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A Finnish Look at New Technologies and Future Market Opportunities

30. september 2015

The Committee for the Future in Finland has published an interesting document called 100 opportunities for Finland and the world. Here is a Finish take on how to explore the market opportunities of the future.

Keyboard med finsk flagg

Photo: koufax73

By Special Adviser Astrid Langeland, Innovation Norway

The prices of oil and gas are going down, as are Norwegian investments in the petroleum-sector. Norway has an urgent need to replace jobs and  exports with  new and prosperous businesses.

We know that innovation is the right answer. We also know that in order to succeed we need breakthrough technologies matching future customer needs. However, the question of how and what to innovate leaves us with multiple choices.

Innovation Norway often finds that project proposals lack an idea of  future markets. For many of our customers technology is a more concrete parameter than future customer needs and market opportunities. In order to succeed companies will have to pay attention to  future customers.

To help navigate  this complex landscape of market opportunities and technological opportunities, the Committee for the Future in Finland has published an interesting document called 100 opportunities for Finland and the world. The report is a tool for a radical technology inquiery into anticipation and evaluation of technological breakthroughs.

This tool could help us identify the radical innovations and technologies of the future.

The Inquirer is also a huge source of recent information relevant to innovation policy. The about one thousand Internet sources listed  were crowdsourced. They were then reviewed as a basis for an updated overview of possible technological breakthroughs, matched with future market opportunities.

Analytical parameters

The Finnish tool presents twelve analytical parameters focusing on how new technologies might fit into  future markets.

One and the same technology can be used for many different purposes and the same technology can have impact in several value-producing networks. In addition, the technologies can be ranked in ways that allows us to see which technology sectors are in need of more sales promotion, where we need more research and product development, or which technology sectors require more support via domestic pilots.

There is also a focus on the customer knowledge in different export areas. The potential of the technologies are examined from the point of view of customer knowledge, and takes into consideration how easy it is for businesses to access the clientbase of the new technologies.

The fourth analytical parameter describes the possibilities that scientific basic research opens up for technological breakthroughs.  The advancement of science is an important factor contributing to more radical technological changes.  In most cases, it takes years or even decades from the time of a scientific breakthrough before the first applications come on the market.

The non-linear impact of basic research both on the level of the radical technologies as well as on the level of global value-producing networks is analyzed. A key observation made in this study is that attempts should be made to shorten this delay by increasing the communication between researchers and the appliers of technology.

Global value-producing networks (GVPN) (20).

The first area is the global value-producing networks (GVPN). They represent clusters of demand and needs of citizens in areas of change created by global megatrends.

In the report, 20 networks are identified:

  1. Automation of passenger vehicle
  2. Automation of commodity transport
  3. Manufacturing close to the customer and the revolution of industrial structures
  4. Virtualisation of retail trade and services
  5. Local or functional food
  6. Distance presence and remote control of tools
  7. Individualisation of learning and guidance
  8. Self-care based and personalized healthcare
  9. New capabilities for those who have lost their functional health
  10. Equipment that increase awareness of the environment
  11. Functional materials and new material technologies
  12. Functional added value of intelligent goods
  13. Sustainable energy technologies
  14. Raw materials from untapped areas of the Earth and space
  15. Participatory forms of entertainment, culture and influence
  16. National defense and antiterrorism
  17. Functionalization of spaces and structures
  18. Operation models for self-organising communities
  19. Virtualisation of identities and social structures
  20. Democracy, freedom and social cohesion

These twenty Global value-producing networks are analyzed and described by six different parameters to picture the current situation and the social and marketing obstacles for future commercialization:

  1. Current situation and its expenses
  2. New operating model with its savings
  3. Development of technological maturity
  4. Challenges of the transition period
  5. Legislative / structural barriers
  6. Threats of the new technology

Radical Technological Solutions (100)

The second area consists of 100 different radical technologies listed under eleven main areas for innovation making the life of customers better and more sustainable and effective. The interaction between technology and market development may be connected.

1. Control of metabolism of human beings and other organisms

  1. Routine and complete DNA sequencing
  2. Biochips and biosensors able to diagnose cheaply and rapidly diseases, physiological states and genetic features of organisms
  3. Small portable magnetic resonance imaging scanner
  4. Drugs based on genetically modified organisms
  5. Nanorobots (nanobots) in the health promotion
  6. Longer life time and slower aging processes
  7. Continuously monitored personal health
  8. Brain implants that restore or develop brain functions
  9. Drugs that prevent dementia
  10. Repairing and regrowing of human organs, (stem) cell cultivation
  11. Synthetic cartilage in human joints

