the technological gatekeeper. These characteristics include being a lateral thinker, knowledgeable in science and technology, respected inside the company, cross-disciplinary orientated, and imaginative personality. Technology scouts would also often play a vital role in a formalised technology foresight process.