Abstract: Technology foresight has become a major social science and technology activity in the world to predict technology trends, choose key technology development directions and take optimization actions for the countries or regions. At present, the capability of the China's scientific and technological innovation continues to strengthen, and the number of the leading technology in the world continues to increase. In addition, China's economic development has entered a new normal phase that a moderate slowdown in economic growth. Under the background, it is important on the current technological innovation and technology development to foster new drivers of economic growth and to achieve high economic quality and efficiency upgrading. Thus, an urgent demand to identify the direction of future technology development was required. Technology foresight research has important practical significance for continuously promoting the development of scientific and technological innovation in our country.Compared with the major countries of technology foresight in the world, China's technology foresight research presents the following shortcomings:(1) Technology foresight research on social vision and future needs is simple and shallow;(2) Technology foresight result is weak to use for the domain division as a guideline to develop the technology;(3) The application of the information technology to support the technology foresight practice is uncommon;(4)Delphi survey experts in the Technology foresight are relatively single;(5) Technology foresight result to support the innovation development policy formulation is insufficient;(6) Technology foresight organizations are relatively scattered and the technology foresight practice lacks periodicity.This study on foreign practical experience research of technology foresight revels the practical details on the foreign technology foresight by the cases study, and analyzes the effect of technology foresight on the social experiment implementation. This research can not only enrich methods and theories on China's technology foresight, but also improve China's technology foresight operation level. This study is also used to grasp the development trend of technology foresight for China. This is of great practical significance for enhancing China's technology foresight and practice ability, improving the level of national science and technology planning, and strengthening the ability of science and technology to respond to social challenges.This article also reveals the origin and development of the concept of "technology foresight" by sorting out the origin and evolution of technology foresight, and portrays the five development stages of global technology foresight. The results show technology foresight began in the United States; and then Japan improved the Delphi survey and carried out large-scale investigations. Next, the Europe followed up and many countries began to carry out the technology foresight.After that, the technology foresight has become the world tide. In the 21 century, major countries(such as Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Germany and Russia) continued to carry out with a periodicity. In addition, this article analyzes the typical cases of technology foresight in Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Germany and Russia in recent years from four aspects: technology foresight methods, technology foresight orientation, technology foresight organization operations, and application of technology foresight results. Combined with the characteristics of the fourth industrial revolution and the practice cases of the world's major technology foresight countries, the development trend of technology foresight is discussed comprehensively. It is believed that in the future, technology foresight will develop in four directions:improving the quality of technology foresight, improving the efficiency of technology foresight, constructing social vision and systematic foresight. Finally, combined with the current situation of China's technology foresight, a series of suggestion to enhance the China's technology foresight ability are put forward.(1) Qian Xuesen's "Comprehensive and Integrated Seminar Hall" thought should be used to guide the selection of technology foresight methods and improve the accuracy of technology foresight.(2) The advanced information technology should be employed to carry out technology foresight and improve the efficiency of technology foresight.(3) The technology foresight methodology of facing to social vision and challenges should be focus and the corresponding technology foresight practice should be carried out.(4) China should strengthen the application of technology foresight and promote the innovation subjects to jointly respond to a series of problems of social development refers to technology foresight results.
Key words: technology foresight; international experience; international trends; evolution and enlightenment