Insights

Do You Know These 20 Transformational Technologies?

A combination of megatrends, market demand, and new innovations has thrust many technologies into the spotlight. These tech innovations are likely to have the greatest impact during the next 10 years, according to Lux Research in its annual report titled "20 for 2020".

The new report combines the power of insights from technology experts with proprietary data science tools to better guide innovation decision making.

Below is a ranking of 20 technologies that will reshape the world, based on innovation interest scores from the Lux Intelligence Engine, along with input from Lux's leading analysts. It provides data-backed context for the ever-shifting technology landscape and insights into how companies can maximize the investment opportunities these data trends reveal.

The 20 technologies are:

1. 5G Networks
From robotic surgery to self-driving cars, 5G will be critical to advances in the internet of things. 5G has officially left the realm of research and entered reality, with more than 2,200 patents being filed this year.

2. Shared Mobility
With more than $10 billion in funding every year for the past three years, shared mobility – like car-sharing services – are reinventing urban transportation.

3. Advanced Plastic Recycling
Mission-critical for companies from CPGs to chemicals, China has invested in recycling technology in a big way, with 55% of all patents coming from that country.

4. Solid-State Batteries
Incumbent Li-ion batteries are hitting a performance plateau, and with more than 500 patents filed last year, solid-state battery production is quickly becoming less theoretical.

5. Protein Production
Next-generation protein are needed to feed a population of almost 10 billion and received five times the investment of the previous year, landing at more than $200 million.

6. Commercial Vehicle Automation
Improvements in operator efficiency and safety will lower operation costs.

7. Point-of-Use Sensing
Individualized, real-time data enables new business models for B2B and B2C alike.

8. 3D Printing
Increasingly being used to manufacture production parts.

9. Energy Trading Platforms
Threaten to disrupt conventional electricity retail.

10. Natural Language Processing
Scalable solution to reduce repetitive tasks and improve efficiency.

11. Hydrogen and Fuel Cells
Will be integral for growing renewables and decarbonizing industry.

12. Materials Informatics
Can dramatically speed development time for materials and formulations.

13. Quantum Computing
Addresses problems that are unsolvable by conventional computers.

14. Last-Mile Delivery
Mobility is shifting to incorporate new modes of last-mile transport.

15. Blockchain
A tool for establishing trust where regular databases can't.

16. Battery Fast Charging
Infrastructure to quickly add range is becoming a need-to-have.

17. Omics
Biological digital twins can address key challenges in medicine, materials, and agriculture.

18. 2D Materials
Graphene is displacing conventional materials from composites to electronics.

19. Flow Batteries
Offer support to daily wind and solar fluctuations without relying on natural gas.

20. Vertical Farming
Meets consumer demand for local produce using less water, pesticides, and energy.

Evolving landscape

5G networks claim the top spot in the report, 12 spots over the previous year's report. In fact, 11 of the 20 technologies on this list did not even appear on the previous year's list, and six of the nine returning technologies moved up in ranking.

"One of the most exciting trends this list highlights is how rapidly the tech innovation landscape is evolving," said Michael Holman, Ph.D., Vice President of Research at Lux.

"The number of newcomers on the list, along with progress in returning technologies, shows how rapidly innovation is progressing, creating compelling new growth opportunities as well as disruptive threats to incumbents."

Missing from the list

Nine technologies that made the cut in 2019 but were absent from this year's list are listed below. They can be broken down into three categories:

Went Mainstream:

1. Machine learning

2. Cybersecurity 

3. Microbiome

Changed Form:

4. Wearable technology

5. Genome editing

6. Precision medicine

Fell, in Relative Terms:

7. AR/VR; Drones

8. Perovskite solar

9. Generative design

To see the full "20 for 20" list and to learn more about how these technologies have the potential to significantly impact investment into new technologies, you can download the report's executive summary.

Article published by icrunchdata
Image credit by Getty Images, DigitalVision Vectors, mathisworks
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