In the past, formal methods for monitoring R&D in competitor organizations were not considered necessary because scientists and engineers could learn about advances informally from colleagues and other professionals. But in today’s global world, informal watching of the players, developments, and trends is usually not sufficient. What is needed is often called competitive technical intelligence (CTI)—systematic methods carried out by professionals to collect, analyze, and communicate (to relevant users) action-oriented information on external S&T threats and opportunities.
This distinction between external and internal attention is critical. CTI addresses the future needs of decision-makers and analysts from a uniquely external viewpoint to complement each organization’s tendency to focus inside the organization. One way to understand the shift from internal technology development to external technical intelligence is to examine the United States’ response to the R&D strategies of firms from other nations
 Figure 1 is from ScienceDirect, “Technological Forecasting and Opportunity Assessment,” by Gert T. duPreez and Carl W. I. Pistorius (19 August 1999), downloaded May 4, 2015