Implementing a structured Technology Scouting process at RHI Magnesita
Sommersemester 2021 / RHI Magnesita
RHI Magnesita is the global leader in the refractory product market and counts as one of the most innovative industrial companies worldwide. Being embedded in an ever faster changing industry, the company runs three major R&D hubs located in three continents, in order to remain constantly attentive towards external opportunities and threats.
The goal of our project was to provide recommendations for a structured Technology Scouting process. This process and the knowledge gained from it should not be bound to specific employees of the company but be carried out centrally. Furthermore, a main focus was set on collecting, filtering and distributing knowledge in way that it provides maximum benefit for the company.
In order to achieve this goal, we started by developing a profound definition of what technology scouting actually is. To that end, we carried out extensive desk research and conducted expert interviews with employees of other multinational industrial companies. To find out about the certain needs and pain-points at RHI Magnesita, we interviewed project leaders in the three major R&D hubs of the company. The final task was to link the knowledge gained on the theoretical part to the insights acquired from the interviews, in order to construct a practically feasible solution.
Through the methods outlined above, we were able to construct a framework for a five-step technology scouting process consisting of the following steps:
Definition of aims and search areas
Decision on information sources and methods to employ
Filtering, analyzing and interpreting data 5. Evaluation and decision-making
For each of the steps we recommended two activities which differ in terms of their application – namely, proactive scanning (top-down) and reactive searching (bottom up). We additionally laid the groundwork for a so-called “Technology Scouting Unit” which represents the core organ in the implementation of the technology scouting process and is interlinked with both the R&D- and innovation department.
RHI Magnesita GmbH
A-1120, Vienna Austria
Jürgen Schweigler, M.Sc.
Fabian Caroline, M.Sc.
Kretzschmar Linn, M.Sc.
Quach Sophie, M.A.