Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies 2012-2013
Emerging technologies provide solutions to pressing global challenges and providing fertile ground for sustainable business opportunities, but it is important to determine which technology trends have the greatest potential impact in the near and long-term future. In an ever-more complex, inter- and hyper-connected, risk-aware and transparent world, realizing potential depends on identifying developmental barriers, enabling responsive and responsible innovation, and forging partnerships between governments, industry, academics and the public sector.
During the past 20 years, accelerating progress in science and technology stimulated a new age of discovery; yet integrating emerging technologies within existing industries presents a big challenge. Gambling on emerging technologies and uncertain markets is a complex proposition and requires deep understanding of value networks and systems. Moreover, public perception of the possible unintended consequences of emerging technologies can also hinder investment.
Current models for implementing technological innovation to support economic and social progress are falling short of the challenges presented by an increasingly complex and resource-constrained world. As financial systems and companies become more risk averse, it is possible to miss opportunities created by technological progress, and increasingly difficult to translate innovation into products and tools that address growing global challenges. The world lacks the resources for developing economies to replicate the West's 20th-century consumption patterns.
If corporations and governments are to ensure sustainable economic and social development and a healthy environment, a new model for investing in, developing and using technology innovation is required. Unified research efforts that manage expectations and deal with public perception issues must be formed.
- In the OECD countries, Government Budget Appropriations or Outlays for R&D (GBAORD) represented a 0.741% of their gross domestic product (GDP).
- In 2005, Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China and South Africa (BRIICS) represented 3.3% of the world’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications; in 2012 this figure was 10.1%.
- Novel catalysts, based on nano-structured materials, can potentially transform carbon dioxide to high value hydrocarbons and other carbon-containing molecules, which could be used as new building blocks for the chemical industry as cleaner and more sustainable alternatives to petrochemicals.
"Human ingenuity is the answer. We created the science and engineering technological revolution on which all our wellbeing is based. That same keen intelligence can point to the solutions to the hangover challenges and this requires nothing less than another renaissance."
David King, Director, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment (SSEE), United Kingdom
“The true successful innovators get very close to the customer and are knowledgeable enough with all the interactions of the pieces of the system to try and come up with the true benefit of their discoveries.”
Noubar Afeyan, Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Flagship Ventures, USA
“New technologies play a major part in improving companies’ competitiveness, raising living standards, and solving the big problems we face as a society, particularly in terms of ensuring safe, secure and sustainable supplies of energy, water and food.”
Javier Garcia-Martinez, Professor, University of Alicante, Spain
"Energy, Transport & the Environment", Sir David King, Oliver Inderwildi
"The Atlas of Ideas: How Asian innovation can benefit us all", James Wilsdon, C. Leadbeater Demos
“Biotemplated Synthesis of Perovskite Nanomaterials for Solar Energy Conversion”, Angela Belcher, Nurxat Nuraje, Xiangnan Dang, Jifa Qi, Mark A. Allen, Yu Lei
24th SITEX Expo
22-25 November 2012
8th LeWeb Meeting
Les Docks, Paris, France
Ideas Economy: Innovation 2013
28 March 2013
Berkeley, California, USA
The Council strives to address the current challenges by identifying the top emerging technological trends and raise awareness about how they can provide solutions to the most pressing global challenges, at the same time generating insights on the transformation of emerging technologies into industries. More specifically the Council will:
- Identify and describe the potential of the top 10 emerging technologies that best address global issues
- Identify new ways to harness the opportunities of the transformational power of emerging technologies and how they might stimulate emerging industries
- Find innovative methods to overcome short-term problems of financing emerging technologies, while addressing public perception
Goals and Milestones:
The 2012 list of Top 10 Emerging Technologies was published on 15 February 2012 on the World Economic Forum's "Forum: Blog”, the Washington Post, and cited and tweeted in many other publications. This provided visibility and positive feedback to the Council, with significant emphasis on the role of emerging technologies as a job creation engine. The main goal of the Council will be to raise awareness through the publication of the 2013 Top 10, while assisting opinion leaders and business strategists in analysing emerging industrial ecospheres.
The global energy landscape is changing, marked by a constantly growing demand for energy and an increasing importance of renewable energy sources. To address this issue over the next decade, innovative solutions related to key 'energy harnessing' themes like energy storage, renewable energy sources and resource management techniques will be required. The World Economic Forum is bringing together a multistakeholder group to address the challenges and opportunities, and produce a white paper with recommendations.
Research Analyst: Rigas Hadzilacos, Global Agenda Councils, email@example.com
Council Manager: Marina Ruta, Community Manager, Chemicals Industry, Marina.Ruta@weforum.org
Forum Lead: Andrew Hagan, Director, Head of Chemicals Industry, firstname.lastname@example.org