OECD Innovation & Tech Outlook 2016

The OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook 2016 aims to inform policy makers and analysts on recent and future changes in global science, technology and innovation (STI) patterns and their potential implications on and for national and international STI policies. Based on the most recent data available, the report provides comparative analysis of new policies and instruments being used in OECD countries and a number of major emerging economies to boost the contribution of science and innovation to growth and to global and social challenges.

The thing I found to be really interesting is the list of key and emerging technologies.

  1. Additive Manufacturing (commonly known as 3D printing): Progressively adding material to make a product take shape is an unprecedented approach to manufacturing that warrants new business models and implies significant changes to existing industries
  2. Advanced Energy Storage Technologies: systems that absorbs energy and stores it for a period of time before releasing it on demand to supply energy or power services.
  3. Artificial Intelligence: the endowment of machines with reasoning capabilities which is likely to bring considerable productivity gains and lead to irreversible changes in our society.
  4. Big Data Analytics: a major policy challenge will be to balance the need for openness with the threats that an extreme “datafication” of social life could raise for privacy, security, equity and integrity.
  5. Blockchain: allowing the transfer of value within computer networks, this technology could disrupt several markets by ensuring trustworthy transactions without the necessity of a third party.
  6. Internet of Things (IoT): despite its great potential to support human, societal and environmental development, several safeguards need to be put in place to ensure data protection and security.
  7. Micro and Nano Satellites: through the use of small and very small satellites with growing capabilities, policy makers can expand their spectrum of sophisticated tools to addresss “grand” challenges for both civilian and defence purposes.
  8. Nanomaterials: their unique optical, magnetic and electrical properties can be exploited in various fields, from healthcare to energy technologies, taking into account technical constraints and uncertainties over their toxicity to humans and the environment.
  9. Neurotechnologies: despite their great promise in diagnosis and therapy for healthy ageing and general human enhancement, they raise profound ethical, legal, social and cultural issues that require policy attention.
  10. Synthetic Biology: allowing for the design and construction of new biological parts and the re-design of natural biological systems, this field is expected to have a wide range of application in health, agriculture, industry and energy.

You can read the full book online totally free.