Industry Innovation Roadmaps

Industry Innovation Roadmaps provide a vehicle for a sector to collaboratively develop a shared growth strategy.

A headline feature of our Digital Nation Action Plan is the development of ‘Industry Innovation Roadmaps’. These support Industry Accelerators.

Industry Innovation Roadmaps provide a vehicle for a sector to collaboratively develop a shared growth strategy, encompassing market research, product innovation and development of new routes to market.

Roadmaps collate market research, identify niche opportunities and co-ordinate a shared innovation pipeline for members to co-develop products to meet those opportunities.

Global Best Practices

The approach is based on best practices from around the world, notably Canada.

Canada has made extensive use of Michael Porter’s cluster model to underpin their economic development strategies, a focus on building industry sector collaborations that pool resources and encourage shared innovation that grows the success for all the participating members.

The backbone of these efforts are the creation of ‘Technology Roadmaps‘ (TRMs), a common product innovation roadmap and business plan for the whole industry that each business contributes to and can benefit from.

Technology Roadmaps are introduced and how to use them explained in detail in this guide, and the Canadian Government further explains them here, providing a list of completed roadmap programs for industries such as electric vehicles, intelligent buildings and smart grids among others, where they describe:

“Technology roadmapping brings players together to work together in a far-reaching planning process and opens the door to collaborative research and development (R&D).

Technology Roadmaps (TRM) can play a key role in enhancing innovation. It is a document outlining future market demand and the recommended means to meet this demand. A roadmap does not predict future breakthroughs in science or technology; rather, it forecasts and articulates the elements required to address future technological needs. A roadmap describes a given future, based on the shared vision of the people developing the roadmap and provides a framework for making that future happen technologically.”

whole book is available that explores their usage in academic detail.

Micro Clusters

Clusters have long been a staple of government’s Economic Development strategies but are often organized by government in a top down fashion around large, broad industries like aerospace, and typically feature mostly large enterprises.

For smaller countries like Scotland with mostly SMEs this can be a limited approach, and so Digital Scotland is pioneering an approach of ‘Micro Clusters’, a bottom up forming up of an industry group around very specialized, small but very high growth niche segments.


Editor of On a mission to build a world leading Scottish digital nation.

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