The aim of this article is to propose a novel approach based on a method called Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) and patent citation analysis for prioritizing the portfolio of investment projects. The proposed approach reflects the government's perspective and takes into account two important prioritization criteria. They are: (i) the decreasing rate of foreign trade deficits in the country and (ii) the potential to attract new investments which are not considered in the literature before. A case study from Turkey is presented to demonstrate the benefits of the proposed approach. The findings show that the proposed approach can be used easily and efficiently to prioritize investment projects among available project proposals. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.