A foresight report published by the European Commission identifies 100 radical innovation breakthroughs that are likely to have a strong impact on the global economy and advises the EU to boost investment in artificial intelligence and related technologies.
The Commission expects that technologies such as bioplastics, blockchain, exoskeletons, gene editing and neuromorphic chips to be widely used by 2038.
Published today by the Commission, the Radical Innovation Breakthrough Inquirer spotlights clusters of innovations that will have a significant impact on the future world economy and society. It also showcases 45 technologies which are currently at a low level of maturity but are expected to find market applications in the next 20 years. These include biodegradable sensors, warfare drones, and 4D printing.
“To be competitive, Europe needs to maximise the value and productivity of its investments in R&I, and this requires appropriate intelligence and coordination between relevant policies and strategies at EU, national and regional levels,” the report says.
In addition, the report has found that radical innovation breakthroughs are coming in two distinct but interwoven waves. The first is powered by the rapid advancement of information and communication technologies, while the second wave does not have a clear technological scope but is shaped by political and social imperatives emerging from the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The report expects the rise of breakthrough innovations will be significantly shaped by the SDGs and recommends the European Commission to itensify the search for upcoming innovations in areas related to the UN sustainable goals. “Interlinkages of environmental and health technologies with the ICT wave, and in particular the AI cluster, should be systematically explored in order to exploit synergies and avoid conflicts,” the report says.