Understanding Opportunities and Threats in Emerging Technology

Emerging technologies can create entirely new markets, provide a critical edge in competitive battles, or threaten existing products – and even whole industries – with disruption. While a robust R&D organization remains a mainstay for most innovative companies, leaders now appreciate that access to external technology developers, ranging from university labs to aggressive start-ups to new corporate entrants, is a vital tool in translating innovation into successful business. However, companies face challenges understanding this emerging technology landscape, including:

  • Globalization of innovation, with hundreds of active companies around the world
  • Rapidly changing markets and technologies, as well as sudden shifts in policy
  • Internal inertia and bias, and often limited internal resources  
  • Information overload, making it difficult to know which developments are important and which are overhyped

How Lux Research Helps

Lux Research’s methodology is tailored to helping clients make successful business decisions about emerging technologies in the physical and life sciences. Our analysts work closely with Lux Research members, serving as a virtual extension of tech scouting and R&D management teams, to help them tap into the wealth of information from the thousands of technology developers Lux interviews and visits annually. Lux Research helps find emerging technologies in many ways:

  • Technology scouts and corporate venturing executives use Company Profiles to identify new opportunities and deal flow and help with performing initial assessments, and Lux Innovation Grids to understand how these companies compare to others in a given technology area

Example: The CTO calls a technology scout and says “I just read about a graphene producer called Xolve – shouldn’t we be working with them?”  The scout doesn’t know Xolve well, so she pulls up Lux Research’s profile on the company to get more information than is available on the web, as well as Lux’s take on the company’s prospects. The profile also includes links to profiles of the company’s main competitors, allowing her to learn more about other options and see which might be the best fit for her company – helping her prepare effectively for her next meeting with the CTO.

A Lux Innovation Grid was used to compare companies. A spider chart shows a technology provider's scorecard and compares it to other companies in the OLED market in which they participate and the broader area of lighting companies.


  • R&D leaders seeking technology capabilities use Analyst Inquiry to understand who’s developing relevant technologies

Example: An R&D manager at an aerospace and defense company is exploring how superhydrophobic coatings can provide anti-icing capabilities. He asks Lux Research for a list of companies active in the space and Lux’s take on which ones might be most promising sources for this application.

  • Leaders from new business development or new ventures groups use Executive Sessions led by Lux Research analysts to review the latest updates in a technology area, and conduct a workshop that develops and applies criteria to screen for companies that might be the most attractive partners (or investment/acquisition targets)
  • Executives commission Lux Research Consulting projects to provide a customized scan of key technology areas along with vetting and force-ranking of top technology developers for partnering