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The roadmap approach has been used to develop future-oriented analysis (FTA) linking technology/innovation, policy, business and social drivers. There has been a growing interest in introducing a systems perspective within the roadmap approach, especially at sectoral level. This paper proposes the use of the ‘functions of innovation systems’ as drivers/layers within sectoral roadmaps, with the purpose of directing decision-making and policymaking efforts towards the functions. We provide the case study of a sectoral roadmap exercise aiming at establishing a non-existing automotive sector in Santa Catarina State, Brazil (a sector which does not exist at present time in the region) by means of integrating the ‘functions approach’ with the roadmapping process. We find the ‘functions approach’ to be a useful approach to support the development of future-oriented analysis by making explicit the current and desired future states of each system's function.
6. Discussion and conclusions
As mentioned at the beginning of the paper, our aim was to introduce the ‘functions of innovation systems’ as drivers within the roadmapping process (i.e. as layers of the roadmap). The rationale behind the use of the ‘functions approach’ lies in i) the notion of functions as ‘drivers’ of innovation systems, as pointed out by previous literature; and ii) in the notion of sectoral roadmaps as being visual representations of how a sector evolves – or should evolve – over time, with a main focus on the generation and diffusion of technologies and innovations (i.e. sectoral roadmaps depict essentially technological innovation systems). Furthermore, the need for a ‘systems perspective’ has been recently discussed within the roadmapping literature (see for example, Ahlqvist et al. (2012) and Saritas and Oner (2004)) leading to the need for contributions in this stream of research.