Emerging technologies to drive growth identified
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23 November 2012 - Department
for Business, Innovation and Skills
New technologies including ‘smart’ fabrics, 3D printing and energy
solutions have been highlighted as some of the innovations that could
drive growth over the next 20 years, according to the latest Foresight
report, launched by David Willetts today.
British scientists and experts have identified over 50 new and
developing technologies which could generate billions for the economy
in the future, provided Government and businesses seize the
opportunities. These are published in the refreshed Technology
and Innovation Futures report.
Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said:
“Looking ahead to the future, far beyond the usual political cycle, is
the central plank of our industrial strategy. Providing industry with
greater certainty helps companies make long-term investment decisions.
“By helping take the ground-breaking technologies of tomorrow through
to market, we can carve out a competitive advantage for the UK and meet
the challenges ahead.”
Government Chief Science Adviser Sir John Beddington, who led the
“It is more important than ever to invest in long-term opportunities
for growth and this report provides insight into where that investment
could have most impact. The Government’s core role, facilitating
collaboration between industry and researchers, will be crucial to
seizing opportunities for the future of the UK’s economic prosperity.”
Technologies and trends identified in the report include:
fabrics (one of several ‘human-centred’ design innovations) –
technology woven into fabric which could be used to make clothes to
monitor potential falls of an elderly wearer or the heart-rate of a
patient. The development of new interactive materials incorporating
sensors or communications technologies will transform how everyday
objects function, and produce novel medical and engineering
printing (additive layer manufacturing) - an emerging
technology that has moved from the research and development environment
to commercial applications; ranging from housing units to fabricating
biological tissues, and could offer people the chance to manufacture
their own products.
transition - the move away from reliance on fossil fuel
energy sources to a more mixed supply model. There are major challenges
to overcome, such as tackling intermittent supply from renewable energy
sources and making renewable energy generation more affordable.
However, there are also opportunities such as hybrid energy systems,
exploiting advances in battery technology and ‘smart grids’ which could
use information about supplier and consumer habits to improve the
efficiency and reliability of electricity production.
The report published today reprises the technologies
identified in the 2010 Foresight report and updates them to reflect
recent changes in technology and emerging trends. Findings are based on
interviews and surveys of leading members of industry and academia.
1. Download the full
report from http://www.bis.gov.uk/foresight/our-work/horizon-scanning-centre/technology-and-innovation-futures.
2. The Foresight Horizon Scanning Centre, which produced the report,
helps Government to think systematically about the future by
considering longer term issues across the entire public policy
spectrum. Foresight is part of the Government Office for Science
(GO-Science) which supports the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser
in ensuring that the Government has access to, and uses, the best
science and engineering advice. More information is available here http://www.bis.gov.uk/foresight/our-work/horizon-scanning-centre.
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BIS Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use Licence.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2012-11-23 12:50:13 in Computer Articles