Energy transition, 3D printing and ‘smart’ fabrics hailed as growth drivers for next 20 years

UK scientists and experts have identified what they think will be the developing technologies generating the most growth.

As par of the Technology and Innovation Futures report, the evaluating team has selected their favoured technology. Leading the way in the list are ‘smart’ fabrics, 3D printing and energy transition.

‘Smart’ fabrics involves technology woven into fabric which can be used to make clothes to monitor problems such as falls for the elderly, or heart rates.

The report concludes that the development of ‘new interactive materials’ will transform how everyday objects function.

3D printing is identified as an emerging technology which has moved from the research and development stage to commercial applications, allowing people to manufacture their own products.

David Willetts, minister for universities and science, says, ‘Looking ahead to the future, far beyond the usual political cycle, is the central plank of our industrial strategy.

‘Providing industry with greater certainty helps companies make long-term investment decisions.’

Willetts adds that by helping to take these new technologies to market, the UK can ‘carve out’ a competitive advantage for itself.

The report has been compiled by Foresight Horizon Scanning Centre, which is part of the Government Office for Science and supports the government’s chief scientific adviser.

John Beddington, government chief science adviser, comments, ‘It is more important than ever to invest in long-term opportunities for growth and this report provides insight into where that investment could have most impact.
The government’s core role, facilitating collaboration between industry and researchers, will be crucial to seizing opportunities for the future of the UK’s economic prosperity.’

To view the full Technology and Innovation Futures report, click here.

Hunter Ruthven

Bernard Williamson

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

Related Topics

Venture capital funding