2. Social Innovations

  1. Schools in the cloud
  2. Freely organizing remote work and organizations that form on the Internet
  3. Human recognition systems
  4. Emotion management in robots and automatic recognition of emotions
  5. Capturing and content searching of personal life
  6. Automatic speech recognition and translation
  7. Crowdfunding and micro finance
  8. Open data and big data
  9. Gameification

3. Human – machine interface technologies

  1. Interfaces reacting on movements
  2. Glasses of augmented reality
  3. Interfaces based on feeling of touch
  4. Large haptic screens
  5. Digital mirror
  6. Thoughts monitored from brain and action based on them
  7. Flexible and transparent screens using cheap materials

4. Algoritms and Systemic Solutions based on Information technology

  1. Cloud computing
  2. Grid computing
  3. Pattern recognition and pattern search services
  4. Effortless 3D imaging of parts
  5. Real-time 3D modeling of the environment
  6. Self-organizing virtual world from the 3D data of the Internet
  7. Predictive analytics based on self-organizing data
  8. Universal memory based on new materials and solutions
  9. Simulation and mapping of the brain
  10. Quantum computers

5. Measurement and picturing

  1. Cheap Lidar
  2. Lenseless camera and image construction based on data analysis
  3. “Material Radar”
  4. Cheap gas sensors
  5. Very sensitive camera sensors based on nanocarbons
  6. Printed cheap biosensors
  7. Graphene based terahertz devices

6. Moving and Transportation

  1. Self-driving cars
  2. 1 or 2 wheeled vehicles for personal or good traffic
  3. Quadcopters
  4. On-demand personal aviation services
  5. Vactrains
  6. Magnetic or superconductor based levitation
  7. CubeSat and other minisatellites
  8. Light continuously flying equipments

7. Robotics

  1. Modular robotics
  2. A walking robot with hands
  3. The cyber insect
  4. 3D printing of goods
  5. 3D printing of buildings
  6. 3D and 4D printing of material
  7. 3D printing of organs
  8. Robotic surgery and other cutting of biological objects
  9. Sensitive robot fingers and hands capable of remote work
  10. Robo-tailoring

8. Imitation of the nature and cyborgs

  1. Nanosurfaces that convert air moisture to water
  2. Biobots
  3. Artificial muscles
  4. Artificial, self-renewing skin
  5. DNA memory
  6. Artificial cell and simulating life on cell level
  7. In-vitro meat and meat-like plant protein
  8. Robotic legs and the exoskeleton that reinforces movement

9. Key enabling materials and industrial raw materials

  1. Genetically modified organisms as producers of multi-use materials
  2. Extremely dense processors that take quantum phenomena into account
  3. New building materials that replace reinforced concrete
  4. Antibacterial and other dirt repellent materials and surfaces
  5. Carbon nanotube yarn or thread
  6. Nanocarbons in salt or bacteria removal and other separation techniques based on nanocarbons
  7. Nanocarbon as a reinforcement or as functional surface
  8. Cellulose nanofiber and microfiber Materials that levitate on nanolevel
  9. Ultralight and strong materials
  10. Spray-on textiles

10. Energy technology

  1. Rapidly cheapening solar energy
  2. Efficient and light solar panels
  3. Artificial leaf and synthetic fuel from the sun light and carbon dioxide
  4. The production of biofuels using enzymes, bacteria or algae
  5. Flying wind power and other new ways to produce wind energy
  6. Piezoelectrical energy sources, harvesting of kinetic energy
  7. Serial production of small nuclear reactors, fission and fusion
  8. Rapidly charging light batteries and supercapacitors
  9. Massive storage of energy in high capacity batteries
  10. Solar heat and long-term storage of heat
  11. Inexpensive storage of hydrogen in nanostructures
  12. Wireless electricity transmission (magnetism) for electric cars and other electrical devices
  13. High-performance lasers, wireless power transfer, laser weapons

11. Messaging technology and protocols

  1. Nanoradio
  2. LED «radio”
  3. Wireless transmission 2.5 terabytes per second (vortex beam)
  4. Multi-channel communication and software-based controlling of information networks
  5. Electronic money, time banks
  6. Internet for robots

All these 100 technologies are described according to their maturity as regards readiness for commercialization by the following disposition:

  1. Ingress/situation description
  2. Bakground information and examples
  3. Recent vanguard products or inventions
  4. Application areas in 2030
  5. Market development
  6. Impacts on the value chains

The Finnish study also combine all these 100 possibilities by evaluating them against Finland’s national skills and national access to the markets of the individual Radical Technological Solutions. The report is prioritizing the opportunities for Finnish businesses.

The Inquirer needs to be updated and promoted at regular intervals.

Sourcee: 100 Opportunities for Finland and the World.


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