It is more than building a better “mouse-trap”, although that might qualify. It goes beyond simply engineering, rearranging what is known and using known building blocks in new ways or adding new features. It is something that creates knowledge and new understanding.
It is important to differentiate between “technical’ and “technological”. A technical problem may reference uncertainty as to how to solve challenges with a given set of building blocks. A technological problem would refer to the situation where the challenge can not be overcome using the given set of building blocks…. and in this, there is “technological uncertainty’ or risk. In fact, if you have “failures” in your story-line, these often help to establish the fact that technological uncertainty exists.
The belief is that true scientific and technological advances come about by methodical and planned investigation rather than by random, trial-and-error attempts, or luck. A systematic investigation usually involves considering alternatives, selecting the best option and setting up tests to determine if the challenge can be overcome in this way.