The development of technological capabilities results from an extended learning process and external policy agents can play an important role in its development. This paper outlines trends in governmental and non-governmental policy initiatives and the use of concepts such as capability and absorptive capacity, which are positioned within generic-staged models of capability maturity. This paper describes the development of a technology capability assessment/audit tool that has been designed to help locate firms within four archetypes based upon their level of maturity on nine key dimensions of the management of technology. The tool is intended to help bridge the gap between our theoretical understanding of the principles of technology management and policy practice – allowing policy makers to design mechanisms that focus resources in areas of greatest need through the appropriate selection of policy mechanisms and the targeted design of policy. The use of this tool in field experiments is described along with the implications for policy making.