The paper draws lessons from the French technology foresight exercise 'Key Technologies 2005'. It first describes the exercise as it took place: its context and objectives as well as the methodology that was adopted to identify, select and characterize 120 key technologies. Specifically, the paper describes the criteria used to select among the candidate key technologies, and then presents a specific tool which was developed to describe each technology (a characterization grid relating functional market needs and technological solutions to fulfil the generic need). Finally, twelve lessons are discussed. These deal with both the content of the foresight results and the methodology of running a technology foresight at national level. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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