New Technology Risk Analysis

Data-Driven Insights to Deliver Successful New Technology Commercialization Projects

  • How likely is my new technology project to come in on-time and produce at the planned production level?
  • What are the chances of a significant cost overrun, schedule slip, or serious product shortfalls?
  • How much contingency is needed to achieve the desired level of predictability?
  • What are the technology-related project risks and what is driving them?
  • What can be done to reduce the risks?
  • How much additional time and/or money is needed for risk reduction, and is it worth it?
  • What are the realistic production expectations for the first year?
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Contact IPA to ensure your new technology commercialization project is economically viable.

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What Is the New Technology Risk Analysis?

Independent Project Analysis, Inc. (IPA) data show that new technology commercialization projects are at greater than average risk of significant cost overruns, schedule slip, production shortfalls, or outright failure. These projects take longer to start up, require more contingency, and often take longer to reach steady operation than projects using proven technologies. IPA’s New Technology Risk Analysis supports early investment decision-making for these high-risk projects by delivering unbiased and informed cost and schedule insights at a critical point in the project life cycle.

Bring Confidence to Decision Making

The New Technology Risk Analysis leverages detailed data from more than 1,200 global capital projects that have employed some form of new technology step-out, ranging from minor to all new pioneer processes. These data feed into IPA’s empirically proven methodology to quantify how likely a project is to meet its targets, while also identifying the potential risks and how to reduce them. By producing a true, independent picture of the project’s cost, early operational performance, and schedule, the New Technology Risk Analysis gives management the information and confidence needed to make informed decisions.

Photo of an industrial facility to represent a new technology commercialization project .

New Technology Commercialization Challenges

Photo of an industrial facility to represent a new technology commercialization project .

For new ventures and startups, recognizing the challenges that new technology brings and addressing them early in the development cycle is a hallmark of successful innovation.

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Data-Driven Risk Quantification

  • Understand the level of difficulty and risks of your technology step-out compared to projects employing a similar technology step-out
  • Identify contingency requirements to achieve a desired level of confidence that the cost or schedule estimates will not overrun due to the inherent uncertainties of the new technology
  • Understand the likely startup and early operational performance benchmarks and what is driving each

Unbiased Data and Insights

  • Understand how the piloting effort that preceded the project compares to industry Best Practices given the nature of the process and degree of technology step-out
  • Facilitate a fact-based discussion between the project team and management on project risks and how to address them
  • Gain alignment between the project team and management on realistic contingency, schedule, and early operational performance estimates for the project
  • Provide the team with guidance to support the startup and early operation of the asset

Address Sustainability Objectives With Clarity

The introduction of new technology in the process industries has increased significantly in recent years with new energy and green product projects coming into portfolios. As a result, many companies are in the process of developing first-of-a-kind commercial plants to produce these products. Some recent examples include biofuels that employ new processes and novel feedstock, and recyclable or reusable polymers that employ new chemistries and/or new feedstock. The urgency to deliver these new products to meet corporate sustainability goals contributes to downplaying risk and optimism bias toward cost, schedule, and operability. The New Technology Risk Analysis provides practical guidance to help organizations manage corporate sustainability goals successfully.

Timing and Perspective

The New Technology Risk Analysis can be used at any time during the project development phase, or the front-end, of a project. The most effective time is early in a Front-End Loading (FEL) phase to identify risks and to explore different risk mitigation strategies.


The New Technology Risk Analysis process begins with IPA conducting interviews with project stakeholders and individuals knowledgeable of the development and piloting work that preceded the project. These interviews enable IPA to collect cost and schedule data, the scope technology description, piloting details, and planned operational performance. The high level of interaction enables IPA to understand the project and gain alignment with the project team on the analysis results well before the final report is completed. The process also creates opportunities for IPA to share unrivaled project research to address specific challenges the team may be facing. The New Technology Risk Analysis can be delivered as a standalone analysis or as part of an IPA Pacesetter or Prospective analysis.

Industrial Sectors

The New Technology Risk Analysis is available to owner firms across industrial sectors. Key sectors include, but are not limited to:

New Technology Commercialization Workshop

A highly collaborative and customized workshop to establish the foundation for delivering innovative technology on a large scale in the most commercially economic fashion.

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