The Potential of Additive Manufacturing for Technology Entrepreneurship: An Integrative Technology Assessment

Additive manufacturing (AM) is likely to contribute considerably to key targets of innovation policy such as employment, R&D and education. The expectations of those engaged in AM, such as providers, users and policy makers, regarding the potential of this technology influ- ence its future development and thus create opportunities for technology entrepreneurship. Therefore, these expectations need to be researched so that opportunities for technology entrepreneurship can be identified. Based on prospect theory, we employ an integrative approach to online-based technology assessment. Using the outcome of a constructive tech- nology assessment (CTA) as a reference, a comparison with the results of a traditional tech- nology assessments (TTA) derived from the policy makers enables us to identify the need for action regarding the allocation of public resources. Further, the comparison of the outcome of our CTA with the TTA derived from the general public shows the need to establish a public opinion on AM that legitimizes AM-related innovation policies. The approach of an integra- tive technology assessment proves useful, as we can deduce concrete recommendations for action on innovation policy based on our empirical findings.