Lux Research releases annual list of transformational technologies

Nov. 7, 2019

BOSTON, MA. A combination of megatrends, market demand, and new innovations has thrust many technologies into the spotlight. Lux Research—a provider of tech-enabled research and advisory services—has released its annual report on the tech innovations that are likely to have the greatest impact during the next 10 years. The new report combines insights from technology experts with proprietary data-science tools to better guide innovation decision making.

Lux’s “20 for 2020” identifies and ranks 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 Top 5 Technologies follow:

·      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. 

·       Shared mobility: With more than $10 billion in funding every year for the past three years, shared mobility—like car-sharing services—is reinventing urban transportation. 

·       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. 

·       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.

·       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.

5G networks claim the top spot in Lux’s “20 for 20” 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.” 

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: machine learning, cybersecurity, microbiome.

·       Changed form: wearable technology, genome editing, precision medicine.

·       Fell, in relative terms: AR/VR; drones; perovskite solar; 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 here, and you can download an infographic here.

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