World Economic Forum lists technologies set to have impact

22 November 2021 | Muriel Cozier

‘Every single technology has the potential to solve major global challenges’

The World Economic Forum has released its latest report listing the top 10 emerging technologies which could impact the world over the next three to five years.

This is the 10th year that the Top 10 Emerging Technologies report has been published. The list is compiled by ‘experts convened by the World Economic Forum and Scientific America.’ In addition to providing major benefits to societies and economies, the list includes technologies that must also be disruptive, attractive to investors and researchers and expected to have achieved considerable scale within five years.

Among the technologies making the cut for the 10th anniversary edition of the report are self fertilising crops. New engineering approaches enable crop plants to produce their own fertiliser by mimicking a symbiotic relationship between the plant roots and soil bacteria that occurs in nature. In addition green ammonia, made from cleaner sources of hydrogen is on the list.

In the area of health, new breath sensing technologies can analyse compounds produced by human breath and detect changes in concentration of compounds associated with diseases. Early stage testing has demonstrated the potential of breath sensing technologies to diagnose covid-19, cancer and tuberculosis.

To combat disease, on-demand drug manufacturing opens up the possibility of common drugs, such as antidepressants and antihistamines being made to the exact dose and formulation tailored for an individual on-site at their local pharmacy.

Meanwhile decarbonisation technologies, such as net-zero air conditioning, low carbon cement and meet free protein are all set to have a big impact in tackling climate change.

‘Our goal with the list is always to identify those [technologies] with the greatest potential for impact, but we also want to provide a diverse and inspirational list. Every single technology has the potential to solve major global challenges’ said Jeremy Jurgen, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum.

The full report: Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2021

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