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Success story

Microelectronics Technology Joint Venture

An Asian multinational client was seeking to expand its microelectronics business, establish a US presence, and gain access to the US domestic technology pool. ICG was asked to identify firms with complementary technologies, some of whom were in need of cash infusion. The client was able to form a low-risk joint venture as majority partner with two domestic firms. This newly-formed enterprise developed an advanced product for the US market that was also repatriated back to the Asian market.


ICG’s futuring research combines market projection and “food-chain” analysis helping clients to:

  • Pinpoint products and services for future emphasis
  • Identify customers for these products and services
  • Define markets to pursue
  • Decide geographic markets to pursue
Our clients seek a means of anticipating or creating new uses for a body of technology and strive to improve the synergy between their core technology with technologies outside of their organization -- even technologies currently unknown to them.

Standard creativity and brainstorming tools are helpful, but often result in “hit or miss” outcomes. Focus groups are inadequate because the respondents have no reference point or degree of familiarity with “breakthrough” techniques to render opinions. Problem solving processes prove irrelevant because there is no problem, error, or special cause to solve.

Futuring and “food-chain” analysis can overcome these shortcomings. Basically, futuring is pattern detection, looking for connections between events that create patterns. After considering these connection and detecting changes in social and corporate culture, family structure and education our analysis proceeds to map an entire series of forces impacting customers’ lives -- forces that have different time frames.

Food chain analysis examines streams of technologies and the rate at which they are maturing and identifies commercial applications, "products or services" that were invisible to our customer before this analysis. This commercial application may now be mined for cooperative applications/approaches. Japan, among others, has often used food chain analysis to evaluate US companies being considered for investment, frequently detecting an opportunity unknown to the firms being approached for investment.

Food chain analysis is superb for identifying investment opportunities and for ascertaining the “moment” in maturity that merits investment or partnering. Investment at that time diminishes risk of failure, avoids development costs, and lowers acquisition costs.

ICG helps clients to anticipate and create new uses for their body of technology. We help clients answer Jack Welch’s five questions constantly put to his managers at General Electric:

  • What does your global competitive environment look like?
  • What have your competitors done in the last three years?
  • What have you done to them in the same period?
  • How could they attack you in the future?
  • How will you leapfrog them?